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Psychology: PSYC1010 Essay Assessment

A Library Guide to Psychology resources for students and staff of the University of Newcastle

Hello PSYC1010 Students, Welcome to the Help Guide!

School of Psychology

This guide provides library resources to support your Essay assignment.

Before you start, it is strongly recommended that you:

  • read the Assignment Instructions in your Canvas course site
  • read the Marking Rubric for the assignment in your Canvas course site

1. Get Started with Your Topic and Research Questions

Before you start looking for information for your assignment, it is important to analyse your topic and questions. Think about:

  • What the question means and how you should go about answering it.
  • How much information do you need?
  • What kind of information have you been asked to use?
  • Are there any limiters such as time or geographic locations?

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?

2. Know the Search Tips

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

3. Use Library Search to find Books and Articles

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.

  • Can you find the full text of all the readings by their title?
  • What can you do if you can’t find the full text by the Article Title? 
  • Do you know the Cite tool can help you format your article in APA style? Is it 100% accurate?
  • Need help? Ask the library

4. Find Journal Articles Using Databases

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


Psychology and Behavioral Sciences Collection (EBSCO)

ScienceDirect Journals

5. Snowball Search with Google Scholar

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.

  • Looking at the bibliography on the document to find more titles published on the same topic 
  • Using databases or Google scholar to find other article citing this document. 

Watch the video below and try a snowball search in Google Scholar using the doi:10.1352/1944-7558-124.3.191. How many articles citing this publication?

Christopher Neuhaus: Snowball Forward - Finding Related Articles

6. Evaluate Your Sources Using TRAAP

  • Locating sources appropriate for university assignments takes time and critical evaluation.
  • Understanding how to evaluate information should make it easier for you to choose sources for your assessments.

Watch the following video on evaluating your sources with the TRAAP method. 

For more information see our Resource Evaluation Tool

7. Reference in the APA 7th Style

  • This assignment is a formal piece of writing that should adhere to APA guidelines.  
  • The APA referencing style is an author-date style. It uses short in-text citations, with full details in the reference list.
  • The reference list should be located at the end of your essay arranged in alphabetical order with hanging indent.
  • Visit the Library Guide to APA style for more details.
  • Watch the video below and see the example reference list in APA 7th style


American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders DSM-5 (5th ed.). American Psychiatric Association.

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.

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.

Colman, A. M. (2015). A dictionary of psychology (4th ed.). Oxford University Press.

Davidson, G., Sanson, A., & Gridley, H. (2000). Australian psychology and Australia's Indigenous people: Existing and emerging narratives. Australian Psychologist, 35(2), 92-99.

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.

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.

(Note: all items on the list above are available online)

8. Read Effectively for Your Research

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

PALSonline: Reading and note making

9. Write Your Essay

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.