Analyzing Journal of Personality and Social Psychology

When looking for literature to cite in your proposal, make sure that your sources meet the following criteria:


  1. Your sources have to represent research published in communication journals or those of related disciplines. Having some citations come from related fields (such as psychology, sociology, political science, or feminist studies) is acceptable. However, the majority of your sources must come from the field of communication.
  2. Your sources have to come from peer-reviewed journals: When selecting a database to search for articles, you often time have an option to select only peer-reviewed journals.
  3. Using books and chapters is acceptable; however, those books and chapters have to be research-oriented and cite empirical research backing claims up. Some good indications that a book is research-oriented:
  • It’s published by a university press or an academic publishing house.
  • It’s got an extensive reference list at the end of the book, or at the end of each chapter.
  • It’s geared toward advanced scholarship in a specific area (i.e., not a textbook).

Good sources example:

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Analyzing Journal of Personality and Social Psychology
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Journal of Communication

Journal of Personality and Social Psychology

American Political Science Review

Bowling Alone by Robert Putnam

The Psychology of Attitudes by Eagly and Chaiken

Not good sources examples:

Newsweek, Time, etc.

Wikipedia, random web sites

Popular Mechanics

A two-page review of the book in a journal

Questions of Communication: A Practical Introduction by Anderson and Ross

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