Media Assignment Instructions
Much of the information we obtain about psychology comes from the popular press. The purpose of this assignment is to (1) become better consumers of psychological information, (2) gain experience looking up, reading, and interpreting scientific research, (3) apply critical thinking skills to a psychological topic, (4) learn to write in APA (American Psychological Association) style format, and (5) have an opportunity to read more about a topic that interests you. The assignment has 2 main components (a brief summary of an article in popular press, and an evaluation of the article using scientific research and references). This assignment should be 5 pages in length excluding title page, abstract, and references. Note: papers are evaluated on the 5 pages only (I do stop reading at 5 pages).
You will need to find an article in the popular media (e.g., online, newspaper, etc.) about an aspect of psychology covered in Psych 100 (e.g., the brain, memory, learning, personality, development, etc.). Look over your readings for this course to see if the topic is one that is covered in Psych 100. Popular media articles include articles from newspapers and magazines (e.g., Macleans, Reader’s Digest, etc.). Articles from internet web sites (e.g., www.ccn.com) are acceptable as well as long as they have a publication date. Your popular press article should not come from an academic journal or from Psychology Today. The article must have been published during the current semester and must refer to a specific study as you will be identifying the type of research methodology used participants, etc. If you are unsure of whether your article is appropriate please check with me. Please include a copy of the article with your assignment. One you have read through the popular press article you will need to find 5 peer-reviewed psychology journals on that topic. This will help you evaluate the accuracy of your popular press article.
Notes regarding this assignment:
1. Be sure that your article is on a Psych 100 topic (not 101) and it contains reference to a specific study.
2. The assignment is broken down into 2 stages. First you will submit a copy of your article with a brief summary (guidelines attached). This is worth 5% of your mark. Then you submit a longer paper than includes a summary of the article and a critical evaluation of it worth 20%.
3. You must include a copy of the article that you are evaluating with your assignment.
4. You need to use APA format for citations and references.
5. You need to have at least 5 academic references (peer-reviewed journal articles you have located using PsychINFO) for your evaluation. All articles must be submitted with your paper (yes, the entire article). You need to read entire articles not just the abstracts.
6. You will need to complete the library orientation in order to access peer-reviewed psychology journals.
7. You must cite all sources of ideas that are not your own, and properly paraphrase information from other sources.
Notes regarding writing style:
1. Psychology requires formal writing. Avoid the use of casual language, contractions (e.g., isn’t, wasn’t), and the personal person (e.g., I think).
2. All papers need an introduction. This introduction should be to your paper. Start with a topic sentence and then introduce your topic, the popular press article, and what your conclusions are based on the research your have gathered. Often your introduction is similar to what you have written in the abstract. This is okay.
3. The abstract is not a substitute for what is written in your paper. That is, don’t include information that only appears in the abstract.
4. Each paragraph should have a topic sentence. What is the focus or point of your paragraph? Sentences should be logically linked to one another. Don’t jump around from one idea to another. When you…