More on Writing Psychology Reports

Updated:   26 February, 2007

There is no such thing as innate knowledge.  You started out with what the Greeks called a tabula rasa, a blank slate.  Everything you know, you learned from somebody, somewhere.

In all academic writing, in every case, you are expected to acknowledge the source of your information.  You are expected to do so in the body of your work by stating: According to Nichols (2007), "There is no such thing as innate knowledge.", or Nichols (2007) asserts that "There is no such thing as innate knowledge." 

As you read your textbook(s), note that there are many grammatical structures that can be used in attributing the information to your source when you are writing a report or paper (or, perhaps even your own textbook, someday).  Note, also, that there are many grammatical structures that can be used depending on the number of authors involved in writing the source, the number of works authored by the same person(s), and the number of works authored by the same person(s) in the same year.

You are also expected to acknowledge the source of your information at the end of your work by listing all of the references you used.  In this course, like many other academic disciplines, we use APA style references.  The reference for any source of information you used from a Web site should look something like:  Nichols, J. W. (2007). More on Writing Psychology Reports.  Retrieved  March 24, 2007 from http://www.tulsa.oklahoma.net/~jnichols/MoreonWritingPsychologyReports.html

By "something like" I am referring to the details.  The format of APA style references does not change within types of references.  If this information came from a book, the reference would use a slightly different format.

Note that the "Nichols (2007)" tells the reader that you got some information from someone named Nichols, and that it can be found in something that was written in 2007.  Your reader can then look in the list of references at the end of your work, and see where to find this information.  The reader simply looks for something with Nichols as the author.  Then if there is more than one thing written by Nichols, the reader looks for the one written in 2007.  Since authors are always listed alphabetically, Nichols is not hard to find regardless of how many references are used.  See the list of references at the back of your textbook, for example.  Since the publication dates of each piece by the same author are listed chronologically, it is easy for the reader to find the specific source of the specific information you reported in you work.  Look in the References section (or Bibliography, in some cases) of your textbook for works written by Skinner and works written by Freud from which the author took information used in writing the textbook.

As of this date, in all assignments submitted for this class, you are required to properly (APA-style, that is) credit the source of any information you use in writing your assignment.  You must do so in both the body of your assignment and in a References section at the end.  Failure to do so will result in a "fatal error", that is, an error that will automatically result in the rejection of your assignment.

You must cite (as a minimum) your textbook as a source of information.  Briefly summarize the information the author(s) provides about the topic(s).  If the author(s) does not cover the topic(s) at all, simply say that that is the case.  "Jacobson (2012) does not cover the topic of psychology of extraterrestrial lifeforms at all.", would suffice.  Then, using the proper APA-style format, list the reference for the textbook at the end.

You must also cite (as a minimum) at least one Web site as a source of information.  Briefly summarize, or quote if appropriate, the information the author(s) of the Web site provides about the topic(s).  Then, using the proper APA-style format, list the reference for the Web site at the end.
 
 
 

The proper APA-style reference for this page should look like:

           Nichols, J. W. (2007). More on Writing Psychology Reports.  Retrieved  March 24, 2007 from http://www.tulsa.oklahoma.net/~jnichols/MoreonWritingPsychologyReports.html