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Psychology: PSY 211

Sample Source Article

Wade, K. A., Garry, M., Read, J. D., & Lindsay, D. S. (2002). A picture is worth a thousand lies: Using false photographs to create false childhood memories. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 9(3), 597-603.

Thesis Statement

Tips for creating a thesis statement 

  • An analytical paper breaks down an issue or an idea into its component parts, evaluates the issue or idea, and presents this breakdown and evaluation to the audience.
  • Your thesis statement should be specific—it should cover only what you will discuss in your paper and should be supported with specific evidence. Try the "Claim + Reason" method -- state your main point followed by why it is important and what the reader can expect to learn. Be sure you have evidence to back your statement up.
  • Make sure your statement passes the "So What" test. It should engage the reader to want to read further, be within the scope of what is covered, and not just make a matter-of-fact claim.
  • The thesis statement is sometimes - though not always - at the end of the first paragraph of a paper.
  • Your topic may change as you write, so you may need to revise your thesis statement to reflect exactly what you have discussed in the paper.

Resources (Purdue's OWL & North Carolina Wesleyan College)

Finding Evidence

Develop a list of terms and concepts that will assist you in exploring your topic. Use the resources below to find related content. Remember, it is wise to utilize and address research that counters your thesis statement. A one-sided point of view adds nothing of value to further the conversation. Just be sure you have the research to support it.

Paraphrasing & Summarizing

Defining / Differentiating 

Paraphrasing involves putting a passage from source material into your own words.

Summarizing involves putting the main idea(s) into your own words, including only the main point(s).

Quoting Don't do it. Prove to the instructor that you comprehend what you're reading, and put it in your own words (even if those words don't seem "as good" as the author's).



  • Make note (in own words) of important points and main ideas.
  • Turn the article over / switch screens / don’t look at original when paraphrasing so as not to be tempted to use same/similar language.
  • Check against original. If too close, change /alter
  • IF you directly quote in your notes, put quotation marks around it and cite/ note source.

Resource (Purdue's OWL)

Evaluating Resources

The CRAAP method

Currency (When?) 
When was the article published? If the article is on a website, when was the page last updated? Are links to other sites still active?

Relevance (What?) 
Does the information relate to your topic or answer your question? Is the information at an appropriate level (i.e. not too elementary or advanced for your needs)? Have you looked at a variety of sources before determining this is one you will use?

Authority (Who?)
Who wrote the article? What are the credentials of the author? How can I find out more about the author?

Accuracy (Where?)
Is the information supported by evidence? Has the information been reviewed or refereed? Can you verify any of the information in another source? Are there spelling, grammar or typographical errors?

Purpose / Bias  (Why?)
What is the purpose of the periodical? What does the author say is the purpose of the article? Is the article objective or is only one point of view presented? Does the language or tone seem unbiased and free of emotion?

Subject Guide

Anna Liss Jacobsen's picture
Anna Liss Jacobsen

Office Hours

Please email me or use the above automated appointment scheduler. I also hold regular drop-in office hours during the Spring and Fall semesters.

Psychology Building: CPI
Mondays: 9 a.m. - noon
Tuesdays: noon - 3 p.m.
B.E.S.T. Library
219C Laws Hall