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Psychology Courses & Research

Definitions and History

Credo Reference contains hundreds of reference sources. Not all of the sources are psychology sources, however, so be sure you are not just looking at the title of the article, but where that article is coming from exactly. If I were looking for the definition or history of sport psychology, I would be much more interested in an article from a psychology encyclopedia than a general encyclopedia. 

Scholarly Journal Abstracts and Articles

Helpful hints when searching for articles within your specialty.

1. You are required to share an abstract from a scholarly journal, so be sure to limit to that source type first. BE CAREFUL: this limiter is not perfect. Watch out for editorials and book reviews, which are published in scholarly journals, but are not scholarly articles. 

2. Consider the date limiters. If the goal for these sheets is to offer information to your peers and professors about the state of this specialty, you are going to want current information.

3. For many of you, your specialty is considered a subject term in PsycINFO. If you limit your searches to include your specialty as a subject term, you will narrow your search to much more relevant options. Another option would be to narrow by classification code for which many specialty areas have a number (or set of numbers) assigned. 

4. From the abstract in PsychINFO, you can pull an APA citation, which will be a great starting point for your Reference page. You will still need to check this citation against Purdue OWL or the APA manual to make sure it's 100% correct, but it's a good jumping-off point.

Professional Associations and Organizations

Professional associations or organizations are made up of people who work in a specialty area. They can be a powerful networking tool and can offer career opportunities as you build your resume. Their websites often include current news, statistics, and reports from your field. Some information is free, while membership may offer additional information.

You can often locate the professional organization for your specialty through a calculated Google Search. Try searching for your specialty AND (organization OR association) in a Google Search. 

Google Domain Hack

Once you locate a website that appears helpful, you may have a hard time navigating their search bar. Most of these websites do not include advanced search functions, so it's hard to navigate the internal rules. 

Once you find a website that you want to use to locate specific information, use the domain search limiter tip to save you time.

For example, to search the Association of Educational Psychologists‚Äč website, add to your keyword search.

Education and Training Requirements

You may already have a graduate program or two in mind--they may be ones you are interested in attending or ones Wartburg students have gone on to attend. You may have no idea, however, which means starting by casting a broad net. This can be done through an online search or reading up on programs that have been recommended by outside sources.

The key here is to locate programs about which you are interested in knowing more and then tracing down the websites for those programs. Make sure you are looking at the graduate programs of study and aren't inadvertently on an undergraduate webpage. 


The goal for this assignment is to create a reference sheet that is beneficial to your peers and professors alike. You will be referring to a plethora of resources for this assignment. Be sure to cite each and every one. Use the APA Manual or Purdue OWL to check your sources. You will likely have lots of Website citations in addition to your encyclopedia and scholarly journal article citations.

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