Psychology in the News

How to Contribute a Comment or Post

Students, colleagues, and other visitors are encouraged to contribute to this site.


All comments and posts are moderated by the site administrator (me). I will publish those that are thoughtful and original, and more or less in the universe of topics relevant to an introductory psychology course. Because the process of reading and publishing comments and posts takes time, it is quite possible that two people will submit very similar thoughts before either gets published. In that case I may choose to publish only one, or to use excerpts.

Please be patient with your moderator. I have many jobs to do, and this one will not always be at the top of the list. But if several days have gone by, you may e-mail me at


If you would like to comment on an existing post, just click comment under the post. Your comment will not appear right away, because all comments are moderated (see above).


I welcome thoughtful posts from interested readers. Send me your post as an e-mail, at Include “blog” in the subject header.

I will then publish the post on this site, with your name attached, unless you tell me to withhold your name.

Contributing Anonymously

If you would prefer not to have your name appear on a comment, type a pseudonym (like “105 student”) in the name field of the comment box. Do give your real e-mail though – this will not appear on the site, though I will see it. If you wish to contribute an anonymous post, just let me know in the e-mail to omit your name.

Citations and links

One thing I ask of all contributors is that you give credit to your sources of information. In a traditional paper, that would be accomplished by citations within the text, and a reference section at the end.  For this web-based medium, links are a great substitute for citations, when the source is linkable.  And although it may seem archaic, I still like to see a reference section at the end.


Links are simply the web address (URL) of your source.  Enclose any links in parentheses, like this: (  In a post, I will convert those into live links.  WordPress (the host) does not like <pointy brackets>, so use (parentheses) instead.  Since the site does not give a linking tool in the comments box, please enclose the links in parentheses instead.

One thing I dislike about the culture of blogs is that they seem too focused on sources that can be linked. Information not on the web is virtually ignored. I do not want that to be the case here. I would like to see references to published books and articles, even if they cannot be accessed on the web. The academic publishing world is changing quickly, but most psychology journals are only accessible on the web with a subscription, which makes them not linkable. The solution is simply to use citations and references as if this were a printed paper instead of a blog.  I do ask that all citations and references be in APA style.

APA Style for citations

The basic APA style for citing a source is to put the author’s last name and the year of publication in parenthesis, as in “(de Leeuw, 2007).” If the name is part of your sentence, only the year goes in parentheses, as in, “de Leeuw (2007) makes a case for teaching with blogs.” If you were quoting from a source, you would include the page number on which the quotation appears.. For example “de Leeuw (2007, p. 23) states that ‘blogging is a pedagogical tool.’” Or, “‘blogging is a pedagogical tool’” (de Leeuw, 2007, p. 23).” I have written a short guide to Citations and References in APA style. There is also a link in the blogroll  to the OWL (Online Writing Laboratory) at Purdue, which is a very useful site for APA style.

Instructions for Students

The following section is for students in my Introduction to Psychology course.

Students must submit comments or original posts to this site, as part of their course work. The minimum requirement is one post before the semester break, and one following the semester break, before the end of classes.

I am looking for student contributions that are thoughtful, insightful and well-written. Not every contribution will be published (see moderation, above), but a contribution does not have to be perfect to be published. It just has to add something to the conversation.

Student posts are graded.  These take the place of traditional written assignments, and of thought questions on quizzes and exams. I want you to be able to show off your thinking, and your writing skills. In this course, this is the place to do it.  Comments are not graded individually, but your overall participation via comments is graded on both quantity and quality.

I am looking for posts that are interesting, original, and based on science.  I am looking for contributions that extend the conversation in a thoughtful and intelligent way. See the pages on What Makes a Good Comment or What Makes a Good Post, for more discussion of this.


Grading is based on what I hope are tough standards. To give you an idea of my expectations, a C would indicate that you said something intelligent that was on-topic. A B would be appropriate if you said something insightful, demonstrating an understanding of both the topic and some background material. An A would say that you demonstrated superior knowledge of the topic, because you taught me something by intelligent use of more than one source, or that you explained things in a way that I thought would be helpful to other students, again by intelligent use of multiple sources.

Whether or not a contribution is actually published is not related to the grading. I will e-mail you with a grade following your submission. If you submit more that the required number of contributions, I will use your  highest grade before the break and the  highest after the break, when I calculate your total grades.

My suggestion is to start commenting without worrying too much about how your contributions will be graded. Once you get some feedback, you can start to put some effort toward getting the grade that you want. If you start commenting early in the semester, you will be able to make more than the required number of contributions, so those early posts won’t have to count toward your final grade.

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