Genetic and Environmental Influences on Affiliation With Deviant Peers During Adolescence and Early Adulthood
1) Be free of personal anecdotes or opinions that are not supported by previous research or the content of the
article. Never use 1st or 2nd
person pronouns (I, me, we, you, “in my opinion”, etc.).
2) Discuss only information covered in the article. Do not import information from other sources or personal
experiences, or make assumptions that are not supported by the data.
3) Demonstrate an understanding of theoretical and methodological issues addressed in the research.
4) Briefly summarize the underlying theory, the hypotheses, methods, results, and the authors’
interpretation of their findings.
5) Intelligently discuss the strengths and limitations of the research/article.
6) Demonstrate college-level writing: clear, concise, and error-free.
Before You Begin Writing…
• Read the article carefully and more than once. Take notes on the important points discussed below.
• Write up a detailed outline based on the important points you will cover in the CAR (see below).
Organize a logical sequence for presenting these ideas. Do NOT be repetitive.
• Do NOT list information, or use headings or subheadings, use complete sentences.
Structuring & Writing
1) At the top of your paper (after your name, date, etc.; before you start writing), write the reference for the
article, in correct, APA-format. EXAMPLE:
Loeber, R., Farrington, D. P., Southamer-Loeber, M., Moffitt, T. E., & Caspi, A. (1998). The development of
male offending: Key findings from the first decade of the Pittsburgh Youth Study. Studies on Crime and
Crime Prevention, 7(2), 141–171.
2) From the introduction: What is the general theory that this paper is addressing? What has previous
research on this (or related) topics demonstrated?
3) What is the purpose of the research described in this paper? What is/are the author(s)
hypothesis/hypotheses (prediction of their results)?
4) Briefly describe the methods the authors use to collect the data. Who are the participants? What do they
have to do in this study? What are the measures used to collect the data?
6) In general, what are the results of the study? For example, does one group score differently than another
group on a measure? Is there a relationship between two or more variables? Do the results support the
hypotheses? You do NOT have to describe the statistical methods used or correlation coefficients.
7) What is/are the major conclusions(s) that the author(s) draw based on their findings? What are the
implications of this study, both in terms of future psychological research and for understanding behavior in
the “real world”?
8) Based on your analysis of the reading, what are the strengths of this research? How do they benefit the
quality of the research?
9) Based on your analysis of the reading, what are the limitations of this research? What could the researchers
do differently to avoid these limitations; or what studies could be done as follow-ups to this study to address
these limitations? Tip: if you criticize the paper for the sample that was used, you should speculate how this
sample biased the results or limits the generalizability of the findings.
10) Overall, what do you think about this research (remember: This is NOT a movie review.)? How does the
article enhance your understanding of human behavior in a “real world” context?
Please PROOFREAD the final draft of each CAR thoroughly and carefully to
ensure you have included all the information outlined by the questions above, and
that your writing is college-level, and free of grammatical and spelling errors. If you
are having difficulty, please schedule an appointment with the Psychology Tutor or
a Writing Tutor in the Learning Resource Center (212) 463-0400 ext. 5214,
BEFORE the assignment is due.
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