512 research project checklist (rev.1/14/12)

Project topics

You can do about anything related to the topics of this course. Most of you will do a 6-8 page review of research on some topic that will bring the reader up to date on that topic, show how it is related to issues of human psychology, and relate to course materials.

These projects are NOT like the exam essays. The exam essays are intended to show me that you can discuss some general issue with knowledge and intelligence -- no new information is expected. The projects on the other hand, require you to research and organize new information that goes beyond the materials in the course. A great exam essay will make a mediocre research paper.


Before starting your actual writing, your must have a brief topic outline, along with two or more recent references, approved by me. This can be done via email or a one page typed paper.

A copy of the approved outline must be attached to the final paper. If you change your topic you must get the new one approved, along with new references.

The following apply to all written projects.

References must include recent work

I expect all papers to have at least two references in the years 2007-2012 in addition to the course readings; failure to comply with this unless explicitly exempted by me (JL) will result in a much lower grade. The whole point of most of these papers is to bring us up to date on primate research.

At least one of the newer references must NOT be an internet reference. Use "PsychInfo" and perhaps some of the references databases at the Biosciences Library. See my Searching page or talk with reference librarians. Also you can now search "Primate Lit" from the Regional Primate Centers at Washington and Wisconsin. (Published papers available online are ok. Give retrieval information in your reference.)

Google has a feature "Google scholar"- a link is off my front webpage. This, along with the "web of science" and other UNH library databases should be sufficient to cover your topic. Searching around the Wisconsin Regional primate center can also turn up some good leads, as can my own "primate news" page. (Sadly the Wisconsin Center can no longer maintain its

biblography but try it any but go to t he UNH library databases.

Here's an example using the Web of Science several years ago.

internet sources can be overdone and bogus

Be cautious in using internet sources.

Incorporate course materials

I expect you to refer to course readings, videos, and discussions as appropriate for your topic. For example I would expect a paper on sex in chimps to include references to de Waal -- in addition to what you have found elsewhere. (You don't have to agree with the course materials, just recognize them appropriately.)

If you do a paper on primate communication or language, I suggest you read the course notes and my paper on "Language in child and chimp" -- you don't have to agree with it, but don't ignore it.

Format for bibliography

--APA style
(good discussion; here's sample reference page)

Refer to sources by author and date, e.g. Limber (1977) with a reference page at the end listing all sources. You can follow the Gomez text style for reference types. Any reference in that list must be mentioned in the text.

Internet sources should be specified explicitly -- give the complete address and date you retrieved the information, along with some identifying information. See the APA website for more info or even better, here is a tutorial with an example. They also provide a service to insure your paper follows the format.

DO NOT just give the URL for a paper you obtained online, whether a website or from a library database. Give the author, date, title, source (book, journal, site) and date retrieved if it is available only online.

Connect with human psychology

All projects should have a link to some issue of human psychology. This may be a main theme, an indication of future research, or analogy. This should not be a problem for any of you but make sure you address the connection somehow in your paper. If you have any question about it, ask me.


Turn in papers on or before deadline--noon, May 14, with outline attached.

Give a copy directly to me. (Keep a copy for yourself.) And email me a copy as backup.

Exceptions to the above

There may some unusual circumstances where the above can not be applied. For example, a few people have prepared video or graphic presentations; some have looked at a historical or biographical issue. Most of you however will do a review of recent research on some topic relevant to the course.

Check with me early if you have a question.