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How to Edit a Psychology Paper


Editing a Psychology Paper

Editing is the last step of writing your psychology paper, but it is also one of the most important.

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Once you have written a psychology paper, it is important to ensure that your writing, grammar, and style conform to the standards of the American Psychological Association (APA). Follow these steps to make certain that your psychology paper is the best it can be.
Difficulty: Average
Time Required: Variable

Here's How:

  1. Check your entire paper for spelling and grammar. Use the spell check function on your word processing program, but do not rely on this method alone. Spell check is useful for find some spelling errors, problems with tense agreement and sentence fragments, but many misspellings can slip through unnoticed. Be sure to carefully read your paper to find these missed spelling and grammar errors.
  2. Check your paper for style. Is your writing well organized? Do you use transitions when moving from one idea to another? As you check the style of your paper, consider improvements that would increase the clarity and flow of your writing.
  3. Do your references and citations conform to APA style? Be sure to have a copy of an APA Style Guide on hand as you check your references and in-text citations. Remember, any citation appearing in your reference section must also be cited in-text, and vice versa.
  4. Read your paper again to find any words or phrases that are not academic or professional. For example, do not use contractions when writing psychology papers. Instead of don’t, can’t, or won’t, use do not, can not, or will not.
  5. Ask a classmate, teaching assistant or instructor to read your paper. Another option might be to go to your school's writing lab to get an unbiased, knowledgeable opinion of your paper. Other people often notice mistakes or problems that you might have missed.
  6. Print a final copy and read through your paper again to ensure that all necessary corrections or changes have been made. Check for small details such as page numbering, indentations and page titles. Once you have completed this final step, your paper is ready to submit


  1. As you are editing your paper, utilize a style guide published by the American Psychological Association, such as the Concise Rules Of Apa Style or the official Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association.

What You Need

  • A copy of your paper
  • Plenty of time to review your work
  • A copy of the APA style guide
  • A friend willing to read your paper and offer feedback

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