Psychology Library Assignment

Assignment 3: Popular Press vs. Peer Reviewed Articles (30 Points)

General Psychology – UC Berkeley – Fall 2016

Uploads Due on Bcourses Before the Start of Assigned Sections Starting the Week of November 14th



This assignment is intended to have you compare and contrast the writing style and potential uses of a popular press article versus a peer-reviewed primary research article that discusses a psychologicalphenomenon, written within the last 10 years. The articles need to address the same area of interest (for example, depression and gender, love and crying, teenage norms and ostracism etc.), but do not have to necessarily be about the same exact experiment.  For hints on appropriate psychological phenomena, reference the textbook and lecture notes.

Your popular press report must come from one of the following:

Psychology Today (Avoid Blogs if You Access Online)                                                Time (Time Magazine)                                                    Newsweek (Note: Difficult to Find)

Your peer-reviewed primary research article must come from one of the peer-reviewed scientific journals listed below:

American Journal of Psychology

 I would suggest finding an article of interest in the popular press section first, and then searching for a related article in one of the approved peer reviewed primary research journals.  If overwhelmed or lost, the staff in the Doe Library or the Social Research Library will be able to direct you to the printed journals or alternatively be able to help you in your computer searches for the articles pertaining to your topic of interest.  HOWEVER, you should not harass the staff, demand that they conduct the search for you.  You should also not wait until the last second and then push for them to help immediately—remember, there are 1 to 4 of them working at a time, and hundreds of you that are writing this paper.  With that being said, I cannot stress enough how beneficial it is to use the resources that the library has made available to you.

For this paper you must: 

  1. Summarize the main points and evidence found within each resource in approximately 150-250 words per summary (NOTE: USE YOUR OWN WORDS, DO NOT PLAGAERIZE THE ARTICLES)
  2. Describe using examples at least 3 ways that the theoretical approaches or article writing styles are different (note: mentioning participant pools is too simple, and if you notice that they are addressing completely different topics, your articles aren’t related enough)
  3. Describe using examples at least 2 ways that the articles styles are similar in either goals, structure, or something similar to this
  4. Describe situation where you think that you would benefit using a popular press article, and then describe situations where you would be better off using a peer-reviewed research article
  5. Provide in-text citations and a reference page in APA format (including DOI number for the peer-reviewed article) 
  6. Attach the first page of each article (which has text) to the back of your paper OR email the full articles to your GSI before it is due
  7. Write a paper that is coherent, with smooth transitions between topics (no bullet points or lists)

Notes for both articles:

  1. Articles MUST be from the approved sources listed above
  2. Articles MUST be full articles (avoid summary papers, blurbs, or blogs)

Notes for the popular press articles:

  1. Again, make sure that your article is NOT a blog
  2. Articles MUST be less than 10 years old
  3. Articles MUST be at least 3 pages long in order to ensure that you’re reading a full article from one of these sources

Notes for the peer-reviewed articles:

  1. Be aware that many un-approved journals have similar names, misreading names will not be an accepted reason for not using articles from the approved journal list
  2. Articles MUST be less than 10 years old
  3. Articles MUST be at least 8 pages long.  This will ensure that you’re reading a full research article instead of a summary essay.  The one exception to this rule is for neuroscience topics.  Several well-written neuro articles are less than 8 pages long. 

ANY article that has one of the issues listed above will cost you 6 points.  In other words, if you intentionally or unintentionally select and article that does not come from a correct source, is a blurb or blog, or doesn’t meet the page requirements, you will lose 6 points per article.

The written portion of the assignments (not the reference page and attachments) should be a maximum of four, typed, double-spaced, pages in length—do not mess with font size and margins to make your paper longer or shorter.  You will not lose points for having a paper that is shorter than four pages, but if you are fulfilling all of the requirements, your paper will be at least two and a half full pages.

Make sure that your paper is written as an expository essay.  It needs to be coherent, with smooth transitions between topics, and it must be in essay form.  You should not have different sections in your paper.  There should also be no bullet points or other forms of separation in the paper. 

Please write several drafts, spell check, proofread, and revise your work before handing in your assignment.  You will not receive full credit if your assignment contains multiple grammatical, spelling, or stylistic mistakes. The University offers resources to help refine your writing. Your GSI will not be able to proofread drafts.

Papers must be uploaded in doc, docx, or pdf form into the appropriate submission page on the bcourses site before the START of your assigned section that the paper is due. Anything submitted after the start of that section—even 1 minute late—will receive 75% of the points earned for the paper.  Work submitted over 1 week after the due date will not be accepted and will receive no credit. No make-up work or re-writes will be offered or accepted.

A Caution About Plagiarism and Cheating:

Use your own words! Plagiarism and cheating in this assignment are not tolerated.  Anyone caught submitting work that is in some way not their own will receive a 0 on the paper and an entire grade reduction on their final grade.  Plagiarism can exist in many forms.  Examples of plagiarism include:

  1. Copying statements and writings of another without correctly acknowledging their contribution.
  2. Using the views and statements of others in your papers in a manner that makes them seem as if they were your own original views and statements.
  3. Constant paraphrasing and copying of statements throughout your paper (this can be considered plagiarism even if you cite your sources if you are doing this too frequently).
  4. Submitting a past paper that you have used, or submitting someone else’s paper.

If you have a question or concern about this, please contact the professor immediately.  DON’T leave room for uncertainty.


Welcome! This research guide was created for students in Professor Palmieri's courses Intro to Psychology.

You have been assigned a term paper that requires using professional sources.

This guide is a customized resource for this particular course and assignment.

If you have any questions or trouble feel free to contact me in person, by phone or email, or through the library's virtual services.

Diagram of the mind depicting the World of the Senses, World of the Intellect and World of the Imagination. From Robert Fludd, Utriusque Cosmi, Maioris scilicet et Minoris, metaphysica, physica, atque technica Historia (The metaphysical, physical, and technical history of the two worlds, namely the greater and the lesser). Published in Frankfurt, Germany 1617-1621. Fulltext available at the Internet Archive.


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