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Article summery worksheet

Sample search

Step 1 - Open the PsycINFO database

Step 2 - Search terms:

  • 1 subject term - Marijuana or “adolescent development” (hint: use the thesaurus)

  • 1 keyword - Ex: development, marijuana. brain development, neurological development, mood

Step 3 - Search limiters:

  • Scholarly peer-reviewed

  • Publication date 2008-2018

  • Source Types: Articles

  • Language - English

  • Age: Adolescent

Reports vs essays

Reports Research Papers

  • Begins by presenting analysis/findings from research
  • Provides key recommendations
  • Descriptive and sequential format
    (summary, scope, discussion, recommendations)

  • Use headings
  • Written for a specific purpose or audience
  • Structure is dictated by the discipline


  • Begin with a research questions and/or hypothesis
  • Structured around intro, body, and conclusion
  • Can have a variety of formats
  • Provides an argument
  • Provides guidance for future research


Writing for the general public

For this assignment, you have been asked to write and present your report to a large group of parents. Consider the following when writing your report.

  • Be concise and only include information relevant to your audience.
  • Avoid using unnecessary academic jargon.
  • Try and use each paragraph to introduce a new idea. This will make the report easier to scan for readers. You can achieve this by making your paragraphs shorter. 
  • Make sure the transitions between sections is smooth and intuitive.
  • Don't use lists to highlight key points. While lists (and diagrams) are common in academic writing, readers will often glaze over them. Lists also take up space, and this assignment can only be two pages long.

TIP: When drafting your report, try grouping similar points in lists. Use those lists to form your paragraphs.

  • Make your writing accessible, but don't talk down to your audience.

Writing resources

Search tips

  • Use the thesaurus to find appropriate subject terms for "adolescent development", '"risk-taking", and "eating disorders" .
  • Narrow your search to scholarly peer-reviewed articles.
  • If using PsycINFO, make use of the Age and Methodology limiters on the left-hand side.
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Erik Christiansen

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