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Writing a Psychology Paper: Reading Your Assignment

Content by Sue Collins, Maintained by Ana Van Gulick

Reading Your Assignment

Before you begin, make sure you understand the following. If you are unsure of any of the below, ask your professor.

  • How long your paper should be The length of the paper often implies the number and types of resources you should use.
  • What type of resources you should use Are you expected to use certain types of sources? Or can you use anything on the Web? Any limitation to the type of Web/Internet resources you can use?
  • What type of sources you should use Are you expected to use articles AND books?
  • If a draft is due at anytime
    Drafts can give you useful feedback and prevent a total paper disaster.
  • When the final paper is due
    Knowing the due date can help you avoid late penalties or ultimate failure.
  • What format your bibliography should be in
    There are many types of formats-make sure you know which you should be using.  For Psychology, the APA Style Manual is usually the required format:  

Psychology Research Liaison Librarian

Ana E. Van Gulick, Ph.D.

Research Liaison to Psychology and BrainHub

University Libraries

Department of Psychology

Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition

Carnegie Mellon University


phone: 412-268-7311

Hunt Library 410