Sunday, August 29, 2010

here's your APA guide

It is Sunday.

A Sunday during school, which translates to "Homeworkday" in Schoolese.

This semester I am in a class called PSYC 410: Family Issues and Child Development; a special topics class that will henceforth be referred to as "Famish" because the name is really long. This topic is so special that it doesn't even have a book about it. I mean, there's bound to be one book about this topic somewhere, but regardless, my prof did not asssign a text. Cha. Ching.
However, that does mean that we will be responsible for reading several articles "in the field" (not in a grassy meadow or anything, just articles from various Psychology journals. such is life). For those of you unfamiliar with journal articles (or those of you who are too familiar) I will shed some light:
  • They are boring. Hear me out. The topic itself may be riveting, and I find they often are very interesting areas of study, but the format of each one screams "Don't read me! Use me as a coaster!" They trick you in psychology text books by inserting pie charts or pictures of laughing children, but when it comes to academic reading and writing, all the cutesy stuff is left at the door.
  • Academic writing usually tells you something you already know, just in more unnecessarily exact terms. Today I read an article about resilience in children (The Development of Competence in Favorable and Unfavorable Environments: Lessons From Research on Successful Children. Masten & Coastsworth 1998.) and read sentences like this: "...friends may provide emotional support. ...At the same time, however, friends may encourage deviant behavior." Really? NO WAY.
  • While reading in APA style, you have to deal with the citations at the end of every sentence. Example: "Such activities may also serve to facilitate involvement in conventional social networks, which could then promote acheivement or rule-abiding conduct (Csikszentmihalyi, Rathunde & Whalen 1993; McNeal 1995)." However, there could still be risks, and long term effects still in question (Boring, Uppity & Hartopronouce 1997; Talkstoomuchabouthisphd, 1992).
  • I've decided I am in the right field to have a mildly weird, unpronounceable name. Some examples from today's reading (in APA style) are: Csikszentmihalyi, Rathunde & Whalen, Luthar & Zigler, Cicchetti, Rogosh, Galbraith & Espeland, Kellam and Rebok, and many many more.
there. a picture of a brain so you won't get bored.

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