Social psychology (psychology)/Assessment/Essay/FAQ
When is it due? 
Mon 27/10/08 09:00
What sections should my essay have? 
Do we need an abstract? 
Yes. This will be marked as part of "Written expression". It is important, at third-year level, to be able to write a clearly written abstract for your academic writing. An abstract should clearly summarise the essay. Essay abstracts generally should be no longer than 120 words. See APA style for further information.
Can we use section headings? 
Yes; they are optional. For essays of this length, try to avoid more than about six top-level headings because this risks breaking the flow up into disjointed pieces. In general, headings can be useful for structuring and presenting your writing. However, the risk is that they can interfere with flow. Using intro and summary paragraphs to each section can help to link them together, as well providing a general introduction (no heading) and a final summary. Also note that sections with less than two paragraphs are not recommended - they are too short. It is possible to have lower-level headings (e.g., two major headings, each each with two sections), but there is no point in having a section with one sub-section.
Single or double-spacing 
Single-spacing is best for electronic; double-spacing is best for hard-copy (to allow hand-written comments).
Electronic references 
Use APA style for electronic referencing. This means no hyperlinks in the body text. Cite as per other articles, but the URL is included in the reference list. Usually this wouldn't be hyperlinked (APA style), but if its done consistently, hyperlinking would be fine and user-friendly.
How do I reference Wikipedia? 
For Wikipedia or any other electronic references, follow APA style for electronic references. The author would be Wikipedia.
When referring to a theory, how do you know whether to capitalise it or not? It's just that i have noticed that in some journal articles the name of a theory of model has been capitalized whereas in others they are in lower-case, so i was just wondering what the convention was?
Basically, if you are talking a specific theory, then you can treat it as a proper name and capitalise it, e.g., Realistic Conflict Theory. When referring a broad theory it isn't a "name", so don't use capitals, e.g., psychoanalytic theory. If in doubt, don't use capitals.