Week 4: How to Write Like a Psychology Major

Week 4: How to Write Like a Psychology Major

Over the past 2 weeks, you have learned how to think, read, and research like a psychology major. Now that you know how to find, read, and critically evaluate reputable sources of information, it is time to learn how to communicate your knowledge in writing. In every academic discipline, there are a common set of procedures, practices, and expectations for writing. Psychology is no different. As a psychology major, you are required to write in the format and style of the American Psychological Association (APA), which is referred to as “APA style.” You are also required to incorporate scholarly evidence into your writing and write with academic integrity. Writing with academic integrity means that you are able to effectively paraphrase the ideas of others in your own words and use citations and references to give credit to the original source.

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This week, you will learn how to write like a psychology major. Watch the following video with Dr. Bjorkman as she explains steps that you can take to learn how to write like a psychology major.

Discussion: Goals for Writing Like a Psychology Major

What does it mean to write like a psychology major? Writing like a psychology major means that you are able to:

· Write in an organized and coherent manner with correct grammar;

· Use paraphrasing and other strategies to avoid plagiarism;

· Incorporate scholarly sources to support your assertions; and

· Use correct APA style.

You cannot develop these skills overnight; rather, they each take practice and time to develop. It is useful to regularly take stock of your current strengths and weaknesses and identify goals you need to work toward to become a better writer. Think for a moment about your current writing skills. What are your strengths and what are the areas in which you might need to sharpen your skills?

In this Discussion, you will explore your writing goals for learning to write like a psychology major and useful resources from this week’s Learning Resources that will help you achieve those goals. You will also consider key questions and takeaways that you have after completing the plagiarism modules. A Walden Writing Center professional will facilitate the Discussion, along with your course Instructor.


APA Basics Checklist

staff created this APA checklist to help students remember the basics of APA citations, reference lists, and style. It is not meant to be comprehensive, but students should use it as a reminder of the various APA rules that academic papers follow. If students are not sure what a particular item in the checklist refers to or entails, they should follow the link for more information. Additionally, the Writing Center can always help with APA questions at .

·  follow APA guidelines as articulated in section 8.1 of the APA manual (7th edition).

· Sources used and cited in the paper are included in the reference list.

· The abbreviation “” is punctuated appropriately.


· Author(s) and publication year are always included.

· A page or paragraph number is included for all quoted material, using the appropriate abbreviation: (p. xx) or (para. xx).

· The citation is included withinthe ending punctuation for the sentence.


· Authors of cited studies are included within the sentence.

· The publication year is included in parentheses immediately afterthe authors’ names.

·  are included the firsttime a source is used in a paragraph; all subsequent uses of that same source do notinclude the publication year. Note: Rule starts over with a new paragraph.

· The title of the list is centered and bolded.

· Sources listed in the list are cited at least once in the paper.

· Reference entries.

· Each entry has an automatically formatted .

· Each entry has the basic information (as available): author(s), publication year, title, and retrieval information.

· Each entry has been compared against the  and  on the Writing Center website, checking for:

· Punctuation: periods and commas

· Formatting: italics is used only when needed

· Parentheses and brackets: used only when needed

· Appropriate  is included

·  is used whenever literature or sources are talked about (i.e., Smith discussed).

·  are used for all lists of three or more items (i.e., lions, tigers, and bears).

·  are

· used to join words that work together to modify another word (i.e., evidenced-based practice);

· used to join “self” compounds (i.e., self-esteem); and

· notused with prefixes such as “non,” “semi,” “pre,” “post”, “anti,” “multi,” and “inter.”

· Block quotations (of 40 or more words) are formatted as such.

·  follow proper APA style (i.e., Level 1 headings are centered and bolded).


· 10 and above are expressed using numerals,

· nine and below are expressed using words.

· expressing specific numbers and time use numerals, and

· expressing approximate time use words.

· Complex lists of items within a sentence or paragraph can use letters to separate the items.

·  are used for specific reasons.

· The  is avoided (including “us,” “our,” and “you”).

·  are followed (i.e., names of models and theories are not capitalized).

· Formatting

·  is used.

· Title page follows the template guidelines.

·  is used throughout the paper (including the reference list).

· Use one space after periods or other punctuation marks that end a sentence.

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