Writing Assignment 1 Instructions
Goal: To teach you the first steps toward becoming a more sophisticated consumer of scientific information disseminated by the popular press
Due date: Thursday, February 15th, 11:59PM
Guidelines for submitting your document:
· Must be typed, double-spaced, and have regular margins and font
· Must be submitted to Canvas in the appropriate file type (e.g., .doc, .pdf, .txt), and only in text (no images)
· Do not include the questions themselves, simply number from 1-6
No late assignments will be accepted under any circumstances.
1. Read the following popular press encyclopedia article:
· “Aura Therapy”
2. Finding scientific journal articles that correspond with this article:
Second, find three scientific journal articles that correspond with the encyclopedia entry written on aura therapy (see point 5 below). You can obtain the scientific journal article through USF electronic reserves. Your lab TA will review how to use the electronic reserves. Start with the USF library website (http://www.lib.usf.edu/) or Google Scholar (scholar.google.com).
3. Answer a series of methodological questions about the encyclopedia entry and research that corresponds with it:
Third, using both the chosen popular press article and the corresponding scientific journal articles that you found, answer Question 1-6. Questions 1-6 can be found on the second page of these instructions. Your answers should clearly indicate that you have read the article, as well as corresponding supporting research.
Popular press article title:
Scientific journal article citation (in APA format):
1. Pride in work (this is not an item by itself, 5): Please use complete sentences and paragraphs. No spelling or grammatical errors.
2. According to the page, what health benefits does aura therapy have (describe four benefits)? (3)
3. What kind of claim (frequency, association, causal) does the page make? [a sentence for the claim; a sentence or two to explain your reasoning.] (4)
4. What sort of support is shown on the page for the claim? Evidence? Mechanism or explanation? (4)
5. Pick one of the 4 claims from item 2. Using your ability to search for information, what evidence (literature, empirical or not), is there to support or refute the claim? Find 3 relevant sources, at least one from a peer-reviewed journal – summarize the salient points for each source, and explain how credible your sources are and why (based on credibility as explained by the textbook). You should be able to accomplish this in one to two paragraphs (one for summaries and one for credibility ratings or all together). Include in-text citations and include them in a reference list at the end of your paper (APA format). You may have trouble finding any peer-reviewed journal articles about the benefits/hazards of aura therapy. If so, you can use articles that are logically related instead (does light therapy decrease anxiety/depression? Are there positive benefits of therapeutic touch? Etc.) (6 – 2 points for each article)
6. Suppose you wanted to evaluate a claim for health benefits of aura therapy over cognitive behavioral therapy (a common, effective, and empirically validated form of therapy). Using one of the benefits you described in the answer to question 2 (above), describe a study that would let you assess the association. [There are many possible ways to do this; just propose something that would be practically feasible and makes sense.]
a. Describe the independent variable – how would you assign or measure? [a sentence] (1)
b. Describe the dependent variable – how would you measure it? [a sentence up to a paragraph.] (1)
c. Describe the sample of people (what kind of people, how many people, etc.) [a paragraph] (1)
d. Will you tell your participants that they are in a study of the effects of aura therapy? Why or why not? [a paragraph] (1)
e. Describe the procedure – how would you gather the data? [a paragraph] (2)
f. What kind of table or chart could you produce that would show whether there was an association? How would you use the results of your study to decide if aura therapy is better than cognitive behavioral therapy? [You don’t have to produce a table or statistical analysis, just describe how you would know the outcome of the study.][a paragraph] (2)
The total length of the paper should be 2 to 3 pages, excluding references; 30 points.
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