I’m working on a Psychology question and need guidance to help me study.
I need help finishing a Cross-Cultural Psychology paper about how does religion influence culture. I also need it to be proof read on what i have so far. The professor mentioned:
- Establish Topic – quick, concise (what is being studied). The first paragraph should start broad. State what the topic is in general. Maybe give a real-world example of the topic. Each paper will look different, even if you have the same topic. Lead up to what your specific area of focus in the last sentence of this paragraph.
- Provide significance – research, practical, clinical (why it is generally important). The second step is to offer the first bit of persuasion to the reader: show the importance of the topic by offering something of practical or research significance. However, it is very important for the writer to understand that “significance” does not mean an opinion about why the topic is important. Rather, the significance comes from the research literature, too.
- Review the relevant literature – what the expert literature reveals (what we know already). Following the first paragraph which introduces the topic and provides significance, the writer must now review the literature for the reader. The literature review (hereafter, “lit review,” the short phrase used by research writers everywhere) accomplishes many objectives at once. First, the lit review informs the reader of the most important research needed to understand the research question. Second, the lit review gives credibility to the writer as someone who knows what they are talking about. Third, the lit review is organized so that the research question is validated; in other words, the review leads the reader to a “gap” or “conflict” in the literature.
- Discuss your findings – summarize your thesis in a narrative form. Finish with conclusion and directions for future research.
The next paragraphs should be summaries of articles on this topic. Try to keep each article to one paragraph maximum. Focus on the methods and results, and what the conclusions were. These paragraphs will look different for each article and each topic. You might write something along the lines of, “Researcher1 and Researcher2 (2016) studied this topic by randomly assigning participants to condition 1 and condition 2. They found that participants in condition 2 performed better on the dependent variable than participants in condition 1 (Researcher1 & Researcher2, 2016). The authors concluded that condition 2 is beneficial for the dependent variable because some conclusion (Researcher1 & Researcher2, 2016).” You might want to also focus on different applications of a treatment or activity. For example, Researchers 1 and 2 (2003) discussed the benefits of activity for improving thing. This is not as complicated as it sounds. You’ve got your supporting articles to help organize the literature you’ve read. You’ve got the research question. The task is to join the two pieces. You’ll note as a reader that the lit review is where you see the most citations; you should also be able to see how well synthesized material is! Your goal is to make it as easy as possible for the reader to locate information. For this reason, do not “weave” different ideas together in the same paragraph. For complex topics, present each part separately, then write a paragraph that combines the ideas (honestly, this should make it easier to write — concepts maps are very useful for planning this section of the paper).
Point out the gap – what’s missing in the research literature (what we don’t know – motivation for your future research). The “gap” in the literature is a conflict or missing piece of information which you think it is important to focus on in future research. The gap explicitly identifies future research direction. It’s as though the writer is saying “See, Scientific Community, this is what we know but this is what we do not know.” The reader needs to be shown that this gap exists in order to believe that future research is needed. Providing the gap is part of the writer’s job.