•Decide on a specific topic within psychology on which you want to conduct research. This will be the topic on which you write your research proposal

•Conduct a literature search on the topic using PsycINFO. As you go, you might find that you need to narrow down your topic. Feel free to do so. (For example, if your topic is simply “goal setting,” you will probably find hundreds or thousands of papers on goal setting. You will need to narrow it down to something like “goal revision” or “goal conflict” to get a manageable list)

•Access databases at the Evans Library and search of the PsychINFO database

Submit your research topic and citations (in APA format) of at least 15 articles on your topic that you found while conducting your literature search. These articles should be ones that you plan to read and summarize. Your ultimate goal is to find articles that you can use in the literature review section of your research proposal. You will need to use at least 10 articles in your research proposal. Fifteen is the minimum for this assignment (more is better) because, as you read, you will find that many are not useful for your paper. The articles that you use in your paper should lead to a testable hypothesis (so that your hypothesis is supported by the research you review). Keep that in mind as you read them.

Begin reading these articles. You will need to summarize four of them next week. Try not to be intimidated by any complicated statistical analyses. The author will interpret them for you and discuss the overall results in the discussion section. You need not understand the analyses to understand the general findings of the research. Pay attention to any suggestions for future research. Those may give you ideas for your proposed study.

Review the tutorials at Evans Library for help defining your topic, finding articles, and managing your references:


Three common types of plagiarism you need to be aware of as a student:

•Recycling a paper; “double-dipping”; self-plagiarism: Reusing a paper you have written for a previous course

•Copying directly from a source without proper quotations or paraphrasing: When you try to pass something off as your own work

•Not using proper citations

According to the Academic Integrity and Academic Dishonesty Handbook:

Your paper should have at least 80% of your own original thought, not “borrowed, paraphrased [or] quoted” from material pulled from the Internet, articles, journals, books, etc. Your thoughts, not someone else’s!

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