Research Methods


Spring 2008

Dr. Kim MacLin

TR 11-12:15 SAB 307 (lecture)

W 11-12 SAB 227 (lab)

This Syllabus is Subject to Change. Last Updated 1/18/08

Course Description:

In this course, you will learn how to evaluate, interpret, design, and present psychological research. This course will demand your time and energy. You will do a lot of reading and a lot of writing. Feedback will be provided by me, the TA and other students about the quality of your understanding of the material and of the quality of your writing. This will be done in a constructive manner. The only way to learn how to read and understand journal articles is to read a LOT of them. The only way to become a better writer is to write a LOT. You will do both in this class!


Course Requirements:


This Syllabus:

This syllabus is our contract. Therefore, it is lengthy and detailed. It clearly states your obligations to me, and mine to you. Imagine any complaints you might have about a course (particularly after the fact, and if you didnít get the grade you wanted): and look for those possible complaints in this syllabus. If there is something you donít like, TAKE A DIFFERENT COURSE! Staying in this course beyond the first day indicates to me a commitment to learn in this type of environment. 


Have questions about the course? Check your syllabus first! Very likely the information you want is here!  Please bring this syllabus to class with you and record any changes in requirements or deadlines on it.  Announcements made in class ďcountĒ just as much as policies outlined in the written syllabus. 


Contacting Me:

Not that I donít want to talk to you in person (!) but email is the most efficient and reliable way to reach me. 



Phone: 273-2302

Office: Baker Hall 348

Office Hours:  by appointment


Contacting Your TA: Liz Huebsch


Class Communication: I often will communicate with you through an email listserv.  Your UNI email address is the one these messages go to. If you add the class late, you may not be on the list. I will announce the first several days of class how to add yourself to the list, and how to change the email address to which you receive mail.  Announcements made over email are typically extremely important. It is YOUR responsibility to make sure you are receiving these emails.  Click here to add yourself to the email listerv if you are not receiving class emails so far.



Course Information Website:

Course Grades: (WebCT)


Class Attendance:

Class attendance is critical. I do not take roll. But you will miss information and participation points if you choose not to attend class. These cannot be made up.  NO LATE WORK IS ACCEPTED. If you cannot attend class on a particular day, your best bet is to send me an email, or to leave a phone message at my office PRIOR TO YOUR ABSENCE.  Talking to me after the fact does not ensure that I will be sympathetic or helpful in any way!


Labs: There are lab days worth 10 points each. On some days we will just take roll for you to earn your points, on others, you'll turn in the lab assignment for that day. Lab days are not optional! They are not review sessions. You will learn and DO things in lab that are important for your understanding of the course material.


Quizzes: There are 3 quizzes worth 25 points each.


Individual Research Proposal (425pts): You will work on this throughout the semester. It is an independent writing assignment. You will get feedback from me, and your fellow students on your writing. There are due dates throughout the semester. MAKE SURE you review the course calendar for the due dates as no late work is accepted.

Topic = 5pts

Narrowed topic = 5pts

5 summaries = 50 pts

5 summaries = 50 pts

5 summaries = 50 pts

abstract and title = 10 pts

outline = 10pts

intro = 50 pts

method = 50 pts

draft 1 =  50 pts

final paper = 100 pts


Article Presentation: You will give a brief presentation (say 10 min) with your partner on one of the articles in the back of the book (see course calendar for details) particularly focusing on analysis of the article (I don't mean statistical data analysis) and highlighting special topics. You will then lead a discussion of the article for another 15-20 minutes.


Conference Presentation: You will prepare and present a poster at our class conference at the end of the semester (during our final period).


1 Exam: covering course material 100pts



14 labs @ 10 points each=140 points

3 Quizzes @ 25 points each=75 points

1 research proposal=425 points

1 resentation (with partner)=50 points

1Exam=100 points

1 Poster Presentation=100points

3 peer reviews (10 pts each)= 30 pts

14 presentation contributions (5 pts each)=70pts

TOTAL=990 points



Grading Scale: (plusses and minuses are given at my discretion)

A=90% and above of possible points

B=80-89% of possible points

C=70-79% of possible points

D=60-69% of possible points

F=less than 60% of possible points


Cheating & Plagiarism:

DONíT CHEAT! Cheating is any sort of activity that results in you turning in work (any online or hardcopy assignment) where you are not the SOLE contributor and developer of the ideas. You are bound to the University's ethics policies.  I reserve the right to process any of your writing through, a website that compares your work with writing available on the Internet. I catch lots of plagiarizers this way. Avoid any problems, by not plagiarizing!


If you have a disability that could affect your performance in this class:

UNI is committed to equal opportunity in education for all students, including those with documented physical disabilities or documented learning disabilities.  It is the responsibility of students to contact the Office of Disability Services (213 Student Services Center-273-2676) to arrange for documentation and accommodation.


If you have University sponsored obligations that require you to miss class:

It is your responsibility to contact me during the first week of class to let me know of your obligations throughout the semester.  As soon as you receive your paperwork detailing out the days you will miss class, please provide me with a copy for my files.  It is STILL your responsibility, however, to remind me by email at least a day before you are going to miss a class due to your approved obligations, so that we can arrange for any work you might miss. It is your responsibility to ensure that you get makeup assignments from me immediately upon your return. You will need to get class notes from a fellow student.


Course Calendar


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