A script for research:
How to read and interpret a research article
Research is typically conducted in the same way you will see it written up in a journal.
I. Out in the cold or the "big picture."
A. The general question.
B. Who/What it concerns.
C. Why we should care/ the historical significance.
II. The burning question
A. Who has asked this or similar questions before?
B. How have these questions been answered?
C. What is the current state of knowledge?
D. What we still don't know---
III. Fuel for the fire (the proposed research)
B. Method proposed and why chosen
1. Dependent/Independent measures.
2. Appropriate technique to getting at this issue.
C. How the data are collected and how they will be analyzed.
IV. The conflagration (enjoying the effort)
A. The data!
B. Interpretation/ statistically significant findings (or not).
V. Global warming or how the data adds to our knowledge.
A. Back to the big picture.
B. The write-up of the article.
C. Reviews, reviews, reviews…
VI. The cooling off period (being humble).
A. New questions raised.
B. The next study!
Journal articles may be found in the following:
British Journal of Developmental Psychology
Journal of Developmental Disorders
Journal of Child Language
Child Abuse & Neglect
Journal of Child & Adolescent Substance Abuse
Journal of Autism and Development
Journal of Adolescent Research
The Journal of Genetic Psychology
Journal of Marriage and Family
Youth & Society
American Journal of Mental Retardation
Journal of Family Issues