Staying in academia involves writing up research proposals. For some, it starts as early as during their Bachelor’s studies where they have to provide one-page experiment proposal for their supervisors. Then, after several discussions with the supervisor, they may begin their very first research experiment. Later in time, other coursework comes in – where in order to pass the subject – one must carry out an experiment that makes sense. For many students, the last time (or sometimes the first and only time) they wrote something similar to a research proposal is, when they begin their Master’s thesis. At this level, a good outline of the research is unavoidable and usually mounts up to 3-5 pages. Of course, it is possible to slip-through the system without approaching the thesis-writing preparation seriously, but usually such approach ends up in much more negative feelings than simply outlining the strategy and planning for the research.
- Author: Peter Lewinski
- Published: Dec 15th, 2012
- Category: Authors' experience, Literature research, Research Methods, Writing a scientific text
- Comments: None
- Author: Yee Row Liew
- Published: Sep 10th, 2012
- Category: Authors' experience, Literature research
- Comments: 5
You are sitting in front of the computer, staring at one of the thirty browser windows that you have opened as a result of your online search for a research topic. For the past few days, you have been going round in circles, trying to nail down a research problem to work on, but to no avail. In fact, as a last resort to this exasperating quest, you have now decided to Google for “how to find a research topic”. If this sounds familiar, it is because it is not new. If you have the experience of conducting your own study, chances are, at the early stages of your research, you have faced with the difficulty of deciding on a research question and have constantly wondered if you were asking the right question. In truth, the search for a good research question is a daunting task, especially when researchers are often expected to know how to identify or figure out a good research question on their own.
Fortunately, with every problem, there is always a place at which we can use as a starting point that will hopefully lead us to a desirable solution.
Our last post explained how to optimise your literature searches and how to remain up to date with the most recent publications. Once you’ve found a bunch of texts of your interest, you should also take care to make sure you organise them well so you can find them with little trouble, this will ensure a smoother writing process. Here are some tips:
Regardless of whether you’re writing a short course paper or your thesis, you’re expected to have an overview of pretty much everything published in that particular field. The internet is vast and there are several databases and search engines to find literature. Still, how to reach the right articles and books and to be sure not to miss out on something relevant? Here’s what you can do to ensure you know the most important and recent findings in your field.
- Author: Julia Ouzia
- Published: Mar 1st, 2012
- Category: Authors' experience, Manuscript analysis
- Comments: None
As psychologists and, more importantly, as psychology students, we heavily rely on the peer-review process. When conducting an online search for journal articles that shall inform our next research project or assignment, we expect to find high-quality research right then and there. The peer-review process saves us time; we approach our search with the assumption that a large amount of articles that we find (at least those published in peer-reviewed journals) provide us with valuable insights into the area we are focussing on, even by just reading through the abstract. The reviewer is our friend! In this post I will offer some insight into my personal experiences regarding the peer-review process from the standpoint of the reviewer. More specifically I will highlight how I have systematically approached manuscripts that I was asked to review.
- Author: Zorana Zupan
- Published: Feb 1st, 2012
- Category: APA Manual, Writing a scientific text
- Comments: 3
A recent JEPS bulletin post revealed that the largest percent (37%) of APA style mistakes in the manuscripts submitted for the 4th issue of the Journal of European Psychology Students (JEPS) are related to reference formatting. This is consistent with the analysis of APA style mistakes from 2010 where the largest proportion of APA style mistakes in the past JEPS submissions were related to references as well, although in a significantly larger percent (51%).
As described in a previous post, writing proper references may involve several issues–correctly listing references cited in text, as well as having all references in the list cited in text. Problems also occur in correct spelling of the references, formatting in-text citations according to APA guidelines, formatting the reference list according to the specific APA rules applying to each type of publication and ordering the references alphabetically by the authors’ surnames.
Even though the APA manual is the guide no.1 in resolving these issues–doing it manually by the book requires a lot of time and attention. The good news is that there is a number of electronic tools that can also help to avoid these mistakes. This post offers you a brief introduction to two solutions–Zotero and Mendeley Desktop.
Students encounter problems with formatting headings according to the APA Style surprisingly often. 9% of manuscripts of submitted to the Journal of European Psychology Students manifested a problem in that area (Vainre, 2011). Even though compared to the previous version of the manual, the APA has simplified its standards considerably, much confusion still seems to be there. Hopefully this post will clarify a thing or two.
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One of the first skills we learn at the beginning of our university career is how to search properly for psychological literature. It reflects one of the first steps we employ conducting a psychological study and follows us throughout the entire research procedure when looking for additional knowledge.
The longest journey starts with a single step. A researcher would rather state: The longest research starts with a multiple literature search. Have you wandered from one database to the other desperately looking for a place to start with? Or do you never know when to end your search?
As a psychology student you have to face certain barriers, when you have the possibility to do research. Those barriers mostly concern the university you are studying at. If your university does not provide you the opportunity to research in a field of your interest, the chance of working in an international research team on a joint project might be a good option to develop your research skills and discover the world of academia on an international level. If you can find such a team, then you are lucky, because 1) it is great to work together with people from different cultures who are all interested in the same topic and can share their expertise 2) it gives you possibilities to work on aspects of a topic that you could not do within the cultural and methodological framework of just one university.
But the opportunity of an international research team reveals some challenges you will have to face at several critical points throughout your work. In the following post, those challenges are summarized.
- Author: Maris Vainre
- Published: Nov 20th, 2011
- Category: APA Manual, Manuscript analysis
- Comments: 1
What’s the most difficult part of the APA style for students? Continuing the practice from 2010, I’ll demonstrate the typical mistakes found in the manuscripts submitted for the 4th issue of the Journal of European Psychology Students (JEPS). Given that JEPS requires submitted manuscripts to follow APA style, this post may be useful for anyone writing papers according to these regulations.
This post will also refer to any material that would provide more information on how to avoid the incompatibility with the APA style.