Psychology 2301, Section 51005, Spring 2012


The abstract is a summary of YOUR paper. In essence, the abstract section for this paper will include a summary of both the Review and Critique sections of YOUR paper. It is similar to reading the back cover of a book to get a snapshot of what the book is about. Read the author’s abstract as an example of how an abstract is written but DO NOT copy their abstract. If you write something in your abstract or any other portion of your paper that is taken from someone else (including the author of the article you are critiquing), you must cite them in or at the end of that sentence and later (on the References page) provide a full “address” of where the source can be found. Please be aware, for your purposes in this class, plagiarism will earn you an automatic zero (Ø) on the assignment.

The abstract is generally written last or after you have completed the assignment, as it is a summary of what you have written. For the Abstract, you will be required to write 150-250 words. This is the only page that is NOT first-line indented and is should be flush with the left margin of your page (i.e. left justified).

Note: When you submit your paper for grading, it will be automatically sent to SafeAssign which analyses your paper for similarities found in other papers that have been submitted, research articles and . It is highly functional and will most often catch plagiarism, so please do not plagiarize. Also, it is advisable for you to use this template as much of the formatting has already been done.

Full Title in Upper and Lower Case Letters


Beginning on page three, you will write the headings Introduction, Review, and Critique and you will begin using indentions for each paragraph. In APA writing, there are specific ways to write headings depending on how many levels are used. This is the one time you ARE allowed to use font effects (i.e., bolds or italics).

The Introduction is ONE paragraph of 150-250 words that will first provide a PROBLEM STATEMENT in a single sentence and then summarizes the article you chose from the list. As soon as you state something that was taken from the article, you must IMMEDIATELY cite your source(s) within the text or at the end of that sentence (whether quoting or paraphrasing). Here are a couple examples of how to use “in text citations:”

· Smith suggests that the average dog lives eight years (2011).

· It is believed that the average dog lives eight years (Smith, 2011). The author’s name was not listed in the sentence and needs to be added to the end.

· “After careful review of over 10,000 records, it was determined that the average dog’s lifespan covers eight years” (Smith, 2011, p154). Quotes should include quotation marks and the citation identifies the specific page(s) on which the quote was found.

In any case, the period for the sentence is after the citation.

… lives eight years (2011). Not …lives eight years. (2011)

If it is found that you have plagiarized without having given due credit, you will receive a zero (Ø) on the assignment, and this activity may be reported to the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences division. Plagiarism is a serious issue and will NOT be tolerated.


When you write content on the next heading, do not add extra lines before the next heading. Notice there is not an additional line between the last sentence of the Introduction section and the beginning of the Review section of this template.

After you have read the material for your assignment and thought about it, give an overview of its contents. This differs from the Introduction section in that it is more comprehensive and consequently a page or more in length and that it must identify assumptions made by the researcher of the article.

Briefly explain WHAT types of research or experiments were conducted, WHO were these conducted on, WHERE were they conducted, WHEN were they conducted, and HOW were they conducted. For example, you might list the organization by name (Western University) or location (“an inner city high school in Chicago, Illinois”). Include ages and gender of the subjects, and whether or not parental consent was required in order to assess this sample.

Include details of how much research was investigated and the conclusions of the research.

Do NOT use I, my, he, she, them, we, us, or other pronouns. In fact, the assignment should be written completely in the third person which helps remove subjective opinion (i.e., your personal thoughts or opinions) and favors an OBJECTIVE approach (spoken from the perspective of an uninvolved observer) by such statements as, “The researchers determined that a multiple regression analysis of the data was sufficient to assess the validity of the research methodology.” Third person makes the writer a reporter of the facts. Personal opinions are simply not relevant or appropriate for this paper.

Further, when writing about an experiment, you must also indicate what the hypothesis’ were (there is rarely only one hypothesis, so include them all), and what the researchers expected to find.

State the findings (conclusions) and whether or not they were consistent with what the researchers had anticipated. “Negative results” are okay…we do not always find what we hope to, but we DO report everything. It is not necessary for you to give a synopsis of the statistical and data analysis methods used by the researchers.


In this section you will write a page or more about the quality of the author’s article and the quality of their research (if they conducted research). Do not write a review of the subject itself. This is your opportunity to express your objective findings on the article. Think of it as if you were a food critic and evaluating a restaurant. You would not report to your readers that the food was “very hot” because that would be subjective. You would possibly say the plate was seasoned with, reporting a list of spices, and most likely more spicy than the average person would prefer. It may also be reported that one might expect runny nose, watery eyes and similar types of reactions that are common when eating “spicy foods.” This provides a more objective view of the spicy level of the food.

Again, the assignment requires writing in third person, NOT first person (i.e., I think they failed to comply with the Scientific Method, etc.) nor use phrases like “in MY opinion.” It would be better to say, the authors did not comply with the Scientific Method as they did not ….

This is your rare opportunity to actually criticize (providing objective findings, positive and/or negative) what a researcher has done, so make the most of it. If you disagree with how the research was conducted, say so, but TELL WHY this is so, BASED ON THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD as discussed in lecture and your textbook. Such comments on your part show that you have applied critical thinking to your review of the article. Again, this is not a forum for your opinions or for feedback of the subject itself but for your collegiate critical thinking on the quality of their research and/or article. Then end your Critique section with a conclusion statement.

Here are more items to consider for your Critique section.

· Did the authors:

· follow all appropriate scientific protocols such as:

· identify the target population;

· obtain a random sample or more specifically a representative sample;

· provide clear definitions (operationalization) of their dependent and independent variables;

· indicate their specific methodologies;

· give adequate consideration to various aspects of their topic by having read the research of a number of researchers in this area.

· Did the findings leave the typical reader more or less interested in this topic?

· Would it be helpful for the reader to see more articles in this area of research or meta-analysis …perhaps with additional questions (i.e., hypotheses) in the future?

· Did the researchers violate the principles of scientific methodology (e.g., the Scientific Method) in some way?

· Did the researchers obtain Informed Consent from all participants? Was parental consent (or that of a legal guardian) required if the subjects were minors?

· Did the researcher miss something that was obvious?

· Would adding additional groups of people to the sample alter the results?

· Were the researcher’s findings significant, and if so, why?

· Are there additional questions one might have after reading this article?

· Should additional research (or follow up studies) be conducted– perhaps with additional questions or specific parameters or variables? If your article says the average dog can do three tricks, does that vary in other parts of the world or is there a significant difference in the abilities of different breeds of dogs to do tricks?

· What are potential follow-up studies that could be conducted to expand knowledge in this area?

Your responses to the questions and issues in this document will tell whether or not you have actually THOUGHT ABOUT the article at issue.


1st Author’s Last Name, First Initial. Second Initial. & 2nd Author’s Last Name, First Initial. Second Initial (year published). Write the full title with this type of capitalization. Write the Full Journal Name in Italics in Regular Capitalization 12(1). pp. 120-151.

Note: Use a hanging indention as seen above (i.e. do not indent the first line of the reference but indent each line after for that reference). For the names, do not change the order of the name but also do not list first names, only initials. For the year, do not add season or month. The 12 in italics is the volume number and the 1 in parenthesis is the edition/issue number which is not in italics. Lastly end with the page range of the article followed by a period.

Here is an example of an APA formatted article:

Copeland, R. D. (2017). A comprehensive study of different dog breeds. Journal of Canine Friends, 34(2), pp. 123-145.

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