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PSY 319 - Quinan: PSY 319 Assignment

Assignment for PSY 319

Term Paper:  Each student will prepare a paper about some aspect of physiological psychology. Components of the assignment include an annotated bibliography, first and second drafts. Please see Dr. Quinan for due dates for research assignments.The paper is graded on a 40 point scale. The written expression of ideas and information is at least as valued as the ideas and information. You will lose at least five points if the first draft is late and one point for each school day that the final draft is late. Guidelines for writing the paper are attached to this syllabus. You will also make a brief oral presentation to the class about your paper topic.

Dr. Quinan's Guidelines for Writing a Term Paper


 1. Choose a topic that interests you!  The topic of your paper must be discussed in the textbook used in this course.  Be sure that you can find sufficient reference material. The instructor must approve your paper topic. It should not be too broad (such as “The Brain”) or too narrow (such as “The Optic Nerve”).  You may not use the same topic that you have written a term paper about in another course.

 2. Your paper should include a title page, an abstract, a well-organized body, and a reference page. Your term paper should be about 10 double-spaced pages in length.  Your paper should be written using the current American Psychological Association (APA) format. See The Scott Foresman Handbook for Writers and Writing Papers in Psychology (by Rosnow and Rosnow) for information and guidelines.

3. You should cite 5 to 10 good reference sources in your paper. Your reference list must include the following 

     1. Your textbook

      2. Two articles from Psychology reference books (Your instructor will provide a list of Psychology reference books that are available in the College Library.) This list is attached within this guide on the books and eBooks tab.

      3. Two articles from scientific journals (such as the Journal of Experimental Psychology, Psychological Bulletin, and many others). Many journal articles may be accessed electronically using the Library’s databases. (Note: Psychology Today, Newsweek, and most of the other magazines that are found in local bookstores are not scientific journals.)

The other sources for your paper may include additional books, articles, and reliable Internet sources. Please ask the professor if you have questions about reference sources.

4. Be careful if you find old references. If the book or article you found is more than 10 years old, it omits an enormous amount of recent research. The sources may provide excellent information about noted psychologists or early research, but they do not provide current theories, therapies, or research results. You should, therefore, look at some recent publications and cite them in your paper.

5. Write your paper in a clear, organized manner. You will first turn in a set of one-paragraph summaries of the information which you found in each of your references.  This annotated bibliography will be turned in for review and feedback and turned in a second time with the final paper. In the paper, you will organize these facts and ideas to tell the reader what you learned about your topic. The bibliography and paper will be written in your own words. You will use APA format to indicate which information came from each of your reference sources. Your instructor will check your progress several times during the semester by approving your topic and annotated bibliography and providing feedback about your first and final drafts. The dates for turning in each of these assignments are listed in your course syllabus. You are encouraged to talk to the professor (in class or during office hours) if you have questions as you prepare your paper.

6. Proofread your paper. Be sure that you have explained unfamiliar abbreviations and technical terms.  Ask other students to read your paper and make comments about it. Check your grammar and spelling (especially in authors’ names and technical terms).      

7. Turn in the bibliography, first draft, and final draft of your paper on time!