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PSY 2060 Educational Psychology: Assignment

This Research Guide was developed for use with the PSY 2060 class taught by Dr. Manswell Butty. It provides information on: psychology databases: how to access, search and manage articles, plagiarism, APA and books and e-books on psychology.

Journal Article Critique Assignment

Professional Journals


What is a professional journal? 

A professional journal is also known as a peer-reviewed or scholarly journal. A professional journal publishes research articles by professionals in a particular field. Research articles are often lengthy and may contain tables and graphs.

What IS NOT a professional journal?

A newspaper article, an entry in a dictionary or encyclopedia, an article from a magazine (Time, Newsweek, Psychology Today, etc.) or an article you got from a website. (To access professional articles on websites, you usually have to have a subscription to the institution that publishes the journal. Some may be accessed for free, but usually it is the older back issues.)

How do you find these professional journals in the library's databases?

See the section titled "Databases- Searching" in this research guide. It has an example on how to search for this type of article. 


Parts of a Research Article - Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that inspires

Parts of a Research Article


  • Title - usually long and wordy
  • Author (s) – an article can have one, ten or more authors, their names will be listed along with their institutional affiliations
  • Abstract – a paragraph that lets you know what the article is about, a summary  
  • Introduction – where the authors talk about their research in a general way, usually includes a review of previous research done on the same topic (literature review)
  • Methodology – explains how the research was conducted, including description of the research population or study sample, and methods used to gather information or data
  • Results – the authors present the results of their study, usually includes charts or tables to present findings
  • Discussion – the authors analyze the findings, explain the significance of the research and possible implications, and suggest applications or future projects
  • References – a list of the sources the authors consulted to write their own article

For this assignment, you must find a refereed journal article for the research article critique. Also, the research article must be current which means it should have been written within the last 7 years. 

ANSWERS TO COMMON QUESTIONS

1. How do I find a refereed journal article?

Please see the Databases - Searching section of the  Research Guide for information on how to search the databases for this type of article. In particular, refer to this graphic:

Peer Reviewed and full text Article

2. What is a peer-reviewed article?

A peer-reviewed article is an article that is based on research done in a particular field. The authors of the articles are experts and scholars in the subject. Peer-reviewed articles are written by the experts and then submitted to a board for review. This board is made up of other professionals in the field. They review the article, checking the author's methods, results, etc. If the article is approved it is published in the journal. This process is lengthy and can take months to complete. 

3. How do I cite in APA?

Refer to the APA section of the Research Guide for an explanation of APA style and examples. 

4. How do I find current articles?

By default, the databases are set to display the most relevant articles at the top of the search results page. However, it's easy to update your date range.

Here's how to verify your article's publication date: In the results page, each entry will have the article title (blue link), underneath the title is the bibliographic information. You can find the date towards the end, before the pages. 

look for the date after the journal title

You can also narrow down your results by date. In the results page, find the box, located on the left side of the page. At the bottom is an option to narrow the results by publication date. Click on 'enter date range'  then click UPDATE.

 proquest filter menu showing the date range option