College of Science and Health | DePaul University > Academics > Psychology > Research > Alternative Paper Option

Alternative Paper Option

Alternative Credit for PSY 105/106 Research Participation Requirement
If you are enrolled in PSY 105 or PSY 106 and do not wish to participate in research to fulfill the Intro Psych Research Participation Requirement, or if you are unable to participate in enough experiments, you will have the option of writing short summary papers instead. Each paper is worth one credit hour. You may do any combination of experiments and papers to complete your requirements.  Papers are accepted by email only (no hard copies) - see below.

To write a summary paper, you will need to find an appropriate scientific journal article. You can find psychology journals in the periodical section of the DePaul library. You can also retrieve many journal articles from the library's website. While some scientific articles can be found through a standard search engine (Google, Bing, etc.), it is recommended that you use the DePaul Library search tool. On the library web site you can go to "databases" and select PsycArticles or PsycInfo. Select "Empirical Study" under Methodology and hit Search. (You can narrow it down by entering a keyword before hitting Search.)

Journal Article Requirements
  • The article must be from a scientific journal, such as the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General or Psychological Science (just to mention two - there are many others). It can not be from a newspaper or magazine, such as Psychology Today or Time.  The two journals Psychological Reports and Perceptual and Motor Skills are also not acceptable sources, although empirical research reports from most other journals are fine. Scientific American articles are acceptable, but only if they are about research that is related to psychology. If you have any question about whether a source is a scientific journal, email the Coordinator and verify that your source is acceptable before you write the paper.
  • The article must be about research in or related to psychology. In other words, it must report the results of an empirical study, or summarize the findings from several studies. It must have data.
  • The article must be from a current journal issue. This means that the publication date must be from the current calendar year. If, for example, today's date is Jan. 30, 2017, you must use an article published in 2017.  ARTICLES NOT FROM THE CURRENT CALENDAR YEAR WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED, even for winter quarter.
Paper Requirements
Please keep in mind that you will not receive credit for a paper that does not meet the requirements outlined below. To help you a checklist and an example paper are provided below as a guide.
  • Deadline: Please turn your papers in to the Psychology Experiment System Coordinators electronically by emailing them to psychexperiments@depaul.edu. Be sure to include the phrase, "Alternative Paper Option" in the subject line. You must turn in all papers by the last scheduled class meeting (before Final Exam week), or by the date stated in the syllabus for your class, if the instructor has set an earlier deadline.
  • Citations: All papers must include APA-style citations. If you are unsure of what this entails, the details are listed below, and there are numerous resources available online and within the Psychology department to assist you.
  • No plagiarism, including recycling of papers, cutting and pasting of text, or verbatim use of phrases from the article. The optional papers are a class assignment, subject to the same rules of academic integrity as any other course work. Plagiarism, turning in the same paper twice or for two different classes, or other violations of academic integrity will be reported to your instructor and the university.
  • No direct quotations of more than three words. Everything must be put into your own words.
  • Paper Content – see the checklist/template below for details.

Paper Content Checklist/Template
You may cut and paste this template to format your papers.  Please use the headings as listed in this template:
  • TITLE PAGE (1 Page)
Intro Psych Alternate Research Credit Paper

Insert Name Here
List your name as it appears on the course roster.

Insert Student ID Here
Seven Digit DePaul Student ID No.

Insert Name of Instructor Here
If you have more than one course, only list the name of the instructor for the course listed below.

Insert Course and Section Number 
This is the course for which the credit will be assigned. If you are in more than one course then only list the course for which credit is to be assigned.

Insert Reference Information for The Article Here 
Last name of Author, Initials. (Date of Publication). Title of Article.  Title of Journal , Volume, Page Numbers.
  • SUMMARY AND COMMENT (1-2 Pages; 12-point font; double-spaced; 1-inch margins)
Purpose of Study 
What were the authors studying and why? What did they expect to find (i.e., what were the hypotheses?)?

Methodology 
Review the basic methods. How did they measure what they were studying? What type of population (abused kids, adults with a disease, college students, rats, etc.) were they studying?

Results & Discussion
What did the researcher(s) find? Did the results support or fail to support the authors' hypotheses? What is the meaning of the results?

Reflection
What are your personal thoughts about this study? Does the study relate to your personal life, anything that you have learned in your studies or anything that you have read in the media? Is there anything missing? What questions does this study raise in your mind? If you have other reflections, feel free to include those, as well.
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