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PSYC 465 (Dolins): Experimental Psychology

Research Guide for Dr. Dolins' section of the PSYC 465 course

Write Your Research Essay

1. Title Page

2. Abstract: a summary of your project and its findings, which should tell the whole story of your study, including:

  • the overall purpose of the study and research problem(s) you investigated
  • the basic design and methods of the study
  • the major findings and trends found in your analysis of the study results
  • a brief summary of your interpretations and conclusions

3. Introduction and Literature Review with Hypothesis and Research Questions: a review of the literature that you used to build your research study hypothesis. Your Introduction should:

  • Be more than a summary of the articles you read
  • Bring together theories and results from a number of studies to provide background for your project and demonstrate how your research study hypothesis fits into this current research area
  • Be a compelling narrative about how the articles you've read built up to your research questions and study hypothesis and make the case for why your research questions and study hypothesis are important
  • End with your study hypothesis and research questions

4. Body of Argument: report the expected findings of your research study and interpret and describe the significance of your expected findings in light of what is already known about the research area you're investigating. Your Body of Argument should include:

  • Use evidence and findings from research articles to build expected study findings
  • Use evidence and findings from research articles to build arguments about what your expected study findings would mean 
  • Use evidence and findings from research articles to build arguments about how your expected study findings would contribute to the research area
  • Analyze your evidence and observations to show how they link to your hypothesis

5. Conclusions: summarizes your findings and what you learned

  • Restate your research hypothesis from the introduction in different words
  • Briefly summarize your main points or arguments and pull them together to address your research hypothesis
  • End with a strong, final statement that ties the whole essay together and makes it clear the essay has come to an end
  • No new ideas should be introduced in the conclusion, it should only review and analyze the main points from the body of the paper (with the exception of suggestions for further research)

6. References List: a list of the sources you cited (not your annotated bibliography)

  • Cite your sources in APA Style 
  • Format your References list in APA Style

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