Research Paper Option

Students who take exception to a study within the College of Media & Communication and wish to pursue alternative credit or whose schedules do not permit participation in research projects may elect to write a research paper.

Each paper is worth 1 research credit.

Signing Up for the Research Paper Option

For each paper you want to write, you must sign up or register for one session in Sona Systems.

For each paper, you must select an article from one of the scholarly journals most relevant to your discipline:

Finding a Journal Article

Visit the library homepage at

Click on "E-Journals" on the left-hand navigation menu under “Electronic Resources.”

Type in the title of the journal you wish to browse and click “GO.”

These journals are available to browse online via a number of databases, although it varies by journal.  Browse the most recent issues of the journal and select an article you wish to read.

Most articles are available in PDF format for downloading and printing.

If you are accessing the journal from off-campus, you will be prompted to enter your E-Raider username and password.


Research Paper Requirements

Read the article, and then write a 1-2 page paper.

Begin your paper with the following heading:

Class for which you’d like to receive research credit

Then provide an APA-style reference to indicate the article you are reviewing.  Follow this format:

Author's last name, initial. (year published). Title of article. Title of journal, Volume #, page #s.
For example:

In your summary, you should address some (but not necessarily all) of the following questions:

Keep in mind that these are only suggestions, and you will not always address every single point.  Decide for yourself what you should include and what you shouldn’t.  These summaries are not merely your opinion of the article, but more of a summary of past scholarship.

Please note that summaries will be checked via plagiarism software.  Plagiarized material will not be accepted.


Submission Requirements

Article summaries may be submitted via email to Dr. Glenn Cummins, director of the Center for Communication Research at sure your email indicates that you are submitting the paper in order to receive Alternative Research Participation Credit.

Please type your paper double-spaced, with one-inch margins on top, bottom, and both sides. It must be at least one page long (300 words minimum), but not longer than two pages including references.

If you follow the above instructions, you will earn full credit. If you do not follow the instructions, you will not receive any credit.