PSYCHOLOGY RESEARCH SUMMARY PAPERS:
GUIDELINES AND GRADING CRITERIA FOR SUMMARY PAPERS
Summary papers should include four parts that roughly parallel the format of the original articles (see below). You must describe the research in your own words, and cannot quote directly from the text.
Background and Rationale: Briefly introduce the article in this section, providing answers to the following questions: What problem(s) or question(s) in psychology does this research address? Why was this an important question to address?
Methods: Outline the basic methods the researcher(s) used in conducting the research, answering the following questions: Who took part in the study as subjects? What was/were the independent variable(s)? What was (were) the dependent variables? Why did they use these particular variables?
Basic Findings: Briefly outline the findings. In doing this section, you need to avoid getting merely repeating the numerical information reported in the article. You should do your best to summarize the results into simple statements of relationships between the independent variables(s) and the dependent variable(s), and emphasize those findings that are central to the research questions.
Implications: Outline the main conclusions as they relate to the original problem(s) the researchers defined, and as you discussed in the “Background & Rationale” section.
Format. Papers should be typed, single-spaced, with 1-inch margins and 12-point font, and 1-2 pages long. Emphasis should be placed on quality and not quantity. Be sure to include
your name, section number, ID number, and whether you are writing the paper for required or extra credit.
Grading Criteria. All papers will be graded pass/fail by your instructor, based on how well you address all the questions and issues outlined above. Do not assume that any paper handed in will receive credit automatically. Those students who do not do a satisfactory job of addressing these questions will fail, and will receive no research credit for their effort.