APA Paper

Posted by e-Health Sunday, December 23, 2012 0 comments

If you are taking a psychology class, it is very likely that your instructor will ask you to write an APA paper at some point. What exactly is an APA paper? It is simply a written paper that follows APA format, the official writing format of the American Psychological Association.

If you’ve never written an APA paper before, the formatting rules and guidelines can seem daunting and difficult at first. While your instructor may have other specific formatting requirements for you to follow, here are some general guidelines for how to write an APA paper.

First, start by observing some of the standard rules of APA format. Use standard-sized paper of 8.5 inches by 11 inches, and always use a 1-inch margin on all sides.

Your paper should always be typed, double-spaced and in a 12-point font. Times New Roman is one recommended font to use, but you may also use similar fonts.

Every page of your paper should also include a page header on the top left of the page as well as a page number on the top right of the page.

The exact structure of your paper will vary somewhat depending upon the type of paper you have been asked to write. For example, a lab report might be structured a bit differently that a case study or critique paper.

No matter what type of APA paper you are writing, there should be four key sections that you should always include: a title page, an abstract, the main body of the paper and a reference section.

The Title Page: Your title page should contain a running head, the title of the paper, your name and your school affiliation. Learn more in this article on how to write a title page.
The Abstract: The abstract is a very short summary of your paper. This section is placed immediately after the title page. According to the rules of APA format, your abstract should be no more than 150 to 250 words. However, your instructor may issue specific requirements about the length and content of your abstract, so always check with instructions and grading rubric provided for your APA paper. Learn more in this article on how to write an abstract.
The Main Body of Your APA Paper: The exact format of this section can vary depending upon the type of paper you are writing. For example, if you are writing a lab report, the main body will include an introduction, a method section, a results section and a discussion section. Check with your instructor for more specific information on what to include in the main body of your APA paper.
The Reference Section: The reference section is where you include any and all references that were used to write your APA paper. Remember, if you cited something in the main body of your paper, it must be included in the reference section. This section should begin on a new page, with the word “References” centered at the very top of the page. Learn more about what your reference page should look like in this example of a reference section.

While writing an APA paper may seem difficult or confusing, start by breaking it down into more manageable steps. Begin by doing your research and writing your paper, but be sure to keep a careful record of all your references. Next, write the abstract section of your paper only after you are completely finished writing your paper. Finally, put all of your references together and create a title page. Once you have completed these steps, spend a little time editing your paper reviewing your finished APA paper to be sure that all of the formatting is accurate.

If you need additional help with APA format, consider purchasing a copy of the official Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association.

American Psychological Association. (2010). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.). Washington, DC: Author.

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Psychology 101 Quiz - Introduction to Psychology Quiz

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Psychology 101, or Introduction to Psychology, is one of the most popular classes on college campuses throughout the world. Test your knowledge in basic information about psychology in this Psychology 101 quiz.

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Transformational Leadership

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Have you ever been in a group where someone took control of the situation by conveying a clear vision of the group's goals, a marked passion for the work and an ability to make the rest of the group feel recharged and energized? This person just might be what is called a transformational leader.

Transformational leadership is a type of leadership style that leads to positive changes in those who follow. Transformational leaders are generally energetic, enthusiastic and passionate. Not only are these leaders concerned and involved in the process; they are also focused on helping every member of the group succeed as well.

The concept of transformational leadership was initially introduced by leadership expert and presidential biographer James MacGregor Burns. According to Burns, transformational leadership can be seen when "leaders and followers make each other to advance to a higher level of moral and motivation." Through the strength of their vision and personality, transformational leaders are able to inspire followers to change expectations, perceptions and motivations to work towards common goals.

Later, researcher Bernard M. Bass expanded upon Burns original ideas to develop what is today referred to as Bass’ Transformational Leadership Theory. According to Bass, transformational leadership can be defined based on the impact that it has on followers. Transformational leaders, Bass suggested, garner trust, respect and admiration from their followers.

Bass also suggested that there were four different components of transformational leadership.

Intellectual Stimulation – Transformational leaders not only challenge the status quo; they also encourage creativity among followers. The leader encourages followers to explore new ways of doing things and new opportunities to learn.
Individualized Consideration – Transformational leadership also involves offering support and encouragement to individual followers. In order to foster supportive relationships, transformational leaders keep lines of communication open so that followers feel free to share ideas and so that leaders can offer direct recognition of each followers unique contributions.
Inspirational Motivation – Transformational leaders have a clear vision that they are able to articulate to followers. These leaders are also able to help followers experience the same passion and motivation to fulfill these goals.
Idealized Influence – The transformational leader serves as a role model for followers. Because followers trust and respect the leader, they emulate this individual and internalize his or her ideals.


1 Burns, J.M. (1978). Leadership. N.Y: Harper and Raw.

2 Bass,B. M,(1985). Leadership and Performance. N. Y,: Free Press.

3 Riggio, R.E. (2009, March 24). Are you a transformational leader. Psychology Today. Found online at http://blogs.psychologytoday.com/blog/cutting-edge-leadership/200903/are-you-transformational-leader

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APA Format Examples, Tips, and Guidelines

Posted by e-Health Saturday, December 22, 2012 0 comments
APA format is the official style used by the American Psychological Association and is commonly used in psychology, education, and other social sciences. Check out this gallery of examples, tips and guidelines for writing papers in APA format.

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Psychosocial Development

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Erik Erikson's theory of psychosocial development is one of the best-known theories of personality in psychology. Much like Sigmund Freud, Erikson believed that personality develops in a series of stages. Unlike Freud's theory of psychosexual stages, Erikson's theory describes the impact of social experience across the whole lifespan.

One of the main elements of Erikson's psychosocial stage theory is the development of ego identity.1 Ego identity is the conscious sense of self that we develop through social interaction. According to Erikson, our ego identity is constantly changing due to new experiences and information we acquire in our daily interactions with others. In addition to ego identity, Erikson also believed that a sense of competence motivates behaviors and actions. Each stage in Erikson's theory is concerned with becoming competent in an area of life. If the stage is handled well, the person will feel a sense of mastery, which is sometimes referred to as ego strength or ego quality.2 If the stage is managed poorly, the person will emerge with a sense of inadequacy.

In each stage, Erikson believed people experience a conflict that serves as a turning point in development. In Erikson's view, these conflicts are centered on either developing a psychological quality or failing to develop that quality. During these times, the potential for personal growth is high, but so is the potential for failure. The first stage of Erikson's theory of psychosocial development occurs between birth and one year of age and is the most fundamental stage in life.2
Because an infant is utterly dependent, the development of trust is based on the dependability and quality of the child's caregivers.
If a child successfully develops trust, he or she will feel safe and secure in the world. Caregivers who are inconsistent, emotionally unavailable, or rejecting contribute to feelings of mistrust in the children they care for. Failure to develop trust will result in fear and a belief that the world is inconsistent and unpredictable.The second stage of Erikson's theory of psychosocial development takes place during early childhood and is focused on children developing a greater sense of personal control.2
Like Freud, Erikson believed that toilet training was a vital part of this process. However, Erikson's reasoning was quite different then that of Freud's. Erikson believe that learning to control one's bodily functions leads to a feeling of control and a sense of independence.
Other important events include gaining more control over food choices, toy preferences, and clothing selection.
Children who successfully complete this stage feel secure and confident, while those who do not are left with a sense of inadequacy and self-doubt.
Next: Preschool, Middle Childhood, and Adolescence - Erikson's Stages of Psychosocial Development

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