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PSYC 370 - Professor Scott (Spring 2020): Your Assignment

Assignment Summary


  • Choose a topic related to the human lifespan 
  • Research the topic. Find at least 5 "scientific references" that have been published in the last 5 years
    • At least one "original research" article:
    • At least one "edited book"
    • Additional sources may be older than 5 years
  • Develop a presentation about the topic 
  • Write a two-page outline that includes a separate references page 
    • Format the references page in APA Style
  • Each group member must do their own research, find their own 5 sources, and develop their own outline.
    • Exception: all group members may use the same edited book as a reference

Example of a scientific, original research article

What is a "Scientific Reference?"

A "scientific reference" means a credible source that is written by an expert. You may also hear terms like "scholarly" or "academic" or "peer-reviewed" to describe these sources. How can you tell if something is a "scientific" reference? Here are some things to look for:

  • References - Scholarly sources usually tell you were they got their information 
  • Tone - Look for sources that appear to be written for an audience of experts or informed consumers
  • Depth - Look for in-depth sources that don't just skim the surface of the topic 
  • Where was it published? Articles published in scholarly journals, academic books, and high-quality websites from respected organizations are likely to qualify as "scientific references" 
  • Studies - Is it describing a study the authors conducted? It is probably a scientific reference!

Example of a scientific, original research article

What is an "original research" journal article?

In every academic field, there are experts and scholars whose job it is to do research in their field. They are often professors at universities or employees of think tanks, hospitals, or labs. Experts share their research by writing articles about what they studied and how they studied it, and then publishing them in "peer-reviewed" or "scholarly" journals. These studies are considered "original research."

How can I tell if an article contains original research?

  • The article will describe a specific study performed by the author(s)
    • Look for sections like:
      • Methods
      • Results
      • Conclusions
  • Some scholarly articles don't describe the results of a specific study but instead summarize or comment on the research that has been done so far on a particular topic. These may be very helpful to you but would not be considered "original research"

Example of a scientific, original research article