This kind of paper is related to the analysis and description of specific psychological matters. You may also include here your considerations and suggestions on how to improve the existing state of things or theory. Psychology papers may also be related to certain cases that enlighten any problematic psychological issue and/or ways for its resolution.
During your psychology studies, it is necessary to gain as much writing experience as possible. This helps you to analyze any topic, reflect in this regard, and become a more skilled psychologist. So, what should you know about this type of paper?
About your Style
Writing this paper can be complicated. Your content should be based on a thorough analysis, be clear and coherent. For this reason, your writing, especially the first page, can come very slowly.
Make sure you prepare this type of paper in a neutral manner, enthusiastic in tone. This way, you will manage to interest more people in your paper.
Types of Psychology Papers
To develop any topic, you may write one of the following types of psychology papers:
- A case study is related to the analysis of a person’s history. For this paper, you should precisely describe the existing problem or situation such a person has faced with his/her diagnosis. Additionally, you should address certain ways of treatment for this case and provide your reasoning for choosing such. This kind of paper allows you to form your own understanding of any psychological issue and research deeply this personal problem. At the same time, this assignment is also challenging and sensitive. If you communicate with a certain person, you need to be careful to obtain all information you need without offending him/her.
- Critique paper frequently, as its title suggests, requires your critical analysis of some book, article, or theory. You need to provide here your extensive review of any specific issue, identify its negative and positive sides, prospective ways for its improvement, etc.
- Lab reports are usually written for research-based or experimental psychological courses. This report is similar to a professional article in a psychology journal. Such a report should contain your thorough analysis of any psychological experiment, study, or research you have conducted.
You need to think about your case carefully. Identify clearly its circumstances, a sample (if you want to conduct any kind of survey), conditions, and other important things.
How to Choose a Topic for Your Psychology Paper
Psychology is very broad. If you enjoy it, choosing a topic for your paper can sometimes be the most difficult thing, even more, difficult than your research or analysis.
Any topic you choose should be interesting for yourself first. It also has to be solid enough, so you could expand it and develop your new findings and suggestions.
If you have any particular instructions from your instructor, follow such and select a topic to comply with these instructions. Focus on the main things your topic is related to and explain each one carefully.
To make your work good, simply combine all the mentioned advice. In any case, choose only a topic you like. Only in this case, you can write your paper faster, more productively, and enjoy the overall process.
Writing Recommendations for You
Make sure you understand your topic clearly
Clarify once again all peculiarities of your topic to be sure you understand the general sense of your topic and the meaning of each word. Clarify for yourself all possible options on how to expand this topic. Choose among such the shortest ways to reach the result you need and research your topic thoroughly.
To help yourself, you may simply write down questions on a separate paper and answer them. Additionally, you may also discuss your topic with your instructor, peers, psychologist, and other competent persons who can help you to brainstorm ideas and form a deeper understanding of your topic.
Before starting your writing, you should learn more about your topic. Even if you cannot include all information you have, it still can help you to analyze any subject precisely and form more sound conclusions.
Always check your resources from the points of relevance, accuracy, and completeness. Make sure all sources you are going to include have some important information for your research. If you rely on any statistic or similar type of data, it should be accurate. In this case, it is better to rely on the official sources of information: websites of public authorities, reports of international organizations, NGOs, etc.
If you have time, you may search for psychological courses to enhance your skills and gain new knowledge.
Access all information that you find critically and thoroughly. For this purpose, you can provide the following types of evaluation:
- methodological – evaluate all methods you are going to use from the perspective of their relevance, weaknesses, and strengths;
- theoretical – compare different theories to find the best suitable for your particular case;
- evaluate the results of existing debates and perspectives of your topic;
- ethical – be careful with any privacy, psychical, psychological, gender, and deception issues.
Make an outline with your preliminary conclusions
Based on the results of your review, outline the main findings you have explored on a separate paper. Range such ideas according to their relevance and importance. Returning to these ideas after a couple of days can help you to polish them and make better.
To facilitate this task, you may apply the PEC System. This abbreviation stands for:
- making your Point;
- Explaining why and how any point is relevant;
- Discussing all possible Consequences/practical implications of your study or elaborated theory.
In your outline, it is also important to mark future headings, paragraphs, lists, diagrams, etc. Also, think about all annexes you want to add to your paper.
Conduct your study or experiment
These activities can help you to obtain first-hand information for your research. For instance, you may conduct a survey, develop your questionnaire, conduct interviews, etc. Obtaining such data is always better than a simple reading of books, articles, and reviews. For some papers, this study/experiment can be even compulsory.
Learn the requirements of APA format carefully
The style of the American Psychological Association is commonly used for writing papers in psychology. Find at least the general requirements of this format in available sources. However, it is better to purchase the full version of this report for your future papers.
During your writing, always be careful about your formatting, in-text citations, references, and other things to follow all APA requirements properly.
Make also sure your Word has correct settings. It should identify all typos and errors. But don’t rely on your computer only, read your text thoroughly and attentively also.
Try to write your paper in a flowing and simple manner, like telling a story. However, in this case, it should be without any excessive emotions, more formal in nature. Move from one point to another smoothly and make your paper as long as it should be to expand your topic.
Each paragraph should have its meaning. Use your outline for this purpose and devote it to each idea at least one paragraph. Make sure you create smooth transitions between your paragraphs to make a united and logical text.
While forming your paper, keep in mind that writing many short and concise sentences is better than writing very long and detailed sentences. So, it is better to avoid any excessive phrases.
Edit your paper until satisfied
Polish your paper properly to eliminate all deficiencies and enhance it further. You should strive to reach the highest degree of clarity in your paper. It should also contain only sound and interesting ideas. Make also sure that your paper is flowing.
To make your paper close to perfect, it is also possible to involve somebody who is competent to review it from the professional perspective and impartially. It is difficult very often to pinpoint your own mistakes or weak points of your text. Fresh views and suggestions, in this case, will help you to make your paper better.
How to Structure your Paper
Traditionally, any psychological papers should have its introduction, the main body, and its conclusion.
The introduction should identify your topic and briefly present the conceptual points of your paper. You may also add here some interesting statements to intrigue your reader. Write this part of your paper thoroughly, as it will create the first impression for your reader.
The main body of your paper should be divided into separate parts. First of all, devote a separate paragraph to the applied methods. Describe briefly all used methods and your reasons for choosing such.
If you have conducted a research/experiment, it is also necessary to describe your efforts, used tools, and the overall process. You may place here any tables, diagrams, or similar things that can help you to explain the essence of your research/experiment.
Another part of the main body can be devoted to your analysis of relevant literature and resources. Here you may describe the main sources you have relied on, theories you have used, approaches, etc.
Think about how to interpret the results of your findings and theoretical background in a separate paragraph of your main body. Finalize this discussion paragraph with your suggestions. Afterward, explain each one in a separate paragraph, add your arguments and evidence to each of them, if necessary.
The conclusion of your paper has to summarize the entire content of your paper and contain all your findings and suggestions. You should also elaborate on this part properly. Your readers will remember this part of your paper most of all. Moreover, they usually refer to it in the first turn just to refresh their memories about your paper. So, make sure your conclusion is clear, concise, and brief.
Interesting Topics to Practice
Theoretical knowledge is obviously not enough for gaining your writing skills. To help you in this case, here are some topics to practice:
- Certain approaches for keeping your resilience despite any circumstances
- How to address your anxiety appropriately?
- Ways for preventing the frustrated and depressed states
- The role of aggression in our life
- Positive emotions and their main characteristics
- Ways to tackle negative emotions
- Social factors that make the greatest impact on children
- How can a child be affected by his/her family?
- Harmonizing personal and social in modern society
- Building effective interpersonal relations
- The best therapy techniques for stress recovery
- Ways for improving learning skills
- Memory loss: how to identify and recover it
- Basics of critical thinking and analysis
- Ways to deal with eating disorders
- PTSD: reasons for emerging and ways for resolving
- Asexuality: its precondition and place in the modern word
- Passing your separation effectively
- Ways to deal with phobias
- Motivation and incentives
- Emotional intellect: how to evaluate and enhance?
Writing psychological papers is a challenging and very interesting assignment. You should think thoroughly about your topic and choose the most interesting for you in line with the existing requirements. Afterward, you should provide your extensive research, evaluate all sources of information critically, and develop your preliminary statements. Outline the structure of your future paper and refresh it after a couple of days.
If you are sure in your outline – start your writing instantly. Transform your statements into a flowing text. You should thoroughly develop any expressed statement, add arguments and supplementary evidence, and make sure you place smooth transitions between the paragraphs of your text.
Edit and review your paper a couple of times. If you have such an opportunity, it is better to request feedback from competent people. In the end, your psychology paper should be interesting and has a practical implication.