Writing Research Papers

Writing research papers toward your requirement

Please plan ahead if you anticipate submitting papers--they MUST be turned in by the deadline if you wish to receive a grade for the term. Do not wait until the last minute to submit papers. Failure to plan ahead to add an account to Turnitin or a failure to upload the paper at the last minute due to an error on Turnitin will not change the deadline. It is your responsibility to plan well in advance of the deadline. Papers are due by 11:59 PM the Friday of the last week of undergraduate classes as listed on Pitt's academic calendar (i.e., this week includes the date marked as "Last day for undergraduate day classes" on the calendar). This is to make sure there is enough time to grade them for your final grade. Given the volume of papers, exceptions to this deadline cannot be made.

This page includes a list of papers that you can review. These papers were chosen because they describe important studies in the field and because they represent the diversity of the field of psychology. The list of papers can be located here: List of Papers

If you would prefer to write papers toward your research requirement, follow the guidelines below.

STEP ONE: Register for Sona at https://pitt.sona-systems.com. If you do not register for Sona, we will not be able to award you credit for the papers you write.

STEP TWO: Join the Canvas course associated with the paper assignment by clicking this link: https://canvas.pitt.edu/enroll/L3RTLD

STEP THREE: Choose an article from the list and read it. All papers are available from the University Library (some are online, others may be available only in hard copy). Some articles have electronic versions linked directly from this page. NOTE: you must read the actual article listed here--not just a summary of it. If you have difficulty locating them, please contact a librarian.

STEP FOUR: Write a paper about the article you read. Be sure that you include eight clearly labeled and numbered sections of the paper (in this order):

  1. Your full name
  2. Your instructor's full name
  3. The semester and year you are taking the class
  4. Summary of article (minimum 200 words)-do not include the title of the paper in your summary. It should only appear in the citation (section 8)
  5. Word count for section 4
  6. Relationship of the article to your life - minimum 200 words
  7. Word count for section 6
  8. Citation for the article, which may be copied from this website

Additional requirements:

  • You must not use quotes in your paper, which means that you may not take text from other sources and use them without putting them into your own words. IMPORTANT: Do not copy definitions from your notes or the textbook because these will come up as copied information. I prefer that things be in your own words rather than that they be perfectly accurate.
  • The paper must be typed and single-spaced.
  • Section 4 and section 6 of the paper must each be at least 200 words long.

STEP FIVE: Turn the paper in to the Assignment on the Canvas course. There will be one for each paper. Use Paper 1 for the first paper and Paper 2 for the second paper, and so on. Do not use revision assignments unless explicitly asked to do so. If you revised a paper and need to resubmit and the deadline has not yet passed, submit it under the SAME assignment, not a revision assignment. It will replace the previous submission.

DO NOT send your paper via email.

The Turnitin software we use thorugh Canvas checks for plagiarism, so be certain that all of the information is written in your own words. Plagiarism includes but is not limited to: copying the work of another individual, copying someone's words and then replacing some of those words to try to make it different, and sharing your work with another student (see http://plagiarism.org for more information). You are expected to comply with the University of Pittsburgh’s Policy on Academic Integrity at all times while a student at the university. Any student suspected of violating this obligation will be required to participate in the procedural process as outlined in the University Guidelines on Academic Integrity. For this assignment, it is also considered an ethical violation if you turn in an assignment with another student’s name on it, and both students will be subject to the penalties outlined above. For more information about the academic integrity code and violation procedures, see the academic integrity code for the School of Arts and Sciences here (linked to https://www.as.pitt.edu/faculty/policies-and-procedures/academic-integrity-code). Further questions can be directed to subjpool@pitt.edu. Note that we have set up the assignment so that you can see your overlap a short time after you turn in your assignment. We strongly recommend that you look at this report as soon as it is generated, and that if you have more than 5% overlap, you rewrite the sections of the assignment that have overlap with published sources or student papers. This is just a rough guideline, but papers that have freshly generated text typically do not have more than 5% overlap with these sources. Finally, for this assignment, it will not be considered plagiarism If the overlap occurs in the citation; the software is set to ignore this section.

STEP SIX: Credit will be awarded on Sona for all papers submitted by the deadline posted above. Note that there are hundreds of papers submitted every semester, so please be patient in waiting for a score. Because of the volume of papers and other related tasks, the deadlines noted on this page must be strictly observed. 

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact subjpool@pitt.edu. Note that your instructor is not in charge of this assignment so likely cannot assist with questions about it.