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A Self-Scoring Exercise On APA Style, Research Language, and Referencing for Undergraduate Students
Based on examples provided by 27 graduate psychology faculty, this self-test incorporates many of the more common errors in style, language, and referencing found in student papers. Taking this self-test helps students to recognize common errors and encourages them to refer the APA Publication Manual on a regular basis. In addition, students begin to think about how to use correctly the language of psychological research. This self-test should take about 30 minutes to complete and score. It is composed of three parts: a) a mock Discussion section, where students are asked to act as editors and find the errors, p. 2 (10 minutes). b) a corrected Discussion section, where students find the errors they missed, p. 3 (5 minutes) and, c) a full description of each error with illustrations of correct usage, pp. 4-7 (15 minutes). This exercise assumes some knowledge of APA style. Thus, it is best-suited for advanced undergraduates who need to write research reports and all levels of graduate students. It may be taken at home or in class. Although the self-test is designed to be fully self-directed, instructors may wish to use it at the beginning or end of a classroom discussion on APA style. It could also be used in a pre-test-post-test fashion to evaluate students learning over the course of a term.

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