Structure of the paper: The structure of the paper is similar to that for an essay: you will need an introduction, broad description of the paper selected, and a brief description of your evaluation and argument supporting your evaluation. You will need to consider why the work was done (rationale, how convincing is this rationale), what work has been cited to support the theory (methodology and methods, how appropriate are the methodology and methods chosen), nature of participants (whether they were appropriately selected), what results were obtained (if quantitative, how big/convincing were the effects; and what the implications of the study are (for theoretical understanding and for practical application, what are the limitations of the study and how may they be overcome). Examples of previous student submissions will be provided and discussed in the tutorial program.
Note that a critical evaluation does not mean that you write negatively of the topic, rather a critical evaluation is your scholarly response to the target paper. The critical element means that you provide evidence for your evaluation, whether it be positive or negative. Your submission will not be just a summary of the paper you choose, which has been expected of your undergraduate writing in psychology to date, but rather a summary and your critical evaluation. In providing your critical evaluation, make sure that you back up your statements, and don’t generalize.
Statistical understanding: I have deliberately selected papers which should be within your statistical understanding.
Use of quotation: Avoid quotations.
Citation: Use primary sources (i.e. journal articles, and reviews). Do not use Maltby et al. (2010). In addition, you should not cite sources such as Wikipedia, and other generic information sites. Provide somewhere between 8 and 10 references of recent 10 years.
Length of Essay: Your critical evaluation should be no more than six pages double-spaced, excluding references. You must use 12 point, Time-New Roman font, double-spaced. Please note that it is not expected that you write an abstract.
The word "critical" has positive as well as negative meanings. You can write a critical essay that agrees entirely with the reading. The word "critical" describes your attitude when you read the article. This attitude is best described as "detached evaluation," meaning that you weigh the coherence of the reading, the completeness of its data, and so on, before you accept or reject it.
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