ASSIGNMENT: Term Paper
Your task for this assignment is to find 3 research/experimental papers and write a term paper discussing them. While I will not impose a specific paper length, I this this should all fit well within 1500-2000 words at most (could be shorter, but shouldn’t be longer than that!).
The paper is due on Friday of week 10, 5pm. You can email it to me or bring a hard copy.
NOTE: You HAVE to share with me the three papers you’ve chosen by Tuesday Week 8. You can just email me the three titles.
You should find 3 experimental papers (i.e., they have to present an experiment, they cannot be reviews or textbooks) from the primary literature (i.e., they have to be from academic journals). How do you find papers? Well, there are a number of ways, but my suggestion is to use Google Scholar. If you know how to use Google then you know how to use Google Scholar. The only tricky part is to be able to recognize from the title if something is relevant or not. If a title says “The role of language in X” then you are in luck. It might also say “Does language shape X?” or “Language influences X“. However, other titles might be more subtle like “A study of X in English and Korean speakers” or “X in non-human primates“, etc. So just open the paper and give a look at the abstract; you’ll be able to tell from that.
Another easy way to find relevant papers is to find some review paper on the topic of language and thought and when they mention some cool sounding paper you go look it up (see the third suggestion below).
Some suggestions to get you started:
Most general search: Role of language in …
You can also try to find some general review paper and see if they mention any cool paper (and when they do you can look up the title in their reference section and the find it in google scholar!): Language and thought
Part 2: write the term paper (after you’ve read the three papers!)
Essentially what I am asking you to do is to write a review paper. Here is a guide to help you write the term paper.
- Part I — Introduction: Give me some context.
- What are the hypotheses about the role of language in the domain you chose?
- Why should language affect it? (Think “How do children learn the meaning of new words? It’s a very difficult problem, so Quine hypothesized that …”.)
- Part II — Review each paper: You should make a different section for each paper. Please, as title for each section write down the title of the paper (e.g., Martin & Monti (2016) Cool paper on cool stuff. Journal of hyper-coolness, 32(3), 15-32). In this section, for each paper you should:
- Explain how are they trying to address the relationship of language and X?
- What did they do (i.e., tell me about how hey set-up the experiment(s); what were the important comparisons that can tell us something about the relationship between language and X)?
- What did they find?
- What do you think bout the paper: is it good, well done, do you believe it? Any shortcoming or thing they could have done better?
- Part III — Discussion: Now I want you to bring together the papers.
- Collectively, what do the papers say about Language and X?
- Do they agree with each-other? If not, which one do you believe?
- Are the papers good and convincing (i.e., are these good evidence)?
- –> If you picked a topic we spoke about in class, then you should also address what did these papers add to what we discussed in class?