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PSYC 4510: Community Psychology: PART I



The purpose of Part 1 is to familiarize yourself with an important issue that matters to you and to begin applying scientific approaches to addressing it. When you have completed Part 1, you will be able to identify a social issue and collect relevant information that will enable you to describe and analyze the population(s) affected, the factors that influence and maintain the issue, and strategies that have been used to address it.


  1. Identify Your Social Issue. Write a brief statement naming the issue. What 2-3 associated terms will you need to consider? This should be no more than 1-2 sentences.
    1. For example, you may want to address the issue of homelessness. Associated terms include housing instability, affordable housing, and poverty
  2. Define the Social Issue and the Scope of Your Project. Provide a general definition of the issue. If you are planning to focus on a specific aspect of the broader issue or a sub-population affected by the issue, this is the place to discuss it. This should be about a paragraph.
    1. For homelessness, how is it defined in the literature? Are there different types or categories of homelessness that should be considered?
    2. After providing a general definition of homelessness, you might note that you are planning to focus on homeless families. Why is this an important group to understand?
  3. Prepare an Annotated Bibliography. Review and summarize Information from at least 3 sources. At least one source must be published in a peer-reviewed journal and describe one or more studies about your social issue. Other sources can include books or chapters published by scholarly presses and documents from websites of reputable agencies that address the social problem (e.g., government agencies such as the CDC, not-for-profit research organizations, such as the RAND Corporation). You may supplement this information with newspaper and magazine articles, but these are in addition to the required 3 sources.

For each of the 3 sources, provide the following information using complete sentences (no more than 1 page for your summary of each source):

  1. Citation in APA format
  2. Summary of the Article/Chapter using the following headings
    1. Research Question
    2. Methodology
    3. Main findings (these can be in bullet format, but bullets should be in complete sentences)
    4. Implications (what do these findings mean for understanding the social issue? Consider both what the authors suggest and your own ideas)
    5. Future Directions (What are the unanswered questions, what should future research address? Consider both what the authors suggest and your own ideas about future directions)
    6. How is this source relevant to your project?


Submit Part 1 to the “RAP-Part 1” dropbox in iCollege as a single file labeled as follows: yourlastnamefirstinitial_rap1.docx. Use a 12-point font with 1-inch margins. The completed assignment will include

  • Cover page with your project title, your name, the course number and title, the date (1 page). You do not need to include an abstract
  • Statement, definition and scope of the social issue (1 page)
  • Three annotated sources (1 page each)

Grading Rubric for Part 1


Part 1 of the project is worth a total of 60 points as summarized below. You will be assigned a tentative grade based on what you turn in; you will have an opportunity to revise your work and resubmit when you turn in Part 2.

Earned Points

Possible Points

Background Research


Statement and definition of social issue (1 page)


Source #1: APA citation at top of page, Components (a-f) answered fully, accurately, and succinctly. Source provides information relevant to the social issue and scope as stated


Source #2: APA citation at top of page, Components (a-f) answered fully, accurately, and succinctly. Source provides information relevant to the social issue and scope as stated.


Source #3: APA citation at top of page, Components (a-f) answered fully, accurately, and succinctly. Source provides information relevant to the social issue and scope as stated.


Format, Grammar, Spelling: No proper noun mistakes, agreement errors, punctuation errors, spelling errors, etc., at least 1 source is peer-reviewed.



Start with a general idea of the social issue you want to pursue and then narrow and refine your focus as you read about it. For example, rather than try to tackle the whole, enormous issue of homelessness, you might narrow your focus to homelessness among college students. You might even shift the focus to food insecurity among college students. You should read at least 1-2 articles or sources before you write the definition and scope of your project. As you refine your focus, you may find that you will need to read more than 3 sources and choose the best ones to include.

Be specific, particularly when summarizing results, implications, and future directions. You will be using the statistics and key findings in developing parts 2 and 3 of the project, so the more information you include here, the less you will need to go back and dig up these details later.

Look ahead to Part 2! Your readings for Part 1 should provide answers to the following questions:

                Who is affected by your social issue?

                How are they affected?

                What factors contribute to the social issue?

Other questions to consider that may help with developing recommendations for action: What strategies have been attempted? What worked and what didn’t? What are the gaps in what we know?

If you can’t answer these questions using your research, you will need to find additional articles!


GSU Library Research Guide for RAP

Psychology Online Research Tutorial (PORT)

GSU Writing Studio

OWL – Online Writing Lab at Purdue University

Evaluating Information on the Internet

Finding Credible Sources

Help with APA citations

APA PsycInfo database

Best database for scholarly psychology articles.

Empirical Article: Describes one experimental study in detail. Includes literature review, methods, results, discussion, and references sections.

Review Article: Describes the general outcomes of many experimental studies.

Other Databases:

Criminal Justice Abstracts

Criminal Justice Database

Global Health (Public Health)

Race Relations Abstracts

Social Science Database

Social Services Abstracts

Social Work Abstracts

Sociological Abstracts

Women's Studies International

Education Database

ERIC (Education)

annotated bibliography

Sample (see below)

scholarly books

From your syllabus:

"Other sources can include books or chapters published by scholarly presses."

Any book published by a university press is scholarly.

Some non-university scholarly book presses:

  • Blackwell
  • Elsevier
  • Kluwer
  • Macmillan/Palgrave
  • Praeger
  • Routledge
  • Sage
  • Springer

For books search the GSU Library catalog.

Think Tanks

Think Tanks are groups or organizations affiliated with universities, foundations, advocacy groups, and other groups were they often speak on broad topics like economics, social issues, military, technology, politics, and culture.

Government Web Resources