John and Mary had never met. They were like two
hummingbirds who had also never met. ~ Anonymous
Writing is like driving a car at night. You can only see as far as the
headlights, but you make the whole trip that way. ~ E.L. Doctorow
The best writing is re-writing. ~ E.B. White
You will be required to complete three written assignments this semester (due dates are listed on the Schedule page). The first assignment will be to complete an APA-style report for one of the CogLab experiments completed by the class (5-7 pages). The second written assignment will be a peer review of a paper written by one of your classmates. You will use the feedback included in your peer review - along with the comments I provide - to complete the third written assignment: a thorough revision of your initial paper. Your task for the revision is not merely to correct spelling/grammatical errors, but to re-think, revise, and re-tool your argument, as well.
Journal-style research report
For your first assignment, you will construct an APA-style report for any one of the CogLab experiments completed by the class. An APA-style report includes 5 main sections. The Introduction presents related work in the field and the motivation for doing the experiment in question. The Method section provides demographic information about the subject, and describes the materials and procedures used to conduct the experiment. The Results section usually presents the statistical analyses used to evaluate the data. However, in our case, the results section will include a graph of the relevant data plus a description of the important results depicted by the graph. The Discussion section presents the empirical and theoretical significance of the data. Finally, the References list works cited in the other four sections.
You will be responsible for researching the literature related to the topic. Ideally, your introduction will discuss both current and older experiments related to the topic at hand. You will provide a detailed description of the methods used to collect the data, and will be required to present the relevant aspects of the data generated by the class (using the supplied graphs). In the discussion section, you should describe whether the data produced by the class matches the data typically observed in the literature, provide an explanation for any discrepancies, and explain the theoretical significance of the data.
Your paper must conform to the conventions of APA style. To help you learn the finer points of APA style, I have placed two word files on the course website (see menu to the left for links to the Style Guides). One is a general overview relevant to both assignments; the other gives additional information regarding the structure of a research report. Read these documents carefully and pay particular attention to the way you cite others' research in your text and in your references section. I will be happy to answer any questions that you have, so don't hesitate to contact me. Failure to comply with the guidelines provided in the Style Guides will be penalized heavily.