Effective Writing in Psychology Papers, Posters, and Presentations

by ;
Edition: 3rd
Format: Paperback
Pub. Date: 2020-12-10
Publisher(s): Wiley-Blackwell
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Author Biography

Bernard C. Beins is Professor of Psychology at Ithaca College. He has received the Charles L. Brewer Distinguished Teaching Award from the American Psychological Foundation. He was President of the Society for the Teaching of Psychology, the Eastern Psychological Association, and the New England Psychological Association. He is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, the Association for Psychological Science, the New England Psychological Association, and the Eastern Psychological Association.

Agatha M. Beins is Associate Professor in Multicultural Women's and Gender Studies at Texas Woman's University. She is editor of the online open-access journal Films for the Feminist Classroom and coeditor of the anthology Women's Studies for the Future: Foundations, Interrogations, Politics.

Table of Contents

Preface to the Third Edition

Preface to the Second Edition

Preface to the First Edition

1 Writing in Psychology

Writing in Psychology

How Does Psychological Writing Differ from Other Kinds of Writing?

Using APA Style

Making a Credible Argument

Different Types of Communication

Written Communication

Oral Communication

Poster Presentations

Internet Publishing

Effective Communication

How to Begin

Part I Organizing and Developing Your Ideas and Writing

2 Formulating Your Ideas

Identifying Your Focal Question

Locating Relevant Sources

Recognizing Multiple Viewpoints

Ethical Writing

Scholarly Excerpt

Attempted Paraphrase

Paraphrase Rewrite

3 Assessing Your Sources

The Difference between Primary and Secondary Literature

The Difference between Popular and Scholarly Sources

Who is the Author?

Who is the Audience?

In what Kind of Journal did your Source Appear?

What Additional Features Does the Source Have?

Evaluating Sources

Evaluating Internet Sources

4 How to Conduct a Literature Search

Understanding Library Resources

Using Search Engines

Academic Journals

Library Books

Other Library Resources

Using Article Databases

Using the Internet

Using Sources to Find Sources

5 How to Read and Summarize a Journal Article

An Overview of the Research—the Abstract

Identifying the Issues—Introduction Section

Understanding What Was Done—Method Section

Subjects and Participants

Apparatus and Materials


What Happened—Results Section

What It Means—Discussion Section

Where the Ideas Originated—References Section

Figuring Out What It Means

6 Organizing a Paper


Using the Work of Others to Support Your Argument

Sources: Credibility and Tone

Sources: Quoting, Paraphrasing, and Summarizing

Editing and Revising


Development and Support



7 Elements of Style

Recognizing the Importance of Grammar and Style

Choosing Effective Wording

Using Inclusive and Appropriate Language

Deciding on the Use of Technical Language

Avoiding Common Problems

Apostrophe Use

Pronoun Use

Verb Forms


Specific Word Use

8 Communicating Statistics

Why Do We Use Statistics?

What Point Are You Trying to Make?

Understanding Your Numbers

Helping Readers Understand Your Statistics

Differentiating Results and Interpretation

Part II Preparing APA-Style Papers

9 Writing a Thesis or a Term Paper

Developing Your Idea

Filling a gap

Building on a Particular Study or Studies

Exploring Competing Theories

Reviewing Published Work

Organizing Your Paper Around the Central Questions

Finding Different Perspectives About Your Idea

Developing the Logic of Your Argument

10 The Introduction Section

Introducing the Topic

Different Approaches to Starting the Introduction

Identifying the Scope, Success, and Limitations of Previous Research

Citing an Actual Event

Creating a Fictional Scenario

Presenting a Statistic

Citing a Quotation

Describing Common Occurrences

How to Begin

Reviewing What Others Have Done

Reasons for Reviewing the Literature

Clarifying Terms in the Research

Introducing Your Research: Generating a Hypothesis

11 The Method Section

Participants and Subjects

Human Participants

Confidentiality of Participants

Nonhuman subjects


Materials and Apparatus



12 The Results Section

Your Hypotheses

Deciding What to Present

Reporting Significant and Nonsignificant Results

Marginally Significant Effects

APA Style and Presentation of Your Results

Creating Tables

Creating Figures

The Connection between the Text and the Tables and Figures

The Difference between Results and Discussion Sections

Some Final Points About Presenting Results

13 The Discussion Section

Summarizing Your Results

Connecting Different Aspects of Your Results

Dealing with Nonsignificant Results

Comparing Your Results with Those of Others

Stating the Importance and Implications of Your Results

Acknowledging the Limitations of Your Study

14 References Citations in the Text and the Reference List

Citing References in the Text

Citing One or Two Authors

Citing Sources with More Than Two Authors

Citing Personal Communications

Citing Multiple Sources within Parentheses

Order of Citations in the Reference List

Using Your Word Processing Program to Create the Citation

Examples of How Different Types of References Should Be Laid Out in a Reference List

Examples of Different Types of Citations in the Reference List

Articles in Periodicals

References Involving Books

Online Content

Website with No Author

Online Encyclopedia Entry

Online Book

News Outlet

Blog Post


15 Final Touches: The Abstract and Formatting Details

The Abstract

Formatting Details

Part III Communicating Beyond the Research Paper

16 Creating Poster Presentations

Differentiating Visual and Written Communication

Reducing the Amount of Information

Visual Style

Your Behavior: The Ethic of a Poster Session


Covering Your Poste

Creating Your Poster Using PowerPoint®

17 Giving Oral Presentations

The Difference between Oral and Written English

Adapting APA Style to Oral Presentations

Preparing for Your Presentation

Creating Graphics for Your Presentation

Giving the Presentation

18 Presenting Your Work on the Internet

New Capabilities with Internet Publication

Using a Word Processor to Create Manuscripts for the Internet

Inserting Images

Advantages of Internet Publishing Software

Publishing Your Poster on the Internet

Uploading Your Manuscript to the Internet

19 Submitting Your Plan to an Ethics Committee

Ethical Standards in Research

Writing a Proposal for an Institutional Review Board for Research

with Human Subjects

What the Participants Will Actually Do

Description of Subject Participation

Risks and How You Will Deal With Them

Risk-Benefit Analysis

Benefits of the Study

Informed Consent

Writing a Proposal for the Institutional Animal Care and

Use Committee (IACUC) for Animal Research

Appendix A Example of APA-Style Manuscript with Common Errors

Appendix B Corrected APA-Style Manuscript


Author Index

Subject Index

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