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PSYC 441: Social / Health Psychology: Writing in Psychology

This course examines health behavior research and theory through the lens of applied social psychology. Students critically explore the variety of ways in which social influence shapes health-promoting institutions and health policy, and the impact of ins

Research Report

Choose a topic
  • of interest to you
  • manageable
  • narrow in scope
  • relevant to the class or assignment
Find Information
  • encyclopedias (print or online)
  • books from the library catalog
  • websites with .edu, .org, .gov, .net extensions (use with caution)
  • Databases with journal articles (peer reviewed)
Record reference information of resources using APA citation format
  • author(s), title, source, publisher, year, pages
  • URL addresses
State your thesis or hypothesis
  • pose a question, problem or argument

Make an outline

  • state your thesis and purpose
  • state plan to address the topic
  • list major points
  • present supporting arguments
  • strong, stronger, strongest
  • restate the thesis
  • summarize arguments
  • explain your conclusion
Organize your notes
  • critically analyze your research data
  • check for accuracy
  • provide opposing viewpoints
  • synthesize in your own words
Write the first draft
  • follow your outline
  • summarize, paraphrase, quote each idea
Revise your outline and draft
  • correct content errors
  • check facts and figures
  • rearrange or reorganize as needed
  • spell check
Type the final draft
  • proof read
  • use APA style for citations 

Literature Review

Literature review
  • Is a written overview of major writings and sources on a selected topic
  • includes journal articles, books, government report, websites or other sources
  • provides a description, summary and evaluation of each source
  • is usually a part of a research paper, graduate thesis or dissertation
Purpose of the literature review is to
  • provide a critical account of the current state of a research topic
  • identify areas of prior scholarship
  • place each source in the context of its contribution to the topic or research under review
  • describe the relationship of each source to others in the review
  • identify news to interpret the previous research
  • point the way to further research
Parts of the literature review include
  • objective of the review
  • overview of the subject being considered
  • categories of sources selected in support or opposition of the thesis
  • comparison of sources for similarities and differences
Steps in the literature review process
  • define the subject and scope of the review
  • search library resources: subject databases relevant to the topic
  • read and evaluate sources to determine suitability
  • analyze, interpret and discuss the findings and conclusions of the source

Annotated Bibliograhy

An annotated bibliography is a list of citations to books, articles, and documents.

Each citation is followed by a brief (usually about 150 words, 4 – 6 sentences) descriptive and evaluative paragraph, the annotation.

The purpose of the annotation is to inform the reader of the relevance, accuracy, and quality of the sources cited.

Annotations may include some or all of the following information:
  • Main focus or purpose of the work Intended audience for the work
  • Usefulness or relevance to your research topic (or why it did not meet your expectations)
  • Special features of the work that were unique or helpful
  • Background and credibility of the author
  • Conclusions or observations reached by the author
  • Conclusions or observations reached by you