"Expressed emotion (EE) refers to the amount of hostility, criticism, or overinvolve-
ment by family members directed toward the patient."
Also, be sure to define your specific intended usage of terms that may have multiple meanings or con-
notations. (The word aggression has one meaning for sports psychologists, a different meaning for psy-
chopathologists, and still a different meaning for animal psychologists. Its specific meaning in your paper
should be defined.)
"Aggression,for the purposes of this paper, is defined as any case of unprovoked attack
(hitting, biting, or kicking) upon another child."
DON'T overuse direct quotations. Remember that while quotations from experts may be consid-
ered "evidence" in many liberal arts disciplines, the opinions of others are not considered evi-
dence in scientific fields. Direct quotations interfere with the flow of ideas and should be used
sparingly. Beginning writers in psychology often flood their papers with direct quotations from
Seidman et al (1997) have stated that for ADHD "the impact on society is enormous in
terms of financial cost,stress to families, disruption in schools, and its potential for lead-
ing to criminality and substance abuse" (p. 150).
DO rephrase and summarize the important points of other writers (properly cited, of course!) in
your own words. Paraphrasing improves the flow of ideas.
Seidman and his colleagues (1997) suggested that the social impact of ADHD is enor-
mous, including financial costs, family stress, school disruption, and the potential for
criminal behavior and substance abuse.
DON'T use footnotes or endnotes . The interruption of shifting one's eyes to the bottom of the
page or (worse!) to the end of the paper to read a note detracts from the orderly flow of ideas.
DO incorporate footnote material directly into the body of the paper. The APA guideline is: if it
is important enough to include in the paper, put it in the body of the text. If it is not important
enough, delete it altogether!
DON'T include more than one idea per paragraph. If you have a paragraph that takes up an entire
page (double-spaced), check to see if it includes two or more ideas that can be divided.
DO keep paragraphs and sentences relatively short. Shorter sentences and paragraphs promote
clarity. As a rule you should have 2-3 paragraphs per page. Sentences should contain no more
than 15-20 words. You may intersperse shorter sentences, but avoid sentences as long as 30
A TF's GUIDE TO TEACHING WRITING FOR PSYCHOLOGY