Homework For Statistiecs For Psych Sci

Notes on Introduction / Discussion and Writing Assignment 3 (Intro Outline)

I. Your Introduction and your Discussion These writing assignments have been created to give you the framework for writing scientific, APA-style papers and reports. Throughout the semester we will focus on different parts of an APA style paper. The goal of these units is to prepare you to write a fully-integrated psychology paper that will be concise, coherent, and accurate.

An APA-style paper that conveys research results typically contains the following parts:

Title Page Abstract Introduction Method Participants or Subjects Measures, Materials or Apparatus Procedure and Design Results Discussion References Tables and Figures (if appropriate) Appendix (key SPSS output)

For this assignment, you are only writing an outline of your introduction, but keep in mind that you should be writing between 3-4 pages for your paper. Let’s start with a few basics of writing a technical paper.

• You paper should be a result of a careful thought process. DO NOT write your paper the night before, it will show

• Your paper should be grammatically correct • Your paper should read as well out loud as it does on the page • Paragraphs generally (though not always) consist of at least five sentences • Commas should be used appropriately—NOT necessarily wherever Microsoft Word

tells you to put them • Papers should be carefully proofread before submission to catch typos that MS Word

does not pick up such as misspellings (for example, “hat” when you meant to say “that”)

• Papers must be stapled in the upper left corner. Report covers, binders, etc. are not appropriate for this assignment and will cause loss of points.

• All papers must be in proper APA format (citations, margins, everything!). Remember, articles that are published look differently than the model for this class. You are submitting a manuscript in manuscript format.

• Generally avoid use of “we” or “I” if alternative language can fit; it is okay to have a few instances of first-person writing, but try to reword (e.g., “the goal of the present study…” rather than “our goal”)

• This is a technical paper, not a reflective one or a journal entry. Take a “just the facts” approach and avoid giving reflections on personal feelings.



• See the PSYS 054 Final Paper Guide on Bb for much more information on paper structure and formatting

The introduction is your literature review. The introduction serves a variety of purposes.

First, it tells the reader why you are doing the study. What is it about your topic that is important enough that a) you researched it and b) someone should read it? Second, it provides readers with a basic understanding of where you are coming from. What theories did you consider before doing your study? What is exciting about your topic? Third, it concludes with a summary of your hypothesis and what you expect to find.

You have a variety of options of how to include previous research into your final paper. For example, you can consider the research chronologically (where the theory started to where the theory is now and how your study fits into the timeline), methodologically (illustrate different studies that used different methods to investigate a problem, and how your study will use or add to these methods), and/or theoretically (what theories have proposed and found and what you expect to find based on a theory or a hybrid of theories). These options are neither exclusive nor exhaustive. The important point is to show your understanding of the most relevant research literature.

Notes on a great introduction a) First sentence: often attention-grabbing, written in common language, and

hooks the reader into the problem/topic of investigation. Why should someone read this paper?

“Female student enrollment in physics classes at the university level has decreased significantly over the past 20 years despite efforts at the high school level to keep women interested in science (Gross and Jacobs, 2000).” (Now you know what my problem is—I am probably doing this research to find out why this is happening. Notice I didn’t just say this happened; I had to cite that this is an actual occurrence) b) After briefly continuing to outline the problem in the first paragraph, set up

how your study will fit into this question. This is NOT the time for hypotheses and specifics, but just a general statement of your plan. You should then set up the literature review.

“The present study investigates the role that stereotyping female ability in science may play in women choosing not to take physics as undergraduates. First, however, it is necessary to understand how stereotyping has been defined in previous research, as well as how specific acts of stereotyping regarding intellectual ability contribute to our understanding of low female enrollment in physics.” c) Review the literature. Once you decide the order you want to present the

literature in, you want to include the following: the authors (as the subject of the sentence), what they predicted, what they did to run their study, and what they found. You can vary the order/style somewhat if you wish; you do not



need to take a “cookie cutter” approach. Most importantly, however, tie each piece of literature back to the main topic. Remember, the more work you put into finding relevant and appropriate articles, the easier it will be to use them as you write.

d) Present your hypothesis. This needs to be clearly stated in terms of a) how it

ties into the theory, b) the relationship it assumes (or what you are proposing instead of the null), and c) the specific predictions you expect to find. Again, you can use “we” here.

“In light of the previous research findings, stereotyping the intellectual ability of females in ‘hard’ sciences, such as physics, may result in women not feeling competent to take undergraduate physics courses. Since science is a requirement at most major universities, women may be fulfilling their requirement by taking different types of sciences under the assumption that other types of science are more appropriate for women (such as Life Sciences). The current study proposes that women currently enrolled in physics classes will recount different experiences concerning stereotyping at the high school level as compared to women enrolled in Life Sciences. Specifically, we posit that women in physics classes will report less instances of stereotyping, more positive experiences with science classes, and report that they feel that they are highly capable in science.” (So now you know what I am investigating, what I plan to find, why I plan to find it, and how I will go about it [self-report]).

Writing the Discussion A Discussion section consists of a brief summary of what you did to remind the reader

(generally one sentence) and a recap of your results (generally one sentence in words; no numbers here!), and then get into saying why you thought you found what you found and how the study could be improved and extended. Here are some questions to consider when writing your Discussion:

1. What did you find in terms of the hypothesis you proposed in your paper (no stats here, just words)?

2. Is this what you expected in light of previous research (tie in the articles from the beginning here)?

3. How do you explain what you found if your results do not support the previous literature OR how do your results now contribute to the literature in support of particular theories?

4. What might be possible confounds (problems with design, participants) 5. What might future researchers wish to study? What questions do you feel have been

left unanswered? 6. A general concluding statement or thought reflecting on the research you did and the

research as a whole (sort of like your introductory paragraph in reverse).

You should anticipate the discussion section in your paper ranging anywhere from 1-3 pages.



Writing Assignment #3 Your assignment (due by the start of lab in two weeks) is to write an outline of your project introduction, including a complete written first paragraph. Please upload your typed, double- spaced, 12pt font, assignment to Bb, including an APA-style reference page. Note that you may follow your own preferences for creating an outline (bullets, numbering, etc.), but please make sure to include the components listed in the rubric below to earn full points for this assignment.

Grading Rubric Component Points

Possible Points Awarded

Introductory Paragraph • Identification of problem and purpose of current

investigation • For this item only, a complete paragraph is



Incorporation of Journal Articles • Provide a brief explanation of how you plan to

organize your paper (e.g., which variable will you discuss first, how you will transition between topics)

• As best you can, for EACH of your four+ articles describe how the article relates to your chosen topic and how it is relevant to your argument for your hypothesis.



Current Study • Provide a description of how your study ties into

the research/theory presented (basically, sum up your argument).

• Provide your specific hypothesis.


APA style Reference Page


FINAL GRADE (out of 5)




  • Introduction
  • Participants or Subjects
    • Results
    • Discussion
      • Notes on a great introduction
    • Grading Rubric