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PSYC208-17B

Contact your Subject Librarian for help: Jillene Bydder

Available in K2.11 at drop-in hours  or by appointment

Worksheet for PSYC208-17B

Reviewing the research literature and writing in APA style

APA stands for American Psychological Association. What is APA style? Well, it's both the APA referencing style, in other words how to tell other people how to find the sources of your information, and the style rules for setting out what you've written. The APA referencing style is used by other social sciences but not every subject area has to use the APA formatting style rules. However, we do!

We will cover

What is a literature review?

Why do a literature review?

How to start a literature review

  • Quality Information - why use our databases?
  • Library Search
  • Useful search terms
  • Choosing a research methodology?
  • Finding books and online books
  • Finding journal articles using Library Search
  • Using databases: PsycINFO and Web of Science
  • Using Google Scholar
  • Finding government document

Then we will look at: :

Writing up and Formatting in APA style

Referencing in APA style

Information quality

Slide showing dodgy information

We spend ? on database subscriptions - why?

Predatory publishers - be careful out there!

Literature Reviews

What is a literature review?

See Moodle for the latest version of Research Methods in Psychology: See Chapter 2.3.

Reviewing the research literature means finding, reading, and summarizing the published research relevant to your question.
An empirical research report written in American Psychological Association (APA) style always includes a written literature
review, but it is important to review the literature early in the research process for several reasons.

  • It can help you turn a research idea into an interesting research question.
  • It can tell you if a research question has already been answered.
  • It can help you evaluate the interestingness of a research question.
  • It can give you ideas for how to conduct your own study.
  • It can tell you how your study fits into the research literature. (p. 36)

What Is the Research Literature? The research literature in any field is all the published research in that field.   (p.36)

How do literature reviews form part of a Research Report?

"The introduction consists of an opening that presents the research question, a literature review that
describes previous research on the topic
, and a closing that restates the research question and comments on
the method. The literature review constitutes an argument for why the current study is worth doing" (Paul C. Price, Rajiv S. Jhangiani, I-Chant A. Chiang, & Jaimie F. Veale, p. 181-182).

Useful Search Terms

Examples

  • methodology [your subject] e.g. methodology psychology
  • social surveys
  • social sciences statistical methods
  • social sciences research
  • social science methodology
  • research methodology
  • social sciences research methodology
  • qualitative research
  • report writing

Finding Journal articles using Library Search

Use Library Search to find articles on a topic

EXAMPLE: "self-esteem" and "academic achievement"

Subject Filters: College Students?  Self-esteem?  Academic Achievement?

Look at Journal titles: see Changes in self-esteem across the first year in college: the role of achievement goals

Finding journal articles using subject-specific databases 

PsycINFO

YOUR database!

The key to success with PsycINFO is using the APA Thesaurus, which is a list of the subject terms/headings/Index Terms assigned to articles by the APA indexers to make searching easier and more focused.

Go to the blue toolbar and click on APA Thesaurus. Type one subject at a time e.g. self-esteem in to the search box and click search. There are two boxes beside the term on the results page. The blue box with the white cross gives definitions of the term and suggests other index terms which may be useful. The blank box is for you to mark if you want to add the term to your search automatically, but let’s just write all our index terms down at the moment, as we don’t know yet how we want to structure our search. Now let’s try a search on academic to see if there’s an index term for academic achievement. Yes, there is, so we look at all the alternative Terms and make sure we've noted the ones we want to use.

Now let’s set out our search (using the Advanced Search screen).Type self-esteem in the first search box, and choose Index Term from the Any Field drop-down menu. Type academic achievement in the second search box and choose Index Term from the drop-down menu. This keeps the logic of our search right – we want both terms to be there as AND searches so that we get a nice focused result.  Click Search.

You can do OR searches but this is a bit trickier. With AND selected, type xxxxx OR (caps) xxxxx OR xxxxx etc. Leave the Any Field box as Any Field unless they are ALL Index Terms. Click Search.

On the left-hand side of the results screen there’s a navigation bar giving us all sorts of choices. We might want to choose Peer Reviewed Journal immediately. Under Index Terms, we see the other subject headings/index terms that have been assigned to the articles in our results set. We might want to choose College Students. We might want to narrow our search by Age Group, male/female (Population Group), Methodology, Tests used, etc.

Click on the title of an article that interests you. Note if it has been cited, but it may be too recent. Look at the abstract, and note Full Text from Publisher on the right which means that you can see the full text of that article by clicking the Full text link.  Scroll down till you see References. This list is the references from the articles, and the ones with the doi link will be full text as well.

If they are not linked, they are probably references to books, and if you want to see if we have these just copy and paste the title into Library Search.

Have fun, and any problems, email me.

Web of Science

This database has some unique ways of searching. We'll do a search suggested by the class

Google Scholar

Use Google Scholar from the Library Databases page so that Find@WaikatoLibrary will work for you.

Looking for a known article on Google Scholar gives you extra information. Search on Changes in self-esteem across the first year in college

Or type Doing family without having kids into the search box.

Cited by – Why is this important?

Referencing the sources of information you've used

Why?

The Concise APA handbook

APA Referencing

See the APA Referencing Style Guide

Look at the APA Style: Common Examples pages and follow the examples exactly

DEMONSTRATION: Understanding a reference. How do you know a reference is a book? How do you know a reference is a journal article?

Use the APA Style Guide to Electronic References listed under Official Style Guides/Info for any e-resources like websites

You may also like to try APA Interactive from Massey University

Software that will help (but you still need to know APA). Go to Book a tutorial (Referencing Software) if you're interested

EndNote (free while you are enrolled)

Zotero (shareware)

Now, once we know APA, let's go back to Library Search and look for this

Racism and Inequalities in Health: Notes towards an Agenda for Critical Health Psychology.

Library Search can generate a reference/citation. This one comes over as

Stephens, C. (2009). Racism and Inequalities in Health: Notes towards an Agenda for Critical Health Psychology.
Journal of Health Psychology,
14(5),655-659.

On the PDF of the article it looks like this:

Racism and Inequalities in Health

Notes towards an Agenda for Critical Health Psychology

CHRISTINE STEPHENS

Journal of Health Psychology Copyright © 2009 SAGE Publications Los Angeles, London, New Delhi, Singapore and Washington DC www.sagepublications.com Vol 14(5) 655–659 DOI: 10.1177/1359105309104907

Are these correct? Check with our Common Examples page. No! And what about this one below?  Almost there, but one thing still needed.

Stephens, C. (2009). Racism and inequalities in health: Notes towards an agenda for critical health psychology. Journal of Health Psychology, 14 (5), 655-659.

And let's look again at our quotes in the Literature Review section above.  Are they in correct APA style?

Research Methods in Psychology (See Moodle for the latest version)

Reviewing the research literature means finding, reading, and summarizing the published research relevant to your question.
An empirical research report written in American Psychological Association (APA) style always includes a written literature
review, but it is important to review the literature early in the research process for several reasons.

  • It can help you turn a research idea into an interesting research question.
  • It can tell you if a research question has already been answered.
  • It can help you evaluate the interestingness of a research question.
  • It can give you ideas for how to conduct your own study.
  • It can tell you how your study fits into the research literature.

What Is the Research Literature? The research literature in any field is all the published research in that field.   (p.36)

There are several problems here. No authors, no date of publication AND it looks as if I have written this myself because I haven't put quote marks around the quotation. But there's another problem! It's more than 40 words so I have to use the rule for a long quotation AND add authors, date and page number/s.

How do literature reviews form part of a Research Report?

This is getting slightly better but it's still not perfect.

"The introduction consists of an opening that presents the research question, a literature review that
describes previous research on the topic
, and a closing that restates the research question and comments on
the method. The literature review constitutes an argument for why the current study is worth doing" (Paul C. Price, Rajiv S. Jhangiani, I-Chant A. Chiang, & Jaimie F. Veale, pp. 181-182).

It should be like this

The introduction consists of an opening that presents the research question, a literature review that
describes previous research on the topic, and a closing that restates the research question and comments on
the method. The literature review constitutes an argument for why the current study is worth doing. (Price, Jhangiani, Chiang & Veale, 2017, pp. 181-182).

AND INDENTED! I'll show you how to create a quote style in the next section.

WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT?

Writing up and formatting in APA Style

IMPORTANT! see Research Methods in Psychology (see latest edition on Moodle, See Chapter 11.2)

APA Format in Word: in 4 minutes 

Layout

Title page

Abstract if there is one (separate page)

Introduction (Opening, Literature Review, Closing)

Method

Results

Discussion

References (separate page)

Appendices (if any) (separate page/s)

Basic formatting of a research report in Word:

File/Options/Advanced  Set inches, crop marks, merge formatting

Set margins: Page Layout tab/Margins/Normal (1 inch)

Set Normal style to Times New Roman, 12 points. HOME/Styles/Normal/Right Click/  Paragraph spaces if wanted.

View/Ruler and Navigation Pane

Set pilchro

Page breaks

Page numbering

Running title/Running head

Title page

Set two levels of Heading Styles. HOME/Styles/Heading 1/Right Click/Modify

Set Quote style HOME/Styles/Quote/Right Click/Modify

Paragraph indents