The specific learning objectives of the research paper are two-fold:
1. The first learning objective of the paper is to provide you with the opportunity to delve into any specific forensic psychology topic that interests you in a little more detail than we’re able to cover in class. To meet this objective, you will be required to choose any topic from the course, and to author a 4-6-page report (excluding title page and references) that explores this topic and relates it to a real-world example (one from the media).
Feel free to pick any topic relevant to the course that interests you – I suggest using the same one as you used for your infographic. The only constraints are that:
You must review the literature related to the topic of your choice.
You must link this with a relevant real-world example.
The Topic: In the first section of the essay, you should begin by outlining the details of a specific topic within forensic psychology (e.g. eyewitness testimony, deception detection, violent offenders). You should briefly outline the research findings in the area and any major controversies or interesting studies related to the topic. There should be at least 5 peer-reviewed scientific articles relevant to the topic you chose. Make sure you cite and provide the references for the articles used. This section will be approximately 2-3 double spaced pages in length.
Relevant real-world example: In the second section of the essay, you should describe the details of a real-world case that illustrates the topic you choose (e.g. a wrongful conviction based on poor eyewitness testimony). Ideally, this will be a case where mistakes were made or where improvements can be made. You will then explain how the research discussed in the first section helps us to understand the example that you chose and outline any recommendations for improving procedures. This section will be approximately 2-3 double spaced paged in length.
2. The second learning objective is to provide you with some exposure to actual research articles in the field of Forensic Psychology. In order to accomplish learning objective #1, you are going to need to delve into the topic you choose in more detail than we cover in lectures or the text and review the literature. To accomplish these steps, I’m going to ask that you locate, read and reference at least 5 original scientific articles relevant to the topic you choose.
Where will you find 5 original scientific articles?
There are several databases for locating scientific journal articles that UOIT subscribes to. You can go through the library website to find PsycInfo or PubMed and both of these are very good options. However, in my opinion the easiest and best one is Google Scholar, which you can access by going to: www.scholar.google.com. It’s essentially Google, but focused specifically on academic journals, and it’s becoming the go-to method for professors, researchers, and students to keep up to date with the scientific literature. As an example of its power, I just plugged “gender schizophrenia fMRI” into Scholar, and it identified 23,900 potentially relevant articles, and ordered them in terms of their hypothesized relevance. You shouldn’t necessarily assume their order of relevance is completely accurate; nonetheless, in this case the first article was:
Sommer, I. E., Ramsey, N. F., Mandl, R. C., & Kahn, R. S. (2003). Language lateralization in female patients with schizophrenia: An fMRI study. Schizophrenia Research, 60(2-3), 183-190.
Wikipedia vs. Original Sources
I’m not one of those instructors that thinks that reading using Wikipedia for your research papers is “cheating”. In fact, I think Wikipedia is a fantastic, and surprisingly accurate, resource that students can utilize as a first step towards acquiring detailed knowledge on a topic. However, it is just that: a first step. So: absolutely feel free to search sources like Wikipedia for ideas, for background, and to provide you a starting point for finding relevant references for your topic of interest. But do not reference Wikipedia or similar sources within your reference section. Why? Because Wikipedia does a wonderful job of referencing the original sources that provide the information it summarizes, and the second learning objective is for you to gain exposure to those original sources. So, use Wikipedia and/or other internet resources for idea generation and source identification and then go find those original sources (from PsycInfo or Medline or Google Scholar, and reference them.
Please utilize APA format for citing your references. I’m less concerned about APA format for title pages, and page numbers – so you’re not going to get docked for something like having page numbers in the top right corner instead of the bottom left. But please do use APA for your citations and references – it’s good practice to get used to that format, and it makes my (and my TA’s) job much easier because it’s the format we’re used to reading the fastest.
Here is a very useful tutorial by the APA Publication Manual (7th edition) on how to properly cite in APA formatting.
https://apastyle.apa.org/instructional-aids/reference-guide.pdf (Links to an external site.)
https://www.mendeley.com/guides/apa-citation-guide (Links to an external site.)
(Links to an external site.)Your paper must:
Include a title page that includes your name, student ID number, course title: PSYC3210, my name and the date of submission.
Be between 4-6 double spaced pages with 1-inch margins written in 12-point Times New Roman font.
Use a minimum of 5 peer-reviewed academic articles. This is in addition to the textbook and other course materials.
NOT BE PLAGIARIZED. According to the American Psychological Association, “If you copy four or more words in a row from a source that are the author’s original words, you must use quotation mark
- Research and Support Material Worksheet
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