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Kristin Bonnie Psychology 200: Research Methods and Design

Introduction to a Scientific Research Paper Assignment - Part I

Last week you were introduced to the structure of a scientific paper. This week, you will have the opportunity to explore, analyze and try oyt scientific writing on your own. We’ll begin by concentrating on the introduction of an APA style journal article.

The Purpose of the assignment (Part I) is to give you the opportunity to work with (read, dissect, and analyze) a published journal article on a topic that I hope is of interest to you. At the end of this assignment, you should have a basic understanding of how (holistically and the requisite parts) the introduction of a scientific research article is constructed.

You will be reading the introduction to Fake ID Ownership and Heavy Drinking in Underage College Studies: Prospective Findings. The hand out you receive includes text from this article that was published in 2007 in the journal, Psychology of Addictive Behaviors.

[Fake ID ownership and heavy drinking in underage college students: Prospective findings. Martinez, Julia A.; Rutledge, Patricia C.; Sher, Kenneth J. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors. Vol. 21(2), June 2007, pp. 226-232. Available in PsycArticles]

Answer the following questions before our next class. To receive credit for this assignment, you must bring this worksheet to class with you, and it should be completed before you step through the classroom door. You are expected to work on this independently.

Read the text through once. For this first reading, do not focus on the details, but rather read the text to get a general sense of the content.

a) What is your initial reaction to the article? Did you find it informative? Confusing? Written well?

b) Who do you think the article was written for? Why?

c) Did the authors convey any feelings or emotion?

Now, go back and re-read the article more closely. This time, as you read, think about the “story” the authors are trying to convey or the argument they are trying to make. As you read, consider the point the authors are making with each paragraph, and how they make that point (what evidence do they use to support their story/argument?).

After you have read the article a second (and possibly third time), complete the back side of this worksheet.

Paragraph Purpose Support
"In a cross-
"The relevance
"Using a


Introduction to a Scientific Research Paper Assignment - Part II

1) With a partner, discuss your answers to questions a, b, and c on the first page of Part I. Try to come up with a team answer to each questions. However, it is not necessary for you and your partner to agree—but be prepared to discuss your differences in opinion with the class.

2) In the space below, use the information you and your partner included in your tables to generate an outline of the article. Your outline should be specific to the article itself, not a generic outline of any introduction. For example:

I. Statement about the purpose of first paragraph
A. Support
B. Support
II. Statement about purpose of second paragraph
A. Support
B. Support