Written summary guidelines

You should end up with about 2 pages of writing.

Please write your summary on an experimental paper (not a book chapter) that is assigned for the current week. For example, on Monday of Week 2, you should submit a summary of one of the assigned Week 2 articles.

Please use 1-inch margins and 12-point font, double-spaced. Times font is preferred.
Try to use as little direct quotation as possible; summaries and the final paper should be in your own words. If you are quoting more than 1-2 sentences directly (remember to give citations in the text and “include page number(s);” Creel, 2013, p. 12), it’s too much.
The reference list and in-text citations should follow APA style. The paper listed below is an example of reference list format. (DOI numbers can be omitted.)

Creel, S. C. (2013). A cognitive science investigation of citation style in American college courses. Journal of Made-Up Results, 4(12), 1-120.


  • Briefly summarize the findings of the paper (2 paragraphs), including the following elements. If the paper contains more than one experiment, do this only for the first experiment.
  1. What is the research question?

  2. What was the specific hypothesis?

  3. What technique was used?

  4. Who were the participants?

  5. What was the result? Did it support the authors’ hypothesis?

  • Next, discuss the authors’ interpretation (1 paragraph) and your potential concerns with their interpretation (1-2 paragraphs). Consider the following questions in critiquing the authors’ interpretation.
  1. To what extent are the authors’ conclusions supported by the actual data–do you “buy” their interpretation?

  2. Are there any confounds that the authors may have overlooked?

  3. If you were going to redo this study from scratch, what would you change, and why?

  • What are some potential theoretical implications of this research? (1 paragraph)

Example: “Assuming that the results of this study hold up to further investigation, it implies that pitch perception may be strongly shaped by one’s native language. This would mean that musical pitch perception and language share at least some overlapping neural resources.”

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