Psychologists write in the style dictated by the American Psychological Association (APA) Publication Manual. When you write papers in psychology courses, you will be expected to write in this style. The following resources will help you to learn and use APA. Of course, follow all directions given by your professor for your specific assignment.
There are two basic types of psychology papers: literature reviews (aka term papers) and research reports. If you have conducted an empirical study in which you have collected and analyzed data, you should follow the instructions for writing a research report. Otherwise, look at the instructions for writing a literature review.
General APA Style Resources
|Instructions about all aspects of APA style||https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/section/2/10/|
|Video demonstrating how to format an APA style paper in Word||https://youtu.be/9pbUoNa5tyY|
|Comparison of literature reviews and research reports||https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/13/|
|Annotated example of a research report||http://www.apastyle.org/manual/related/sample-experiment-paper-1.pdf|
Resources for Formatting Citations and References
|References: Multiple Authors||https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/06/|
|Reference Section: APA versus MLA||http://blog.apastyle.org/apastyle/2014/05/comparing-mla-and-apa-the-reference-list.html|
|In-text Citations: APA versus MLA||http://blog.apastyle.org/apastyle/2014/05/comparing-mla-and-apa-citing-resources.html|
Guidelines for Writing Papers in Psychology
These resources talk about what sort of content to include in literature reviews and research reports.
Writing a Literature Review
Writing a Research Report
- https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/670/03/ and https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/670/04/
PsycINFO Basic Tutorial: https://youtu.be/1KvBE4gSZbw
PsycINFO Advanced Tutorial: https://youtu.be/S6ABSB0sU5E
Keep track of Sources with RefWorks: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLtKbhOPs0LdaZbSkUjEhmAuE6FdTIlBYX
_____ The title page is centered horizontally and vertically.
_____ A 12-point standard font, such as Times Roman, Courier, or Arial is used.
_____ The title page includes a title, the student’s name, and Simpson College.
_____ A header with the title and page number is included on the title page and all pages of the paper. It is left justified.
_____ The title is centered at the top of page 2.
_____ Margins are 1 inch on all sides, and double spacing is used throughout.
_____ Paragraphs are left-justified, with the first line indented .5 inches.
_____ Quotations of fewer than 40 words are enclosed in quotation marks.
_____ Quotations of 40 words or longer begin on a new line and are indented .5 inches from the left margin.
_____ All quotations, statistics, and ideas of others (even if paraphrased) are cited within the paper.
_____ Citations follow the following format: (Author’s last name, year published). Use n.d. (no date), if year published is unknown. Use the first few words of the article/book title if the author is unknown.
_____ Page numbers are included only when material is quoted word-for-word, for example (Brown, 2010, p. 10).
_____ Begins on a new page and is titled References.
_____ Only the sources used in the paper are included in the reference list.
_____ Personal communications, such as interviews and e-mails, are cited in the text but not included in the reference list. The in-text citation follows this format (B. Ramos, personal communication, September, 7 2012).
_____ References are alphabetized with hanging indents.
_____ Reference list entries include enough information to locate the source. Electronic sources include the DOI or full URL.
_____ Titles of books and articles only capitalize the first word and the first word after the colon. Titles of books are italicized. Titles of journals are italicized, with first, last and important words capitalized.
(adapted from a checklist at http://word-crafter.net/APA/APAchecklist.doc)