This guide has 9 mini-sections to get you started with your Essay assignment.
Before you start, it is strongly recommended that you:
Before you start looking for information for your assignment, it is important to analyse your topic and questions. Think about:
Identifying key concepts or keywords in your assignment will help you to locate relevant information more effectively. Also think about similar concepts and alternative terms e.g. intelligence OR IQ, aboriginal OR indigenous.
These key concepts and keywords will form the basis of your search strategy.
Watch the video below on topic analysis. What are your key concepts and keywords?
Once you have identified the keywords included in your assignment question, you can think about how to use these keywords to conduct your search.
Using appropriate search techniques such as Boolean, phrase searching, and truncation can make your search more effective.
Watch the video below and try the tips in Library Search
Library Search is the University of Newcastle Library's main discovery tool. You can find books, journal articles and more by title, author or keyword.
Watch the video below on Library Search and try a title search using the titles from your "starter pack" readings.
Library journal databases are collections of journal articles. You can find the best databases for your topic on the Psychology Subject Guide.
Not sure how to use them? Watch the following videos and try your search in
Snowball search is using a key document on your topic as a starting point to find more other relevant publications by tracking down the citations.
Watch the following video on evaluating your sources with the TRAAP method.
American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders DSM-5 (5th ed.). American Psychiatric Association. https://doi.org/10.1176/appi.books.9780890425596
Burton, L. (2020). An interactive approach writing essays research reports in psychology. John Wiley & Sons.
Castell, E., Bullen, J., Garvey, D., & Jones, N. (2018). Critical reflexivity in indigenous and cross‐cultural psychology: A decolonial approach to curriculum? American Journal of Community Psychology, 62(3-4), 261-271. https://doi.org/10.1002/ajcp.12291
Cheung, K., Johns, E., Willoughby, D., & Slayen, C. (2021). The association between executive functioning, attention, and adaptive functioning among children and adolescents with prenatal alcohol exposure. Advances in Neurodevelopmental Disorders, 5(4), 431-445. https://doi.org/10.1007/s41252-021-00216-8
Colman, A. M. (2015). A dictionary of psychology (4th ed.). Oxford University Press. https://doi.org/10.1093/acref/9780199657681.001.0001
Davidson, G., Sanson, A., & Gridley, H. (2000). Australian psychology and Australia's Indigenous people: Existing and emerging narratives. Australian Psychologist, 35(2), 92-99. https://doi.org/10.1080/00050060008260330
Kremer, P., Symmons, M., & Furlonger, B. (2018). Exploring the why of psychologist misconduct and malpractice: A thematic analysis of court decision documents. Australian Psychologist, 53(5), 454-463. https://doi.org/10.1111/ap.12343
Pickles, A., McCauley, J. B., Pepa, L. A., Huerta, M., & Lord, C. (2020). The adult outcome of children referred for autism: Typology and prediction from childhood. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 61(7), 760-767. https://doi.org/10.1111/jcpp.13180
(Note: all items on the list above are available online)
You won’t be able to read everything on your topic and you don’t need to read a source from cover to cover, you need to read effectively.
Watch the video below on reading and note making for your research
This guide may help you format an APA Style student paper. However, it is for general guidance only. Depending on the requirement of your writing, different formatting specifications may be appropriate. If you are unsure, check with your lecturer. Always follow your lecturer’s instructions.
Watch the video below on Essay writing. Contact academic support for more help.