Term Paper Writing
Please submit your topics for the term paper here! Please be sure to review term paper guidelines and follow them to meet the requirements for every step of this assignment. Paste your topic paragraph and citations for the research article in your response. (Save a copy on your computer!)
You are responsible for making sure that your topic falls within the area of cognitive psychology. This is a research reading and writing assignment. It’s important that article you choose is recent (published in the last 5-7 years) and describes pertinent empirical research (tip: one that has methods and techniques, data collection, analysis, and results …described in detail!).
This assignment is worth 10 points on your term paper (out of 100).
Be sure to download and review the Detailed guidelines for the assignment.
Briefly, you are required to write a 5-7 page (double-spaced, 1 inch margins, 10 -12 point font) term paper papers that summarize and evaluate empirical research on a topic relevant to Cognition. You will then apply the concepts you have learned to a real world experience/observation.
Term Paper Guidelines
All our discussions will be based on research in the field of cognition. A prerequisite to gaining scientific
knowledge of any sort is the ability to read and critically evaluate primary scientific literature as well as
apply learned concepts to real world experiences/ observations.. The goal of this assignment is to help
you develop these essential skills and get familiar with how research is conducted in cognitive
Students will write a short paper (4-6 pages) on a topic of your choice. The assignment is read an
empirical research article on a topic in cognition and to apply the concepts you have learned to a real
world experience/observation. The paper will be scored based on the quality of writing, critique of the
reading and analysis of your observation (e.g. correctly applied scientific terminology to the observation;
correct explanation of the phenomenon in terms of a theory discussed in class).
As a first step, I suggest that you use the textbook and course outline as a source for selecting a general
topic, followed by library, PsychINFO, and Pubmed/Google scholar searches for the selection of the a
recent research article in the area of your interest (for online assistance in your search, see
http://researchguides.uoregon.edu/psychology ). The referenced article must be empirical in nature, with
data collected to investigate a specific question related to the topic of interest (i.e., no reviews,
commentaries, news reports or summary articles!).The due dates for this assignment have been designed
to help you get an early start on your assignment and enable you to distribute the work on the paper
throughout the term.
You must turn in four different items pertaining to the paper (Specific due dates as per course outline):
1) A topic name, citations for the related research article you have chosen and a brief description of the
topic (one paragraph describing why the topic is appropriate and interesting, and how the research
article will help you investigate the topic should be submitted to the “Term Paper” section of
Canvas. Submissions via email will not be accepted. This will account for 10% of the term paper
2) Electronic versions of the complete articles should be submitted on Canvas. After the due date, you
may not change your chosen topic and articles without the consent of the instructor, or the GTF.
3) Peer review – Upload a draft of the paper that will be assigned to other students in the class for review
and editing. This will account for 20% of the term paper grade (10 for your editing ability of your
peer’s paper and 10 for your draft).
4) VeriCite check– I strongly encourage you to upload your paper to VeriCite on Canvas and check for
originality of writing for yourself before submitting your paper for grading. Students who are asked to
upload after submission are REQUIRED to upload their papers. In these cases, failure to do so in a
timely fashion will adversely affect your grade. At that time, if your writing is found lacking in
originality, you may be penalized (see academic honesty section below)!
5) The final version of the paper should be submitted on Canvas in the Term Paper module. (see
course schedule). The paper should include a title page, abstract and citations written in APA
style (reference copies of the APA Publication Manual are available in many of the University
Each paper should include (with equal emphasis on #2 through #5 below!):
In writing your paper you should include:
1) A brief introduction to the general topic.
2) A summary of the article in your own words, including the question under investigation, the hypothesis
being tested, the methods used, the findings, and the conclusions drawn by the authors.
3) A discussion of the merits and deficits of the research, including suggested ways that the deficits could
have been avoided. For example, questions such as these should be addressed: Is the question an
interesting one, and is it framed properly? Is the hypothesis valid and defensible? Are the methods
appropriate to address the question? Are the findings clear and interpreted appropriately? Are the
authors’ conclusions warranted, given the findings?
4) An overall assessment of the significance and quality of the contribution of the research to the field of
cognition. Relate the research to what you have learned in class and/or readings.
5) Relate the research study to a real life experience or observation or propose a study you would conduct
if you were to take this research further. (This should include a clear well defined hypothesis and
discussion of (expected) findings, and conclusions, but need not detail methods or analysis) Future
directions for the research should be discussed.
In order to improve the quality of papers, and to provide you with an opportunity to read on another
topic in cognition and experience editing, papers will be peer edited. On the day that the paper is “due for
editing”, you will upload your paper on Canvas. A classmate with edit your paper and you will have 2-5
days to edit another student’s paper. You will then have a few more days to consider the corrections,
incorporate those you think are good, revise the paper, and then turn in your “final version” of the paper
AND the edited original. Guidelines for editing will be available on Canvas.
Important note: You are ultimately responsible for the quality of your term paper! Please keep in mind
that just as the quality of students in this course varies so does the quality of editing. Taking bad advice
from a peer editor is no excuse for errors in a paper.
Please note: At no point will email submissions be accepted for this assignment. Please be sure to submit
the topic, citations, the original article, your draft and final paper on Canvas!
Finally, plagiarism will not be tolerated, and will be dealt with according to official University policy
(see section on Academic Honesty in the syllabus).
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