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How to find scholarly information on mental disorders for a research paper.

Your research assignment

Write a five-page paper  about a psychological disorder including 3 to 5 articles from psychological journals. The journal articles should be descriptions of past research on the disorder. Research articles typically have the following sections:

  1. Abstract-summary paragraph of the article.
  2. Introduction -description of the research leading up to the current study explaining the need for the study.
  3. Method -description of what is to be done and to whom it will be done (description of research subjects).
  4. Results -description what was learned in the study, usually including statistical tables or graphs. 
  5. Discussion -analysis and interpretation of the results.
  6. Conclusion -what was learned in the study, sometimes stating what additional study is needed.
  7. References -a list of sources cited in the paper in APA style.

Read background information on your topic

After selecting your topic, read your text book to learn more about it. Topic definitions and other background information should be included in your introduction. In addition, you can read about your topic in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th Edition. (DSM-IV) online in the following database:

  • Stat!Ref At the opening screen, in the left column, click to select the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Open the broad categories such as "mood disorders" to find your specific disorder, or use the search box at the top to find your disorder. Be sure to click the link "Search within this title" to keep from searching in the other books.
  • The other books in Stat!Ref (such as the Merck Manual and other medical dictionaries) can be used for more background reading on your disorder. Some are easier to understand than others. Just type your disorder in the search box and click "GO." Check any of the various book articles that show up. 
  • Don't skip or skimp on this step! You'll need to fully understand your disorder to understand the articles about the disorder.
  • If you quote or paraphrase your background reading in your paper, cite your Stat!Ref background reading in your References. Click "Download Citation," top of page. However, the information is not in correct APA style. 

Find articles in two psychology databases

We subscribe to two Ebsco databases (below) that provide articles from psychology journals. When off-campus, login using your myLSCO username/password.

  • PsycArticles - All sources are scholarly journals published by the American Psychological Association. Full-text and full-image versions of the articles are provided.  
  • Psychology and Behavioral Sciences Collection - All sources are psychology journals from various publishers. Use the full-text limit check box to eliminate articles that don't provide the article in full-text. Use the peer-reviewed check box to limit to articles reviewed by scholars in this field. Both of these limits can be applied on the opening screen or on the results page.
  • Tips: In either of these databases, type your topic into the search box. Click "search." Review your results and select articles. Evaluate based on relevance (how on-topic is it?), currency (how current is the article?) and also, how difficult is the article for you to understand? On your results page, click "Relevance" on the top menu bar, and sort by "Date Descending" to reorder the results into "most recent first" order. Some topics may not have any studies that are very recent.
  • Citing in APA:  Both databases provide a citation in APA style. Click the "cite" icon on the right column. Select the APA citation and copy paste it onto your word document. Check for correctness in APA style.

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