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Getting Started There is a big difference between popular psychology and professional articles in psychology. Magazines such as “Psychology Today”

1.3 Assignment. Introduction to Professional Literature in Psychology

Getting Started
There is a big difference between popular psychology and professional articles in psychology. Magazines such as “Psychology Today” that present topics in psychology in an overly simplistic way may appeal to the masses, but they are not professional articles. Professional journal articles are published in peer-reviewed journals. This means that several peers in psychology (typically doctoral level reviewers) read the submission, critique the study, offer suggestions for improvement or reject the submission altogether. The submission must meet rigorous standards in order to finally be published in a professional journal.
Professional journal articles are based on solid research. There are several steps in the research process that must be followed in order for the research study to be considered professional.’ First a succinct and specific question must be created. This ‘hypothesis’ is based upon the current body of literature. For example, if the researcher is interested in mothers entering the workplace after a long absence, a good research question may be: What are the transferable skills mothers bring to the workplace? This specific question would then drive the rest of the research development process.
After honing your question, you would now be ready to search the professional literature. Searching the literature is not ‘research.’ Searching the literature is simply finding the journal articles that pertain to your chosen topic. Searching the literature begins with looking into databases that contain hundreds of professional journals.
For this assignment, you will be choosing your topic and writing your succinct question or hypothesis. This question is very important as it will provide a solid foundation from which to explore your topic. To help you write your research question, it will be necessary to choose an overall topic and search the literature for articles on that topic. After reading a few articles, you will begin to see patterns emerge in what is currently being studied. These patterns and research findings will help you to write your research question.
Upon successful completion of this assignment, you will be able to:
• Determine your topic of interest in psychology.
• Find three professional journal articles on your topic of interest in the field of psychology.
• Write a research question based on the current studies found in professional journals.
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Resources
• OCLS
• Website: OCLS Introduction to Research Guide
• Website: OCLS Article Databases
• IWU Resources Page
• Website: OCLS Evaluating Resources Page
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Background Information
You will be using Online Campus Library Services (OCLS) to find your scholarly, professional research articles. Here is one way to search for professional journal articles in psychology using OCLS:
1. Navigate to OCLS.
2. Under Find Your Database section, select More…
3. Select Psychology
4. Select PsycINFO
5. You may need to log in, using your MyIWU login.
6. Type in at least one search term. To reduce your results, you may want to use two terms to locate articles with both terms.
7. Make sure that they are ones that are full text and are scholarly or peer-reviewed (both options are on the left side).
8. Articles will populate; choose three that pertain to your topic or go back and use different terms for your search
As you continue to read the literature, you will start to gain an overall sense, or big picture, of your particular topic; this is one way you will know that you are integrating your knowledge and ideas about the topic. This assignment will get you started on identifying big-picture themes, which means you’ll need to read quite a few articles and begin to gain this overview perspective.
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Instructions
1. Review the rubric to make sure you understand the criteria for earning your grade.
2. Search the literature using the step-by-step instructions for using OCLS
3. Find three journal articles on a topic of your choice.
4. Create an APA cover page
5. Write a research question based upon the literature you found on your topic.
6. Write 1-2 paragraphs for each of the three articles you selected using APA format
7. Create a reference page listing your three references

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