UICPsychology 242; Research in Psychology
Dr. David J. McKirnan

The Paper Assignment: Research Citations


Paper questions

Your teaching assistant (TA) will be able to answer many questions about citations. 

A guide to American Psychological Association style, including electronic citations (web sites, URLs, etc.) is here.

Several discussion groups are dedicated to the paper: be sure to be prepared for them and ask lots of questions if you have never written a paper like this.

Key links:

Paper requirements

The overall paper structure

Frequently asked questions

a) The reference page
The references on your reference page should look like this:

Author's last name, first initial, middle initial. (year published). Title of article.  Title of Journal, volume ##, pp. of article.

Adler, N. & Matthews, K. (1994).  Health Psychology: Why do some people get sick and some stay well?  Annual Review of Psychology, 45, 229-259.

Only the first word of the article title is capitalized; every word of the journal title is capitalized.  On the reference page list every author for each article. The references should be in alphabetical order by first author, and chronological order if an author has more than one article.

b) Citing references in your text
There are 3 ways to cite a reference in the text: 1) non-quote citations, 2) exact quotes of less than 40 words, and 3) exact quotes of 40 words or more.

1. Non-quote citations. You must have several general citations in your paper. Use these citations when you state something that is not your own original idea or work, such as stating what another researcher found in the area you are discussing. To get an idea of how and when to cite references (it's often hard to know just when to reference an article), look at your articles and see how those authors did it. Every article you cite in the text must be given on the reference page, and every article on your reference page must be cited in the text.
The general format is the authors' last names, and the year. The authors' names may be part of the text, in which case the year is given in parentheses and you use the word "and" between the last and second to last author. Alternately, the authors' names and year may be in parentheses, using an ampersand. For example:

"...Adler and Matthews (1994) argued some time ago that psychological factors are critical to health..."
"...for some time different authors (e.g., Adler & Matthews, 1994) have argued that psychological factors are critical to health..."

If the article has two authors, write both into the citation every time, as above. If the article has 3-5 authors, write them all in the first time you cite that article - e.g. (Jason, Barnes, & Keys, 1996). After that, each time you cite that article, write the 1st author and "et al." - e.g. (Jason et al., 1996). If an article has 6 or more authors, you can just write in the 1st author and "et al." from the beginning. Remember, though, this is for citations in the text. For the reference page, you have to list the all authors, even if an article has fifteen of them.

2. Brief quotes. For direct quotes of less than 40 words, put the text in quotation marks and cite the paper as above, but add the page number:

"Psychological variables are clearly important to physical health" (Adler & Matthews, 1994, p. 45).

3. Longer quotes. For direct quotes of 40 or more words, do not use quotation marks - indent the entire quote and put the quote citation after the text. You are not required to have any direct quotes in your paper, and you should never have more than one or two. Only use a direct quote when the author has said something in such a way that you couldn't possibly improve upon it, or when the author's word choice it critical. Frequently using direct quotes says to the reader that you don't really understand the material.

C) Referencing books:
There are two ways to reference books and book chapters, depending upon whether the book was written by one person, or is an edited volume with chapters written by different people. For the first type of book you cite the entire book, not the particular chapter you read. It looks like this:

Author's last name, 1st initial., middle initial [continue this if multiple authors]. (year published). Title._ City, State where published: Publishing company.

Agresti, A (1990).  Categorical Data Analysis. New York, NY: John Wiley and Sons.

For a book where the chapters are written by separate people and you are only referencing one particular chapter, use this format:

Author's last name, 1st initial., middle initial [of the author or authors of the chapter you are referencing]. (year published). Title of chapter. In: 1st initial and last name of editor or editors, (Ed.), Title of Book. City, State where published: Publishing company. Page numbers.

Bandura, A. (1991).  Self-efficacy mechanism in physiological activation and health promoting behavior.  In: J. Madden, (Ed.), Neurobiology of Learning, Emotion, and Affect. New York: Raven Press.  Pp. 229-269.

As with journal articles, only the first word of the chapter title is capitalized, but every word of the book title is capitalized.

D) Other materials:

Newspaper Article from the Web.

Author (year, date). Title.  Journal/paper, download date, Url.

Klienfield, N.R. (2006, June 12). In Diabetes, One More Burden for the Mentally Ill.  New York Times, downloaded 6/1206 from http://www.nytimes.com/2006/06/12/health/12diabetes.html.



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