Simple Tips For Writing An Excellent Psychology Paper

Mike Russel

What is a psychology essay format? 

It is the text that reflects your impressions and thoughts on a particular issue. So this type of work is inseparable from subjective opinion as it assumes a new vision of the question. That is why it does not pretend to be an exhaustive interpretation of the subject. 

Psychology has a lot of differences from other fields of study. That is due to its unconventional approach to scientific formulations. In any other discipline, the emphasis is always on indisputable facts. In psychology, scientists usually study the subject based on reasoning rather than facts. So be ready to face some difficulties while completing the task. Luckily, there are some tips and tricks that can make your life easier. 

Stages Of Writing A Psychology Paper

Before writing psychology papers:

  • Collect data from existing academic sources and devote time to study theoretical material;
  • Find out what features your topic has;
  • Think over how to stress the relevance of the topic;
  • Highlight the key thesis and determine your position;
  • Define what theoretical concepts, scientific theories, and terms will help you to reveal the essence of the work;
  • Formulate your thoughts and ideas on the issue;
  • Create an outline.

While performing the task:

  • Prepare a draft, writing down all ideas that come to your mind;
  • Leave aside the essay for some time, and only then reread it;
  • Analyze the content, deciding what to add or delete;
  • Check you follow all the teacher’s instructions;
  • Make sure you provide a complete and comprehensive text;
  • Edit the paper, correcting language mistakes; 
  • Once you have made the necessary changes, you can write the final version.

3 Tips For Effective Writing In Psychology

  1. Do not forget to structure the text

    Present the material in such a way as to ensure a logical sequence of ideas. In one paragraph, you should focus only on one subtopic. Your main goal is to link the introduction, body, and conclusion. 

  2. Demonstrate your expertise

    In your essay on psychology, you should show your understanding of scientific materials. Underline the keywords in the title to answer the essay question. It may not be explicitly posed, so you have to delve deeper into the details of the issue. If you write everything you know about a particular topic, your teacher may consider it as a mistake.  So you have to be selective in choosing information.

    Moreover, you should be short in articulating your theme more clearly. There should be no extra words in the sentences and no extra sentences in the paragraphs. Each paragraph should help you to answer the essay question. If you question your ability to fulfill the task, you can ask for extra guidance

    Also, try not to overuse quotations. It is more appropriate to write what you think after an inquiry into the theme. Yet, psychology is a science, so you have to back up your ideas with evidence, not your personal opinion. So you have to mention material after the analysis of which you have come to such a conclusion. If you are discussing a theory or scientific research, include the source of information. Please note that this is not the author of the textbook you read but the author of the theory or research.

  3. Provide thorough and critical analysis

    You have to support all your arguments with sufficient and appropriate evidence or theories. But what if there is no single universally agreed approach to study your issue? How to understand who is right? Here only critical thinking may help you to deal with it! It means that if there are several viewpoints, you have to describe the strengths and weaknesses of each research study.

    But be careful; any criticism must be justified. There is no need to hunt for weaknesses in theories. You only need to highlight the limitations that make you question the conclusions the authors drew.

How To Write An Introduction For A Psychology Paper?

It is better to start writing the introduction when you have finished the main body of the essay. That is because you have already known how to briefly describe the essence of your work as you have a good understanding of the subject area.

If you have a word limit, try to devote at least 10% of the assignment to the introduction. Keep in mind; it is the crucial argument of the whole text. It can create a halo effect in the mind of your instructor, who is evaluating the task. If you start well, then your professor will most likely forgive your mistakes.  So what should you include? First, define the subject of the essay and the main terms. Then, you have to highlight the problems that underlie consideration of this issue. You can check the guide for more details. 

Not all texts have to be exciting. Wit and humor have no place in the world of academic writing. Such papers serve a practical purpose: they inform the reader about serious and significant issues. Since they pursue only an informative purpose, they should not use jokes, vivid images, or anything else that is not directly related to the task.

Main Body For Essays In Psychology

The central part of the essay you should divide into paragraphs. Each of them has to clearly and concisely provide a small part of your arguments. As each section gives a new piece of information, it helps the readers figure out what you are trying to prove. Support your point of view with details, quotes, examples, or other evidence, and explain why they confirm your ideas. Using this structured approach, organizing the whole text in a logical order will improve its readability.

Be sure to keep the information up to date and try not to stray from the subjects. Use transitional words such as “in addition”, “moreover”, “on the other hand” in all paragraphs to indicate the beginning of a new idea. It will make your essay much easier to understand. 

Keep in mind, a well-thought-out argument also often addresses possible counter-arguments. So it makes people look at the issue from a different perspective. But it differs from flawed reasoning in that it explains why your opinion is better.

How To Conclude The Psychology Paper

Many students either forget to write the conclusion or do not pay attention to it. If you do not identify your position in the body, it is your last chance to convey your message. So here, you also need to devote at least 10% of the text. 

In conclusion, you should summarize the key topics of your essay. Weigh all the presented evidence and describe both advantages and disadvantages of each side of the argument. Besides, you can mention what further studies your theme requires. If you don’t know what to write, read the essay question once again and answer it in one paragraph.

Common Mistakes You Had Better To Avoid

  • Inability to answer the raised question. Read the requirements several times to be sure you understand what theme you have to cover.
  • The lack of structure. You have to divide the text into paragraphs to denote a shift in thinking. Otherwise, your readers will not get your point.   
  • The use of simplified allegations instead of argumentation to support the thesis. Every research requires an evidence-based approach. 
  • Careless data manipulation such as over-generalization.
  • Great focus on the descriptive part without supporting it with analytical material. 
  • Description of other points of view without reference to the authors of these ideas. You have to make the necessary links to specific cases and examples.
  • Poorly expressed position or the use of arguments that contradict it. 
  • Burdening the draft article with unnecessary repetitions.

Bottom Line

You have already familiarized yourself with the tips on how to write a psychology essay.  And now you have a clear picture of the structure and rules. You know what difficulties you may face and what mistakes it is better to avoid. But what if you are still struggling with psychology essay writing? In our guide, we have gathered the best tips that will help you to force yourself to accomplish the task. Still, if you do not succeed, our experienced writers are always ready to assist. 

Mike Russel

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