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Kendra Cherry

Tips for Writing a Psychology Research Paper

By February 16, 2011

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Are you working on a psychology research paper this semester? Whether or not this is your first research paper, the entire process can seem a bit overwhelming at first. Knowing where to start the research process can make things a lot easier and less stressful.

I've been getting a lot of questions lately about how to write a psychology research paper, so let's take a look at a few tips that will help you organize your research and improve your writing. While a research paper can initially be very intimidating, it is not quite as scary if you break it down into more manageable steps.

Here are just a few handy tips:

psychology research papers
Following these tips can make writing psychology research papers less stressful.
Image courtesy Sanja Gjenero
  • Start by selecting a good ideas for your research paper. Avoid general or overly broad subjects. For example, instead of writing a research paper on the general topic of attachment, you might instead focus your research on how insecure attachment styles in early childhood impact romantic attachments later in life. Narrowing your topic down allows you to focus your research, develop your thesis and fully explore the pertinent findings

  • Develop an effective research strategy. As you collect resources for your psychology research paper, take careful notes on the information you find and start developing a working bibliography. It is much more difficult to organize information and cite sources if you are constantly having to look up information. About.com's Guide to Homework / Study Tips, Grace Fleming, has some great ideas for how to use coded notes to organize your research.

  • Write an outline. You might be tempted just to dive right in and begin writing, but developing a strong working outline can really save a lot of time, hassle and frustration. Start by noting the three most basic sections: the introduction, the body and the conclusion. Then, start creating subsections based on your literature review. The more detailed your outline, the easier it will be to write your paper.
More Tips for Writing Psychology Research Papers

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