Written Assignment #1:  Research in Abnormal Psychology

Choose a topic we have covered (or will cover) in this class that you would like to understand more. This can be the concept of abnormal behavior in general, how people respond to stress, a specific mental illness, a therapeutic approach, or a legal issue. Using the UofL library article database, find at least three (3) peer-reviewed journal articles related to that topic. At least one (1) of those articles must come from the Journal of Abnormal Psychology. Only peer-reviewed journal articles will be accepted, no New York Times or Psychology Today articles. I’d avoid a general web search as well. I want you to have practice looking for peer-reviewed journal articles related to a topic you are seeking to learn more about. We all already know how to Google pretty well J Let’s get more practice with the library database.

Read all three of these articles and surmise the gist of each.

To compose the paper, introduce your topic with a paragraph introduction. Why is it an important topic? What is its significance? What are you going to tell the reader? (at least 150 words)

Then, in the body of the assignment, summarize each of the three articles, remembering to properly cite the sources in the text in APA format. I do not necessarily need a lengthy description of each article – just what the authors were wanting to understand and what did they find? Write something that tells me that you went further than just reading the article’s abstract, but you don’t need to write more than 250 words per article summary (shoot for 750 total for this section, then).

Then, thoughtfully integrate what you have learned from these articles and synthesize your new understanding of the topic in light of what you now know. Put together the three pieces and see what you can now conceptualize. This is perhaps the most important part of the paper. Spend time thinking about this.  This section would be about 300-400 words.

In your conclusion, discuss what, if any, shortcomings there were to these articles you read. What do we still need to know about this topic? Where do you hope researchers go in the future to better understand this topic? (A good long paragraph here).

Remember to reference the three articles, and any other resource you used, in a reference section at the end of the assignment.

Format the paper in APA format.

Paper length about 1500 words total.




Maximum Points

Student chooses 3 peer-reviewed journal articles, one of them being from the Journal of Abnormal Psychology


Student thoroughly summarizes each of the three articles, pulling out the main hypotheses and findings. 


Student thoughtfully integrates the findings from the three articles, offering his or her own conceptualization of the topic.


The paper is properly introduced and concluded.



30 points

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