Psyc 676 developmental neuropsychology | psychology | Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities


PSYC 676

PSYC 676

Literature Review Paper: Part 1 –
Topic Paragraph
Assignment Instructions


Throughout the course of the term, you will be completing 4 cumulative assignments that are designed to guide you through the process of writing a
Literature Review Paper. This type of paper utilizes empirical research to summarize and synthesize the existing body of scientific knowledge on an issue or topic. One key feature that distinguishes a literature review paper from research papers that students typically are used to writing is that with literature review papers, you allow the existing literature to guide the formation of your topic/argument rather than formulating a topic/argument and then looking for research to support it. Practically speaking, when writing a literature review, you explore the published research on a specific topic and look for themes or patterns that are recurrently observed in the literature.


Topic Paragraph

For the current assignment, you will begin the process by writing a topic paragraph that sets the stage for the
Literature Review Paper. In order to successfully complete this assignment, you will have to do some research on the topic that you have chosen. The focus of your topic/
Literature Review Paper will be on one of the following neurological, neuropsychiatric, or neurodevelopmental disorders:

Cerebral Vascular Disorders

Traumatic Brain Injury


Cerebral Infections

Parkinson’s Disease

Multiple Sclerosis


Major Depressive Disorder

Bipolar Disorder

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Antisocial Personality Disorder
Alzheimer’s Type Dementia


Cerebral Palsy


Autism Spectrum Disorder

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

Tourette Syndrome

When selecting a topic, please make it as narrow as possible. There are hundreds (even thousands) of articles and books out there about most topics that you could imagine. The narrower you make your topic, the fewer sources you will need to obtain a truly comprehensive overview of the existing literature (e.g., the impact of stimulant medication treatment on cerebral development in young children diagnosed with ADHD, OR frontal lobe abnormalities in children with autism, OR treatments for verbal dyspraxia in children, OR attentional deficits in adults with obsessive-compulsive disorder).

The topic paragraph itself should be a general statement about the topic that you wish to explore in your
Literature Review Paper. Brevity (i.e., economy of expression) is both required and appreciated, but please make sure that you include sufficient detail so that the topic you are interested in exploring is clear to the reader.

When writing the topic paragraph, provide a compelling rationale that supports the relevance of the topic with citations from
at least 2 scholarly, peer-reviewed journal articles.

Content Requirements

· The first sentence in the paragraph should be the “topic sentence” itself which succinctly states the topic that you intend to explore in your paper. (NOTE: This is NOT the same thing as the “thesis statement” that will provide the conceptual framework for your paper.)

· The next 3–5 sentences should present the supporting ideas that explicate/develop the topic sentence.

· The final sentence in the paragraph, the “concluding sentence,” should either leave the reader with something to think about or summarize the supporting ideas (especially if the paragraph is long).

Formatting Specifications

· All assignment elements adhere to current APA “professional paper” formatting standards.

· In-text citations are included and accurately formatted according to current APA guidelines.

· All text is typed and double-spaced in a standard, university-approved font.

· All pages utilize 1-inch margins.

· A current APA-formatted title page with a descriptive title is provided.

· A current APA-formatted References section with
at least 2 scholarly, peer-reviewed research articles is included.

· Individual references in the References section are formatted according to current APA guidelines.

· Sources in the References section match sources cited in the topic paragraph.

Writing and Organization

· Assignment is only 1 paragraph long

· Write in a scholarly writing style with a formal, graduate-level tone

· Be concise, not wordy

· Organize your ideas logically

· Utilize appropriate grammar, diction and punctuation

Note: Your assignment will be checked for originality via the Turnitin plagiarism tool.

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