Article Summary Assignment Instructions
Reading and understanding original research is an important skill for developmental psychologists. Understanding research methodology and the sections of a journal article is critical for doctoral-level psychologists. This assignment will help you learn to objectively evaluate research and to seek and understand scholarly sources of information and to use them as a source of knowledge. This assignment can also help you begin your research paper, as the summary you write may later be used in your research paper.
You will write two brief article summaries. One article will be a peer-reviewed research-based journal article of your choice that pertains to developmental psychology. The other article may also be a journal article, or you may choose a chapter/article from:
Lerner, R. M., Overton, W. F. & Molenaar, P.C.M. (Eds.). (2015). Handbook of child
psychology and developmental science, Vol. 1: Theory and method (7th ed.). John Wiley & Sons.
You can access the above text on the Article Summary pages under Article Summary Resources.
A title page and abstract are not necessary. A reference page should be included that lists the APA-formatted reference of the article or chapter you summarized. No additional references are needed other than the reference for the article or chapter you are summarizing.
If you summarize a research article, the summary should focus on:
what was hypothesized
what was done
what was found
what was concluded
If you summarize a chapter/article from the Handbook of Child Psychology and Developmental Science, it is likely the chapter/article would include results of multiple studies, in which case the summary should focus more on the overall research findings related to the topic. If you summarize a journal article, the summary would focus more in depth on one research study; if you summarize a chapter/article from the Handbook of Child Psychology and Developmental Science, the focus would be more on the breadth of the overall research findings on the topic as reported in the chapter/article and less on the specific methodology of each study.
You can find a list of journals affiliated with the American Psychological Association (APA) on the Article Summary pages under Article Summary Resources. These are not the only acceptable journals—many others are available and may be used for the assignment—but this list is provided to give you examples of scholarly journals. If you click “By Subject” and then click “Developmental Psychology,” you will see journals specific to developmental psychology. Child Development is another well-respected developmental psychology journal that is not affiliated with the APA. Some of the databases have the option to select “peer-reviewed” sources; selecting this option will help you eliminate non-scholarly sources from your search results. The Jerry Falwell Library is a reliable place to conduct your searches.
You do not need to pay for articles. Articles that ask you to pay for access can generally be accessed through the Jerry Falwell Library without requiring payment.
You may incorporate the summary into your Research Paper later in the course if you choose.
Be sure to review the criteria on the Article Summary Grading Rubric before beginning this assignment.
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