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Principles of Psychology

This guide can be used for PSYC201, PSYC315


  • Browse through psychology magazines and journals to see what catches your eye.
  • Always read over the research assignment and consult the instructor when deciding upon a topic. 
  • Consider what type of psychology subfield you would like to work in.
  • Think about interesting psychology-related stories you have seen in the news lately. Brainstorm a topic related to those.


Spencer, Brett. “Library Guides: Applied Psychology Virtual Library: Brainstorm a Topic and Keywords.” Applied Psychology Virtual Library - Library Guides at Penn State University, Penn State University Libraries, 12 Sept. 2017,


A step-by-step guide to starting your research

Getting Started contains steps and guides to help you start your research on any topic.

Follow the guides in this sequence:

  1. Mapping your Ideas
  2. Picking your Topic
  3. Finding Keywords
  4. Combining Keywords (Search Logic)
  5. Information Sources
  6. Is it a Reliable Source?



   This video is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 United States license.__Published August 2013
From NCSU Libraries Video Tutorials:



Adapted from the materials created by The University of Auckland Library, NZ.

This video is covered by a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-ShareAlike license.

   This video is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 United States license.__Published August 2013
From NCSU Libraries Video Tutorials:


Why it is important to cite...

  1. Avoid the serious charge of plagiarism. 
  2. By referring (or citing) the works and opinions of scholars and specialists you give credibility and authority to your own arguments.
  3. By citing the most important scholars or specialists in a field, you can show that you have understood and researched your topic correctly.
  4. Providing references allows your professors to find the sources you used to support your arguments.
  5. By acknowledging and engaging with the works and opinions of others, you  become part of the academic conversation.