Each student of the Faculty of Psychology must prepare several written works per semester. You should not only have an excellent command of the topic but also be able to arrange the paper in the right format (usually this is APA). The problem is that there are a lot of types of papers, and you should get familiarized with each. Nevertheless, we have prepared a universal structure and tips for writing psychology papers. You will also learn about the basic types of papers and how to improve your writing.
Psychology papers are used to inform the audience about a new study or experiment in the field of psychology. Students should use specific names and avoid long sentences. Ideally, you should describe complex processes in simpler words to reach the largest possible audience. Thousands of people are addicted to psychology but do not have a degree in this subject. You must make the text informative, but understandable for everyone.
What Is the Concept of Psychology Paper?
Psychology paper is a type of academic writing, that describes some research in the field of psychology. Along with this, the paper should have the correct structure and size. The logical sequence between sentences and paragraphs is especially important. In addition to understanding the topic, you must follow the instructions of the teacher and general requirements. The quality paper should contain enough references to credible sources. So, you provide a reader with the necessary data for further reading and exploring the topic.
Quality paperwork a paper and your thoughts are compulsory skills for a future psychologist. Through the paper, you must establish contact with the reader, gain his attention and trust. Remember that the research paper should develop people’s thinking, not demonstrate your deep knowledge. Use the appropriate structure to help your audience understand the topic.
Universal Structure for a Psychology Paper
The structure of work depends on the type of psychology paper. The main tasks for students are creating a literature review or an empirical paper. The first type is based on the analysis and summary of existing studies. The second type is a description of your research or experiment.
Regardless of the type, academics recommend starting with general points. In the main part, you should focus on a specific point of view and subject of research. As you move from the paper body to the conclusion, complete the analysis with the last overview of the topic. Please note that each paper should contain your view of the problem. So, you make the paper warmer and open to the reader.
The structure of the literature review
This assignment requires an analysis of existing papers on research in psychology. In addition to describing methods and experiments, you must describe your vision of the problem. Evaluate the way information is presented, the credibility and relevance of the information. When creating a literature review, use this structure:
- Introduction. Tell us what prompted you to explore this topic. For whom will your paper be useful? Are there any similar studies in that area? Explain why this topic is important and how popular it is.
- Body paragraphs. In the main part, you should focus on the main problem of research. Do some research and pick some strong points. Find credible evidence that supports the arguments. Also, find theories or studies that contradict your assumptions. Explain why your experiment is credible. Combine the argument and the proof with the conclusion that follows from this.
- Conclusion, summary, and implications. Form a conclusion, which consists of individual conclusions in the main part. Share ideas for future research on this topic. What issues remained without discussion? Summarize the assumptions you made in the introduction.
The structure of the empirical paper
This type of paper should describe your participation or forecast in the experiment. Your task is to describe the preparation and implementation of the study, the resources used and the literature. Tell us what problems you solve with the help of an experiment, and how this affects the development of the issue. You may be asked to write a report on a completed experiment or the current one. Some teachers are asking to create an empirical paper without conducting research.
Unlike the previous type, the empirical paper consists of six parts. It is recommended to present some parts with a subheading.
- Abstract. This is an excerpt from a paper that gives a clear understanding of what you will be discussing. You should place the abstract on a separate page in front of the main text. Make it concise and meaningful so that the reader understands the essence of the study.
- Introduction. The introduction should be placed on the second page, and consist of one paragraph. Tell us what motivated you to research and what issues you discussed. If you haven’t started the experiment yet, describe your plans and attitude to the problem. After reading an introduction the reader should understand the issues that will be discussed. You have to state your assumptions and create a thesis, if appropriate.
- Method. This section should explain the sequence of actions when doing research. Describe the materials and literature used. This should look like an instruction with which everyone can repeat the experiment.
- Results. Describe the results obtained during the study. Share whether they met your expectations. In this section, you should tell how you will clean up the information. You should also say about a possible error in the results.
- Discussion. Tell us what the results mean and whether they correspond to your theory. Form a conclusion by summing up the results. If some results contradict your theory, explain the possible reasons. Make assumptions about future research on this topic.
- References. Like an abstract, the list of references must be placed on a separate page. Create a list of references and add data for further reading. Make the text in APA format, paying attention to the requirements for citation and formation of references.
Useful Tips to Improve Your Psychology Paper
Knowing the structure, you can already count on a high score. However, we have compiled important tips that will help you improve the paper and get a higher mark.
- Write an outline. Write a paper structure and fill out each paragraph with sample information. So you can understand what approximate volume the paper will have and how to work with it. Using an outline, you will not forget to add critical elements to your psychology paper.
- Research the topic. Make sure you have enough evidence to support your arguments. Analyze the topic to come up with strong statements.
- Check the sequence of your ideas and thoughts. Each next sentence should continue the idea of the previous one. If you do not notice discrepancies, ask a friend or specialist to check the paper.
- Do not complicate. You do not want to read astronomical forecasts based only on terms and formulas. Consider that the potential reader did not study psychology professionally. Make it easy to read and comprehensible to anybody.
- Use brainstorming. You can always reduce the volume by choosing the strongest ideas and arguments. If you find inspiration, write whatever comes to your mind.
- Avoid long sentences and questions. Ask only rhetorical questions to prompt the reader to the following sentences.
Types of Topics for Your Psychology Paper
If your teacher did not provide you with the topic, you have to choose it yourself. Let’s talk about types of topics, that are suitable for each level of education. If you cannot decide what topic to choose, look at that list:
- Contrast and comparison. Compare several theories of how they are similar and different. You can discuss hypotheses regarding human behavior or habits.
- Evaluation of research. Identify the strengths and weaknesses of a hypothesis or experiment. Tell me how much data the experiment covers. Do not be biased; be passionate about research.
- Debates. Compare two hypotheses or experiments that relate to the same subject. For example, do nature vs nurture research.
- Animal research. Discuss the moral and material aspects of using animals for profit.
- Cultural bias. Analyze research on the cultural characteristics of nations and peoples.
- Gender bias. Discuss a theory or experiment that has been conducted on men or women. Evaluate as far as the conclusion of the study is biased.
- Ethical issues. Find ethical questions that the research author violates. This may be a violation of anonymity or psychological damage.
Example of an Outline for a Psychology Paper
So far, it’s hard for you to imagine what quality paper should be. We have compiled an example of an outline to provide you with a nice example. Use this to create a draft and fill each item properly.
- Abstract. Create a short version of the paper to provide a reader with an overview. Try to keep within 100-200 words.
- Introduction. Describe what preceded the study and what issues you will solve with its help.
- Body paragraphs. Depending on the type of paper, the filling of a body will be different. However, in the main part, you must reveal the topic of the paper and form conclusions.
- Conclusion. Gather a few conclusions and form a short conclusion. Tell me what problems your experiment solved and what remained unresolved.
- References. Make a list of references. Make it in APA format following the instructions.
Creating a psychology paper requires both in-depth knowledge of the subject and academic writing skills. Remember that the text should be simple for everyone, so do not add complex terms. Create an outline and write the paper in sequence, step by step. Use our instructions to write a draft and abstract.
When writing a psychology paper, follow the instructor’s instructions and format guidelines. Don’t be afraid to ask your supervisor for help or advice. Write so that you are interested and enjoy the process.