Writing in Psychology

Course Details

Course Number
Section Number
Spring 2011
Prothro-Yeager Hall
Classroom Number
PY 101
Days & Times

Professor: Michael A. Vandehey, Ph.D.                                  Office: O’donohoe 112

Office Hours: MWF 9:00-10:55; TR 8:30-10:25        Phone: 397-4026

Class Time: TR 12:30-1:50                                          Location: PY 101

Dr. Michael A. Vandehey (view Profile)

Course Attachments


Course Objectives



1. Become experts at APA 6th Edition writing style.

            a. Please go to a variety of helpful suggestions on APA 6th Ed.


2. Develop library skills including microfilm/microfiche, stacks, online retrieval, and interlibrary loan.


3. Possess excellent organizational skills for starting, writing, and editing a paper.

            a. Initial outline

            b. Organizing sources

            c. Integrating sources

            d. Writing introductions and discussions


4. Become aware of common writing errors and how to edit them out of one’s paper.

Course Expectations

Initial paper(20 points): Students will write a three-page APA style paper with three sources, a title page, and a reference section. This is due by the second week of class.


Library sources (10 points): Each person is responsible for turning in the following 7 peer-reviewed sources: Interlibrary loan article, Internet retrieved article, microfilm, microfiche, article from the MSU stacks, one book chapter, one source from the “reference section,” and 1 non-peer reviewed source from a suitable website (e.i., .org, .edu, or .gov). Wikipedia does not count as a source in this class.   


Outline via headings(10 points): Students will generate an outline with appropriate APA levels of headings. Under each heading, source identifiers will be written in. This will organize the paper for the writer and reader.


Editing for common errors (20 points for individual and group editing): First, students will use editing symbols to identify problems in each other’s work. Students will turn in an edited paper and the editor will receive a grade. Editors must use a red pen. I will use a green pen. (Note: the person writing the paper does not get a grade at this time). Second, students will bring thumb drive with paper on it. We will edit the paper in class. Attendance sheets will be signed and credit given for group participation.  


Editing midterm(40 points):  A finished paper will be handed out. Students must mark the paper for: (a) APA style, and (b) readability. Students should be able to evaluate the title page, headings, citations in the text, and the reference page. Poorly written sentences should be identified for correction.


Final paper(100 points): Students will turn in the paper two times for a grade. The corrected rough draft will be turned in after editing has been complete. This will allow for a pre-read by me. Editing symbols will be used and the student must identify the exact problem and correct it. Multiple “genuine” rewrites are possible. The paper shall have a title page, abstract, body (10 typed pages), and reference page (minimum 10 references-no more than 2 from the internet).

Grading Standards

The final product will be turned in the last day of class and graded on: (a) APA style, (b) readability, and (c) quality of information. 


200 pointsare possible and grade ranges are as follows:


A = 180-200

B = 160-179

C = 140-159

D = 120-139

F = 119 or lower

Final Exam

05/05/2011 12:30

Submission Format Policy

*The psychology department will keep an electronic record of your written assignments for accreditation purposes. All papers must be turned in electronically ( Either use Microsoft Word or WordPerfect Corel:


Please title all files with: firstname.lastname.CWID#.psyc####.semester.year.typeofproduct

Note: You may not submit a paper for a grade in this class that already has been (or will be) submitted for a grade in another course, unless you obtain the explicit written permission of me and the other instructor involved in advance.

Late Paper Policy

Make-up Policy:Make-up exams will be essay in nature and can be scheduled with me. I need one week to prepare the exam; thus, the earliest a make-up exam can be taken is one week after the initial exam. See 2010-2012 Student Handbook and Activities Calendar on Class Attendance Policy (pg. 77-78).

Plagiarism Policy

Plagiarism is the use of someone else's thoughts, words, ideas, or lines of argument in your own work without appropriate documentation (a parenthetical citation at the end and a listing in "Works Cited")-whether you use that material in a quote, paraphrase, or summary. It is a theft of intellectual property and will not be tolerated, whether intentional or not.

Student Honor Creed

As an MSU Student, I pledge not to lie, cheat, steal, or help anyone else do so."

As students at MSU, we recognize that any great society must be composed of empowered, responsible citizens. We also recognize universities play an important role in helping mold these responsible citizens. We believe students themselves play an important part in developing responsible citizenship by maintaining a community where integrity and honorable character are the norm, not the exception.

Thus, We, the Students of Midwestern State University, resolve to uphold the honor of the University by affirming our commitment to complete academic honesty. We resolve not only to be honest but also to hold our peers accountable for complete honesty in all university matters.

We consider it dishonest to ask for, give, or receive help in examinations or quizzes, to use any unauthorized material in examinations, or to present, as one's own, work or ideas which are not entirely one's own. We recognize that any instructor has the right to expect that all student work is honest, original work. We accept and acknowledge that responsibility for lying, cheating, stealing, plagiarism, and other forms of academic dishonesty fundamentally rests within each individual student.

We expect of ourselves academic integrity, personal professionalism, and ethical character. We appreciate steps taken by University officials to protect the honor of the University against any who would disgrace the MSU student body by violating the spirit of this creed.

Written and adopted by the 2002-2003 MSU Student Senate.

Students with Disabilities

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal anti-discrimination statute that provides comprehensive civil rights protection for persons with disabilities. Among other things, this legislation requires that all students with disabilities be guaranteed a learning environment that provides for reasonable accommodation of their disabilities. If you believe you have a disability requiring an accommodation, please contact the Disability Support Services in Room 168 of the Clark Student Center, (940) 397-4140.

Safe Zones Statement

The professor considers this classroom to be a place where you will be treated with respect as a human being - regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, political beliefs, age, or ability. Additionally, diversity of thought is appreciated and encouraged, provided you can agree to disagree. It is the professor's expectation that ALL students consider the classroom a safe environment.

Contacting your Instructor

All instructors in the Department have voicemail in their offices and MWSU e-mail addresses. Make sure you add your instructor's phone number and e-mail address to both email and cell phone lists of contacts.

Attendance Requirements

Travel Plans: Please do not make travel plans during finals week. The final will be given when the university has scheduled it as per the schedule of classes. Early finals will only be offered to graduating seniors with honors.

Editing for common errors (20 points for individual and group editing): First, students will use editing symbols to identify problems in each other’s work. Students will turn in an edited paper and the editor will receive a grade. Editors must use a red pen. I will use a green pen. (Note: the person writing the paper does not get a grade at this time). Second, students will bring thumb drive with paper on it. We will edit the paper in class. Attendance sheets will be signed and credit given for group participation.  

Other Policies

Note:Students with disability must be registered with Disability Support Services before classroom accommodations can be provided. Individuals requiring special accommodation may contact me after class or during office hours.

 Cell Phones and Pagers:Please turn all cell phones and pagers off (no sound) during class. DO NOT text message during class. DO NOT answer your cell phone in class. Exceptions include emergency calls (e.g., birth of child, family member in hospital). Students who are unable to comply will not be allowed to attend class.

 Cheating Policy:Any evidence of cheating on exams or quizzes will result in dismissal from this class with a grade of “F”. To avoid questions of cheating, mark Scantrons clearly, use a No. 2 pencil, and erase completely. Errors due to a poorly marked Scantron will not result in a grade change.

Writing Proficiency Requirement

All students seeking a Bachelor's degree from Midwestern State University must satisfy a writing proficiency requirement once they've 1) passed the 6 hours of Communication Core and and 2) earned 60 hours. You may meet this requirement by passing either the Writing Proficiency Exam or English 2113. Please keep in mind that, once you've earned over 90 hours, you lose the opportunity to take the $25 exam and have no option but to enroll in the three-credit hour course. If you have any questions about the exam, visit the Writing Proficiency Office website at, or call 397-4131.

Campus Carry

Senate Bill 11 passed by the 84th Texas Legislature allows licensed handgun holders to carry concealed handguns on campus, effective August 1, 2016. Areas excluded from concealed carry are appropriately marked, in accordance with state law. For more information regarding campus carry, please refer to the University’s webpage at

If you have questions or concerns, please contact MSU Chief of Police Patrick Coggins at