Research and Scholarly Writing: Beyond the Paper

Jun 28, 2015 by Eileen Paniagua, PsyD
Dr. Eileen Paniagua
Eileen Paniagua, PsyD

Research and scholarly writing can be highly rewarding for the professional and the graduate student alike. It is a gateway for communicating and sharing knowledge in a way that transcends time.

For many, conducting research seems a daunting task, but the rich reward one experiences at the end of a project far outweighs the task. Perhaps the most valuable insight I can share is that, as a student and professional, sharing knowledge through the written word can become a transformative experience with the power to change lives. Little did I know that my early interest in writing would become part of my craft as a psychologist years later. Today, research and writing are tools that I use to reach many with information and insight that can, hopefully, enhance and better the quality of their lives.

My first significant finding as a researcher came through a project on psychoneuroimmunology and its effects on the symptomatology of breast cancer and overall well-being. Findings revealed that psychological processes have a direct effect on the functioning of our immune system and thus exert a powerful medium in any healing process. This is particularly important in a culture in which treatments almost exclusively adhere to traditional Western medicine practices. Not too long ago, the notion that psychological and emotional factors such as stress could directly affect the onset and progression of physical health seemed foreign in healthcare. Today, psychology well-informs the field of medicine and a holistic approach is fast becoming the standard in healthcare as we discover and reveal how it is that our mind and body work together. But although we have come far from Descartes’ notion of mind-body dualism, we are still in the infancy stages as we seek to understand the mysteries of the mind and the human body.

My dedication and enthusiasm for research and writing has become an important aspect of my role as a clinical psychologist. In the School of Behavioral Sciences, we recognize that many of our learners would also enjoy and benefit from integrating researching and writing into their practice. So I invite our learners in the PsyD program to join me at this exciting time at CalSouthern as we grow and expand our contribution to the field of psychology.

One of our immediate goals at the university is to enhance our research community in the PsyD program within the School of Behavioral Sciences. To do so, we encourage PsyD learners to go “beyond the paper” by innovating through research and writing in their area of interest, while making contributions to the evolving and exciting field of psychology.

As we grow our research community and provide our learners with all the necessary support, we hope that together we can make an impact in improving quality of life, particularly by reaching underserved communities that can greatly benefit from specialized care. I extend an invitation to all learners in the PsyD program to join me in the new Research and Scholarly Writing Workshop that I will be leading, beginning in July 2015.

Here is a sampling of the topics that will be discussed in the workshop:

  • How to approach research papers
  • Writing techniques
  • How to efficiently and quickly analyze research articles
  • How to be a good consumer of research
  • Ethics in research
  • How to formulate a research question for the doctoral project
  • How to write an IRB proposal
  • How to approach research methods
  • How to create a research poster

We will post an official announcement with upcoming dates and times. In the meantime, if you have questions regarding scholarly writing, please contact me via email at [email protected]

SEE ALSO: A Conversation with a CalSouthern Academic Advisor

Tom Dellner sits down with Eileen Paniagua, PsyD, to discuss how her background and experience contribute toward her responsibilities as an academic advisor in the School of Behavioral Sciences at California Southern University.



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