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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 critical assessment and reactions to the paper (see items 5-7 below; note you do not need to cover all three for this portion, but you need to go in significant depth to make your points). 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. This means that you will be assessed not only on the content of your papers, but being able to effectively communicate your points. In other words, you will need to use proper grammar and sentence structure. Additionally, you are not allowed to use quotations in your paper.

HERE ARE THE QUESTIONS THAT MUST BE ANSWERED OR I WILL ASK FOR REFUND.

First half of essay:
What is the purpose of the research? According to the article, what background research had been conducted in this area and how does it relate to and inform the research question and hypothesis? 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 for each study? How do the results of the current studies support and extend the literature reviewed in the introduction? Please note in terms of formatting and organization, you should discuss the results for each study after you discuss the methods and variables for that study. For example, if you are writing about Studies 1 and 2, you should have your paragraphs organized such that you write about Study 1 method and variables, Study 1 results, Study 2 method and variables, Study 2 results. SECOND HALF OF ESSAY:
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? 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 do you think they could have done better? If you do not have any critiques, what did the researchers do particularly effectively in this article, and why do you think these are important?

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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