Summarizing Published Studies

Comm 1 Exercise

Summarizing Published Studies

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This exercise is designed to give you practice at synthesizing the important information from published empirical studies so that you’ll be better prepared to summarize and apply studies in Paper #2. First, you’ll need to search UCSB’s online databases ( and find a published empirical study in an academic journal that examines one (or more) of the persuasive features you plan to use in your paper (e.g., source credibility, humor appeals, etc.). This exercise is mainly for practice—you might find that you need to find different/better research articles for your actual paper. Remember also that in your paper, you’ll need to summarize and apply TWO studies.

Read the “Introduction to Scientific Journal Articles” handout (see next page below), and read the journal article that you found on your own. Answer the following questions regarding the study you found. Type your answers and bring it in to section on the due date (see the discussion section schedule in the syllabus).

CITATION INFO: [see the “Using APA Style” document on GauchoSpace]

a) Give the full APA style citation for this article, as you would list it on your “References” page (i.e., the authors’ names, year published, title of study, journal name, volume #, page #’s, etc., all in the correct order and format).

b) Write an example sentence showing how you would cite this article within the actual text of the paper assignment.


Synthesize the researchers’ lit review in only one or two sentences. What is the topic/problem under investigation, and how does the previous research/theory lead to the authors’ study?


Describe in only one or two sentences what the researchers did in their study. Do not give minor details (e.g., sample size), but rather identify the overall method (experiment, survey, content analysis) and describe the basic procedure for how they tested their hypotheses/answered their research questions.


Ignore the statistical procedures described and look for sentences in this section that tell you what the authors found. Briefly identify the main findings.


In one or two sentences, describe what the authors argue is the importance of their study.

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