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PSY 101: Using PsycNET

Guide for Psychology 101 Students

Parts of a scholarly article

Finding Sources Worksheet

Relevant Articles

Not everything you find will be relevant. That can be frustrating, but so can getting points knocked off for not doing a bit more reading.

IMPORTANT:You should be able to easily prove that an article is related to your topic- heck, it should be self-evident! Read the abstract or the intro and conclusion of every article you consider before reading the whole thing.

Think about it! Remember- this is part of your final grade. If your topic is about the impact of mindfulness meditation on learning, an article on the impact of exercise on learning or an article on mindfulness in relationships isn't going to cut it!

Primary Sources in Psychology

Primary Sources in psychology are: 

  • written accounts of original research, study, or experimentation conducted by the author(s). 
  • usually written at the time the research is occurring or shortly after the research is complete
  • typically published in scholarly, peer-reviewed, journals


Clues for finding primary sources: 

  • Primary source articles in Psychology generally contain standard components, such as an abstract, a methods sectiondiscussion, a conclusion and a bibliography
  • Try reading the abstract of an article and look for statements like:
    • Our research concluded that . . .
    • We looked at two groups of children . . .
    • The aim of our study was . . .
    • The research we conducted shows . . .