The ability to write well is one of the most important skills you can gain as a psychology major. Most psychology courses require a significant amount of writing, including essays, case studies, research reports, and other papers. Learning effective communication skills will help you succeed in high school, university, graduate school and the work force.
How can you improve your writing skills? Start by viewing each class assignment as an opportunity to learn and practice. Check out resources offered by your school such as tutors or writing labs and learn more about the different types of psychology writing. The following resources offer tips, guidelines and advice on how to write psychology papers.
If you have never written a psychology paper before, you need to start with the basics. Psychology writing is much like other types of writing, but most instructors will have special requirements for each assignment. Always check the grading rubric for an assignment before you begin writing and brush up on the basics with these tips for writing psychology papers.
Students taking courses in abnormal psychology, child development, or psychotherapy will often be expected to write a case study on an individual - either real or imagined. Case studies vary somewhat, but most include a detailed history of the client, a description of the presenting problem, a diagnosis and discussion of possible treatments. Before you begin your assignment, learn more about how to write a psychology case study.
Lab reports are commonly assigned in experimental or research-based psychology courses. The structure of a lab report is very similar to that of a professional journal article, so reading a few research articles is a good way to start learning more about the basic format of a lab report. Your lab report should provide a clear and concise overview of the experiment, research or study you conducted. Before you begin working on your paper, read more about how to write a psychology lab report.
Psychology critique papers are often required in psychology courses, so you should expect to write one at some point in your studies. Your professor may expect you to provide a critique on a book, journal article, or psychological theory. How can you prepare for this type of assignment? Start by reading these tips and guidelines for how to write a psychology critique paper.
Before you turn in any type of psychology writing, it is vital to proofread and edit your work for errors, typos, and grammar. Do not just rely on your computer's spellchecker to do the job! Always read thoroughly through your paper to remove mistakes and ensure that your writing flows well and is structured logically. Finally, always have another person read your work to spot any mistakes you may have missed. You can find more tips and tricks for revising your papers in this article on how to copy edit a psychology paper.
Not learning APA format is mistake that costs points for many students. APA format is the official style of the American Psychological Association and is used in many different types of science writing, especially the social sciences. Before you hand in any writing assignment, always double-check your page format, in-text citations, and references for correct APA format. If you need directions or examples, check out this guide to APA format.