Instructions for Writing your Reaction Papers
Each paper you select to write about should be one of the journal papers that are being read for the course (see the General Course Outline below for a list of papers). It should be submitted at the beginning of class the day the reading is due. Once you have chosen and carefully read an article from one of the above journals, write a 2 page paper (double-spaced, with one-inch margins, 12 point font Times New Roman) answering the following questions about the described experiment(s). Papers should be two FULL pages in length (you may use a third page if necessary). The first page should be focused on summarizing the article, demonstrating full understanding of the content (see items 1-4 below). The second page should be focused on your reaction or response to the paper (see items 5-7 below). Credit will be awarded based on the content and writing of the papers, so be sure to answer the questions to the best of your ability. Again, you will need to write four reaction papers based on the journal articles (NOT the book readings, NOT the Nisbett chapter, and NOT the Busch, Milrod, & Sandberg (2009) reading).
- What is the purpose of the research? According to the article, what background research had been conducted in this area? What are the hypotheses?
- What type of research method was used (e.g., description of subjects, what materials were used, and procedures). Please do this for two studies (you do not need to do it for every study if there are 3 or more, but try to pick studies you think were important for the overall journal article).
- Identify the independent variable(s) & dependent variable(s)
- What were the main results? How do the results of the current studies support and extend the literature reviewed in the introduction?
- How does the research relate to topics that (a) you’ve learned in your course OR (b) apply to your everyday life experiences (be specific)?
- What critiques do you have about the article? Were there any problems with the design of the studies? What do you think they could have done better? Did the researchers address them? (Try to go beyond what the researchers say in the article! Not surprisingly, researchers do not always point out all the flaws in their own research.) What ethical issues did the researchers confront? How did they address them?
7. What experimental question did this article raise for you? That is, if you were going to conduct an experiment on the topic of this article using it as background information, what question would you want to explore? Briefly describe how you would explore your question experimentally. Why would your experiment be important?
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