A TF's GUIDE TO TEACHING WRITING FOR PSYCHOLOGY
DON'T use vague pronouns. If your reader must retrace the previous sentence to determine
whether "he"refers to the participant or the experimenter of a study you are describing, then
clarity has been compromised.
DO check your pronouns. Make sure that each pronoun in your manuscript has an obvious ref-
erent. One good rule is to replace all simple pronouns (this, that, these, those) with the appro-
priate noun or noun phrase.
This indicates that creativity and IQ may be correlated.
The results of this study indicate that creativity and IQ may be correlated.
DON'T use present tense. As a rule present tense use is discouraged and is used only when
describing currently-held theories.
Ramirez (1993) presents the same results.
DO use past tense. Past tense is preferred for actions that have already occurred.
Ramirez (1993) presented the same results.
DON'T write a single draft of your paper. No one can write a good paper in one draft!
DO revise and edit your paper! Revise, proofread,and then revise and proofread again! Here are
some strategies for improving the quality of your paper:
Lay it aside for 48 hours and then reread it. You will see many areas for improvement
that were not apparent to you during the initial writing.
Read it out loud. It is often easier to hear (rather than see) sections that are unclear or
Give a copy to a friend (but be sure to proofread it first!). Then don't argue if the friend
finds a section that is unclear. By definition, if it is unclear to your reader then it is
Use the writing Center in the Barker Center.
Pre-scheduled conferences with trained peer tutors are offered Monday through Friday
during the day; drop-in hours are offered from 7 - 9PM in Room 209 at Hilles Library.
(During the week,you need to arrive no later than 8PM to guarantee a slot.)
You are also welcome to drop in during the day, and,if one of the tutors is free, he or
she will gladly meet with you at that time.
Don't get too attached to a particular phrase, sentence, or paragraph. You have to be
able to edit out anything, no matter how cleverly-worded, that does not advance your