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PSY 110: Article Summary Paper

Assignment Overview

Understanding a Research Article Assignment 

Find a Scholarly Article.  A scholarly (or professional) psychology research article usually contains the following:

  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Methods
  • Results
  • Discussion 
  • References

Writing your Paper - Formatting Guidelines:

  • 3 Page Minimum
  • Typed
  • Double-spaced
  • 1" margins
  • 12-point Times New Roman font

Please address the following bullets:

  • What do you know about the authors of this article?  Why do you think so little information is given about the researcher(s)?
  •  In your own words, summarize the study's predictions and why the authors think it's important to study this topic (for example, no one else has tested this idea, or it would be good for businesses to know this information, etc.) 
  • Describe the typical person who was in the study (e.g., a newly married man, a female college student) and then describe the procedures of the study from beginning to end as though you were a participant in one of the conditions.  What would you read or hear or do from the time you began the study until the time you were done?
  • Discuss which 2-3 topics from class or chapters in your text best relate to the research topic and why you think so.
  • Discuss your reactions to or questions about this research or the article itself.

Finding a Professional(Scholarly) Journal Article

As you have learned previously, popular magazine articles are written for the general public who are not experts in the field of Psychology. The language in these articles understandable to a large population of readers.

A scholarly, or professional journal, article is written for other experts in the field. Specific vocabulary is used in these articles that is understandable to the other professionals, but might not be readily understandable to the general public. These articles serve many different functions. Your assignment is focusing on finding an article that explains a research study that professionals have conducted and are communicating the methods, results etc. to other peers in their field. The articles you are looking for will list a method in which the study was conducted, along with data collected from the study, as well as results and conclusions made from the study. Charts and graphs will usually accompany this type of article.

Here is an example:

There are recommended databases listed below that are relevant to finding a professional psychology research journal article. Sometimes it helps to add "research" or "study" along with your topic keywords in the search box in order to narrow down the results to a research article.

In order to share the article with your instructor, you can copy and paste the permalink in an email. Or if it is a PDF file, you can download it and send it as an attachment.

Popular vs. Scholarly Resources

Learn the differences between Popular, Scholarly & Substantive Resources!

General Services

Library Tutorials

Here you will find self-paced video and print tutorials on how to find and use the resources available to you through the Gateway Library, as well as how to perform all the proper steps in the research process.

Citation and Style Guides

Here you will find information on how to properly utilize the two citation styles used within Gateway classes, as well as example papers and other related resources.

Contact us!

Go to the link above to find our contact information, a direct link to chat with us during business hours, and several other ways to submit questions. Don't be shy! As as student, asking questions is your job!

***Adapted from Ashford University***

State your topic

Your topic is the essential idea of your paper. It is usually a few words or a phrase that summarizes the subject of your paper. For your thesis statement, try to make your topic as specific as possible.

State your main idea about this topic

What are you trying to state or prove about your topic? What are you trying to persuade the reader to believe? When stating your opinion, be sure to:

  • express one major ideal
  • name the topic and assert something specific about it
  • take a stance on an issue that you can support with facts and reasons.
  • state your position on or opinion about the issue.

Give a reason that supports your main idea

Write your reason as a clear statement. Be sure that you can support this reason with logical facts and evidence.

Give another reason that supports your main idea

Write your reason as a clear statement. Be sure that you can support this reason with logical facts and evidence.

Give one more reason that supports your main idea

Tell us one reason that supports your opinion. Write your reason as a clear statement. Be sure that you can support this reason with logical facts and evidence.

Include an opposing viewpoint to your main idea, if applicable

A good thesis statement acknowledges that there is always another side to the argument. So, include an opposing viewpoint (a counterargument) to your opinion. Basically, write down what a person who disagrees with your position might say about your topic.


Click the button to generate your thesis statement!



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Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Library
San José State University