Now updated to reflect the changes made from the 5th to the 6th edition of the Publication Manual, this book takes the reader step-by-step through:

  • crafting research questions or theses
  • executing library database searches
  • analyzing, evaluating, and synthesizing literature
  • drafting specific parts of a paper
  • and more

Writing samples, including two full-length student papers in draft, marked-up, and final form, illustrate key concepts such as how to synthesize literature, how revision differs from editing, and how to recognize and avoid plagiarism. Guidance on how to communicate with instructors on a professional level is given, and the book shows examples of checklists and grading rubrics instructors might use.

A self-quiz to engage the reader's knowledge of APA style and format is also included, as well as example reference formats and other quick-reference style tools.

Table of Contents



  1. Why Psychology Students (and Not Just English Majors) Have to Write
  2. Starting Your Paper: Finding the Thread of Your Story
  3. Extracting the Useful Nuggets From a Literature Search
  4. How to Write Your Psychology Paper With Style: General Tips
  5. Bringing the Audience Up to Speed With Literature Reviews
  6. Telling an Original Story Through a Research Paper
  7. The Rest of the Story: Title, Abstract, References, and Tables
  8. Reshaping Your Story for Different Audiences: Other Types of Writing in Psychology



About the Author

Author Bio

R. Eric Landrum, PhD, is a professor of psychology at Boise State University, Idaho. He received his PhD in cognitive psychology (with an emphasis in quantitative methodology) from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, in 1989. His research interests center on the study of educational issues, identifying those conditions that best facilitate student success (broadly defined).

He has made over 200 professional presentations at conferences and has published 17 books or book chapters and over 60 professional articles in scholarly, peer-reviewed journals. His work has appeared in journals such as Teaching of Psychology, College Teaching, Educational and Psychological Measurement, Journal of College Student Development, College Student Journal, and Psychological Reports.

He has worked with more than 200 undergraduate research assistants and in 16 years at Boise State, he has taught over 10,000 students.

Dr. Landrum is the coeditor and author of two chapters in Protecting Human Subjects: Departmental Subject Pools and Institutional Review Boards (1999) and lead author (with Stephen F. Davis) of The Psychology Major: Career Options and Strategies for Success (3rd ed., 2007).

He is a member of APA (fellow; Division 2, Society for the Teaching of Psychology), the Midwestern Psychological Association, and the Rocky Mountain Psychological Association.

He is an award-winning teacher (Associated Students of Boise State University Outstanding Faculty Member Award, 1994 and 2005; Boise State University Foundation Scholars Outstanding Teacher Award, 2002) and researcher (Social Sciences & Public Affairs Tenured Research Award, 2004).

At Boise State University, Dr. Landrum teaches courses in General Psychology (in the classroom and online), Introduction to the Psychology Major, Statistical Methods, Research Methods, and Psychological Measurements. He has served as national president of the Council of Teachers of Undergraduate Psychology and works with Psi Chi both locally and regionally. He served as department chair from 1996–2000 and again from 2005–2006.