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Planning

your
assignment
Charmaine Botha
Learning Skills Advisor
Monash South Africa
Learning Skills Advisors Librarians
Charmaine Botha Sibusisiwe Mgquba
Focus: Focus
Health Sciences, Social Sciences, FP Health Sciences, Social Sciences, FP
& HDR & HDR
Tel: 011 950 4455 Tel. 011 950 4150
charmaine.botha@monash.edu Sibusisiwe.mgquba@monash.edu

John Small Linda Mbonambi


Focus Focus
Bus Eco, IT, HDR & FP Bus Eco, IT, HDR & FP
Tel: 011 950 4248 Tel: 011 950 4032
John.small@monash.edu Linda.mbonambi@monash.edu

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What do we want to achieve with an
academic assignment?
Demonstrate
to your lecturer that you are able to:
Embark on an inquiry / research analyse question
Find Information / do research
Evaluate and Analyse the information
Organize the information
Apply the information to answer the question
Communicate (specific format) your knowledge
(written/oral)

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Its like being a lawyer presenting a case
in court:

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Assessment Task 2:
Psychotherapy Lab Report
Value: 15%
Due Date: 9th October 2015, at 4pm
Word limit: 1800 words
Submitted: The laboratory report will be submitted online via the unit
Moodle site. An electronic coversheet will need to be submitted for this
assignment.
Details of task:
You are required to write an academic APA 6th edition format lab report
on the following topic:
Individual differences and stress and health
in the workplace.
Week 6 to 9 of the tutorial program will provide details of the report and
a section by section break down of what is expected. Students will be
given the opportunity to discuss their lab reports and data analysis with
their tutor. 5
Introductory Readings:
Barrick, M.R., & Mount, M.K. (1991). The big five personality
dimensions and job performance: a meta-analysis.
Personnel psychology, 44(1), 1-26
Bolger, N., & Zuckerman, A. (1995). A framework for
studying personality in the stress process. Journal of
personality and social psychology, 69(5)
Brebner, J. (2001). Personality and stress coping.
Personality and Individual Differences, 31(3), 317-327
Carver, C.S., Connor-Smith, J. (2010, July 9). Personality
and Coping. [Review of Psychology article: Personality and
Coping]. Doi: 10.1146/annurev.psych.093008.100352
Carver, C.S., Scheier, M.F. (1994). Situational coping and
coping dispositions in a stressful transaction. Journal of
personality and social psychology, 66(1), 184 6
Presentation requirements:
Standard scientific lab report in APA formatting as detailed in
Findlay, B. (2012). How to write psychology research reports and essays
(6th ed.). Australia: Pearson (See templet on share-drive)

Reports should be no more than 1800 words maximum in length (excluding


an abstract of no more than 150 words, and figures, tables of results,
reference list, and appendices)
Typed, Times New Roman, size 12, double spaced on A4 Word Document
(this is part of APA format). The assignment will need to show a concise
presentation of data generated from the tutorial sessions, in a standard
academic laboratory report.
Command of prose, punctuation, spelling and grammar all correct.
Good academic writing style is evident.
APA 6th edition formatting of the report is adhered to.

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Presentation requirements:
The report is to include
Title page:
the title of the research,
the student name and student number,
tutor name and
the word count
abstract, (150 words)
introduction,
method,
results,
discussion and
references
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Title page, title and abstract
These are all done last
First complete your assignment and then pay
attention to these
FORMAT here is important!!!
Is there a correct APA formatted title page at the beginning of the
report?
Is the word count 1800 words?
Was an appropriate title provided? It should be concise, identify the
topic clearly and include the relevant variables
Abstract:
summarise the report in an ordered and in a balanced way including
the necessary information from the sections
Skills acquired in grd 12 : prcis writing (select main idea from each
section)
Word limit 150 words ( 1/10 of your total report)
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Introduction (research part)
Introduce and describe the concept of individual
differences (may look at personality as well)
Demonstrate detailed understanding of the
role of stress and health in the workplace.
Combine the key variables being looked at
showing a link between them as postulated by
previous research. Establish a sound rationale
for the present study.
Introduce the present laboratory report aims and
hypotheses.

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Begin by identifying the key concepts
e.g. the topic/content areas
Identify the directive words e.g.
analyse, discuss, etc.
Note any limitations e.g. scope, time
period, field of study, area

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Introduction
Using relevant previous empirical research findings
(this is from your resources).
Introduce and describe the concept of individual
differences (may look at personality as well)
Demonstrate a detailed understanding of the role of
individual differences in stress (may look at health as
well) in the work place
Combine the key variables (individual differences and work
related stress/health) being looked at showing a link
between them as postulated by previous research.
Establish a sound rationale for the present study
Introduce the present laboratory report
aims and hypotheses. 12
Plan your argument
Once you have analysed the topic and read your
starting reference, you will need to construct a rough
plan.
Mind-mapping usually works well here as well as
discussing the topic with your fellow students. (but
STOP here so as not to fall into a collusion trap)
Some students prefer to make a plan before
researching, some after.
However, it is important to remain flexible, as your
knowledge of the topic and opinion on it may change
as you read more.
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Is there a relationship between
Individual differences and stress and Using
health in the workplace. ?) relevant
previous
empirical
Introduce and
research
describe the findings
concept of LINK Combine the
individual Stress key variables
differences/ and health (Individual
differences and
personality) in the stress and
workplace health in the
workplace) being
looked at
SHOW an showing a link
between them
understanding as postulated
by previous
of the research
relationship

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Find Witnesses (resources)
Once you have identified the content area you will need to
examine, you will need to consider what kinds of resources are
required (books, journals, websites, statistics, etc.) and set about
acquiring them.
Look at your Introductory reading, use the reference lists of these
books and journals, and identify what will be required.
Remember you will need to evaluate the worth of these
resources, so read critically.
Decide what kind of supporting information will be necessary,
and set about organising your resources to achieve your goal.
Often books are good for big picture information, while journals
are often good for supporting details.

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Possible key words for search:
(Play around and try alternatives)
Use Advance search option where available

Variable 1 Variable 2
Individual differences coping
Personality stress
Coping styles Health
Personal differences Workplace stress/health
Industrial health/stress

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Library resources
Resource Name Keywords Results Comments
SEARCH
SA Library Main key concept Physical Book(s) in SA libarary SA has limited books in this area
Personality /individual differences/ at least one or two versus large
Physical Books number of students (lecturer
coping styles
Sub key concept(s) Electronic Books needs to reserve)
Stress in work place Do a secondary search within the book of
Health in work place Everyone can use the same e-
E-Books your sub-key concept
book at the same time

DATA BASES Keywords Results Comments


(S) > Main key concept Journal articles / Books/ Articles relevant to SA
Personality /individual differences/
SA e Publications Theses/ Web pages and Africa available
coping styles
(B) Sub key concept(s)
Business Source Stress in work place
Health in work place
Complete
(P) > Main key concept Examples of relevant articles in Abstracting and
Personality /individual differences/
Proquest Psych journals and other resources as Indexing database
coping styles
Journals Sub key concept(s) well (these are interdisciplinary Large number of
(S) > Stress in work place databases) articles available
Health in work place
Science Direct international
(S) > Main key concept Examples of relevant articles in Large number of articles
Personality /individual differences/
Scopus journals and other resources as available international
coping styles
(G) > Sub key concept(s) well (these are interdisciplinary
Google Scholar Stress in work place databases)
Health in work place
(Monash)

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Finding Resources General Search:
Type in key concepts
to do a general
search under the
Monash SA, e-book
or Online Articles tab

Finding a specific Database:


Chose letter on the A-Z list:
(or according to subject):
PsychINFO
Science Direct
Scopus
Ovid Medline

Using Lib Guides: Select


Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences
Psychology

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The essay/report structure
Can be seen as a diamond with the introduction and conclusion at the top and bottom and the
body paragraphs fitting into the middle of the diamond in a series of smaller diamond shapes.

Connect to
next
paragraph
and main
idea

Your
own
voice

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Body paragraphs
Paragraph element Purpose

1. Topic This sentence starts by referring to the thesis/your


Sentence argument. It continues to include the main point of this
paragraph (your voice)
2. Additional This explains further the point made in the topic sentence.
Information (your voice)

3. Evidence These are essential to justify your point. Your evidence


sentences comes from your research and may include examples,
data, quotes, statistics, graphics and illustrations. All
supporting evidence must be from authoritative sources and
cited in your essay. (quote or paraphrase reference voice)
4. Concluding Again, this sentence links the main thesis of the essay with
sentence the main point of the paragraph. (your voice) and links to
the next paragraph

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Method
Provide information on the participants (include the total number of
participants, the number in each of the groups, how many males and
females, where they are from, why they participated, etc.)
Provide detailed information on the materials (including the
psychometric properties of the measures) and procedure used

Results
Provide a brief description of how data was analysed. Descriptive
statistics should be provided for key variables in APA formatted table
(mean, median, SD, Interquartile range, skewness and kurtosis)
Explain the normality distribution of the key variables (frequency graphs
must be included in appendix)
The results for the correlations should be provided in a scatterplot and in
an APA formatted table.
The use of textual description explanation of tables and/or figures;
reported in correct APA format. 21
Discussion ( Similar to a Conclusion)
Clear summary of the main findings, with reference to aims and
hypotheses should be included.
Comparison findings from current study with relevant previous
empirical research findings as discussed in the introduction.
Brief summary of any methodological faults of the study & their
potential impact on the findings.
Concludes with a summary of main findings & suggestions for
further research.
References
Primary sources have been consulted and appropriately cited within
the text and in the reference list in accordance with APA 6th edition
formatting.
Appendix
contains relevant statistics tables if appropriate
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Acknowledging your resources:
Citing and referencing
NB NB NB : if you cite and reference correctly, you will not plagiarize
Ways to cite and reference:
1. MANUALLY (DO the library on-line tutorial 15minutes):
http://resources.lib.monash.edu.au/learning-objects/test/apa-quick-guide/
http://monash.edu/library/skills/resources/tutorials/citing/
2. Using MICRO-SOFT WORD REFERENCING (but you still need to have
the manual referencing background knowledge)
3. Using ENDNOTE (but you still need to have the manual referencing
background knowledge)
Referencing resources: Monash Shared (S:)
S:\UG-Subjects\Shared\Library\Charmaine Learning
skills\Referencing\APA Psychology 2015
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Writing your report
For more assistance on
writing or
communicating your
findings, contact a
learning skills advisor
in the library

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