A Complete Guide On Writing A Psychology Research Paper

Psychology Research Paper
Many students would relate to the concept of research writing in Grad school. In fact, grad school is all about research, report writing and meeting deadlines. But Psychology majors would better relate to the struggles of writing a psychology research paper after conducting a study. Once you finish, the research write-up might look like a piece of cake. Besides, the struggle is real.

Writing in psychology, like writing in other disciplines, intends to teach. Intends to teach the reader about a novel concept, hypothesis, or experiment. Educational Psychologists stress the significance of readability and efficiency in communicating while avoiding flowery language and complicated phrasing to achieve this goal. The finest writers in psychology have the capacity to make complicated concepts accessible to those who are not experts in their field.

While you start to write a research paper, you are attempting to present accurate information. Which is backed by research. Because you are attempting to be exact, you must expect each word you write. Psychology writing may be quite complex, with lots of references to earlier studies. Psychology writers usually seldom explicitly cite a source. Rather, they summarise the concept of discovery and credit the relevant source. Authors in the arts might reiterate words and expressions for prominence. Psychology majors seldom repeat words and phrases. And when they do, it is simply to enhance clarity.

If it is your initial research project or not, the process might be intimidating at first. Understanding where to begin your research may make the task much easier. The suggestions below will assist you in organising your work and improving your writing. A psychology research paper may appear overwhelming at first. It becomes less so as you strip it down into even more logical chunks.

Writing a Psychology Research Paper

Before you proceed to write your psychology paper. The first step is to decide the format. You should know whether you have to write a basic research report. A literature review, a proposal or a thesis. Psychology Research papers follow a typical APA (American Psychological Association) format. Thus, what kind of paper your professor asked you to write, the structure depends on that. A typical APA format research paper includes:
  • A title Page
  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Method
  • Results
  • Discussion
  • Conclusion
  • References

Decide The Type Of Psychology Research Paper

You would either want to write a research report or an empirical paper. Defining the research conducted by you. You would write this kind of report once you have conducted an experiment yourself. This kind of writing would follow the format of a typical APA paper. The second form of article is a literature review. It reviews previous studies on a certain issue. If you write a psychological research paper in this format. Your teacher may prescribe the range of research you must reference as well as the size. Undergraduate literature reviews are frequently expected to mention between 5 and 20 research. And are typically 8 to 20 pages long. Literature reviews frequently begin by outlining the research topic. Before reducing the emphasis of the study to the individual studies of interest.

Choose A Topic:

Once you've determined what type of research paper you're going to write, you'll need to come up with a solid topic. In certain circumstances, your professor may assign you a topic. Or at the very least a broad concept to consider. When choosing a topic, try to avoid topics that are too vague or too wide. Narrowing your topic helps you to focus your study. It helps to create your thesis, and thoroughly investigate the relevant findings. For example, instead of choosing a topic that is too broad such as coping mechanisms. One can narrow it down to avoidance coping mechanisms.

Choose a Research Strategy

Take meticulous notes on the material. The material you want and begin compiling a functional bibliography. It is considerably more difficult to arrange material and cite evidence. If you are continuously looking up details. Because there is nothing quite like finishing a paper. With a crucial set of info that you can't seem to find the source for. As you conduct your research, take meticulous notes on each link. Such as the title of the article, contributors, publication source, and topic of the piece.

Gather literature and draft an outline

You may be tempted to jump straight in and start writing. But creating a solid functional structure may save you a lot of time, effort, and aggravation. It can also assist you in identifying possible difficulties with flow and layout. You will be able to understand how one concept leads in to another. As well as how your studies prove your overarching premise. If you outline what you are going to write about straight away.

Begin by identifying the 3 most important sections of the research paper. Such as the intro, the middle body, and the last conclusion part. Then, depending on your existing literature, begin developing subcategories. The more thorough your plan, the smoother your report will be to prepare.

Start writing

Once you have drafted a strong outline, it is time to start writing. Ensure to use APA format while writing your work. And to provide in-text citations for any information you use. Include any content cited in the core of your work in the bibliography. Located at the conclusion of your document.

Components of a Psychology Research Paper


The abstract is a brief overview (typically 150 words or less) that sets the tone for the rest of the paper. The abstract should be on its own page and ought to sum up each component of the article in one or two sentences. Even though the reader rarely reads the entire document. The abstract should be understandable.


The introduction section should follow the abstract on the following page. It need not include a subtitle. You tell your audience what topic you have handled (or want to address) in the introduction. As well as how that subject links to prior literature in the field. Explain why the topic is significant. Summarise the research question's history and discuss prior ideas and facts. Those are pertinent to the study you'll be describing. Next, you should state the hypothesis that your research has examined or aims to investigate. You should also make a list of potential solutions to the question you have posed. Explain how your research will help you gain evidence for the theory while also ruling out the alternatives. It's pointless to do a study that will generate results. That is compatible with all potential assumptions.

Literature Review

The step in writing a literature review paper is to conduct more research including web, online books and libraries. The goal of your investigation should not only locate all relevant publications. But also, to assess those references. In psychology, credible sources, and those who have been peer-reviewed, are published by other professionals in the area.


The method section outlines how you carried out the research. The study subjects, the resources adopted in this research. And the method the respondents performed in the study are all detailed in this section. The APA guideline specifies the type for the method chapter. You should give enough information. So that someone else might duplicate your study. Exactly without needing to consult you.

This chapter should detail who took part in your research. Incorporate data for the number of research participants. where they came from, and the selection techniques. As well as any other significant demographic variables. such as age, sex, education level, or employment. If you offered respondents any kind of incentive or reason to respond to the survey, make sure to include it. Under the "Materials" part within the Method section, mention the number and type of apparatus used in conducting a study.


Your role in this part is to offer the type of proof that psychologists prefer facts. You'll need to discuss any procedures you took to cleanse up the statistics, such as eliminating outliers, generating composite variables. And the analytics you performed, the outcomes of all those investigations. In conjunction with the research outcome. You must still specify whether you will clean-up the dataset. And what analysis you will do in your proposal. Show the findings that are most relevant to your hypothesis first. And always include descriptive statistical analysis alongside inferential statistics. If you discover an effect, mention the vector of the effect. If appropriate, a review table or charts of the findings are also mentioned. If absolutely required, include a graphic or statistical figure to present the data.


Your major responsibility in the discussion part is to summarize. Summarize the results and provide your views. What do these findings imply? In this section, you describe the relationship between the findings. And the research objectives in the intro. Does the finding relate to your assertion? and derive other possible solutions to the research question? How do you account for any differences between your forecasts and your results? What are the ramifications of your discoveries? What you discovered supports or contradicts existing or preliminary hypotheses in what way? What are the consequences of your results in the actual world?

Describe and understand research design flaws. Flaws that may have weakened the robustness of your outcomes. If there were any aspects that threw you off? Was your representative sample insufficient? Make recommendations for future research. What changes would you make if you were to do the study again? Is it a good idea to look at a different demographic? Avoid exaggerating the significance of your results. Be humble rather than grandiose. Finalise a brief summary of the views you have reached at the end of the Argument. You may wish to remark on the significance. And the applicability of your results where relevant. How do your results fit into the long view?

Conclusion and References

Last but not the least, the conclusion summarizes the entire study and gives an overview. At times the conclusion section follows the recommendations section. After mentioning the conclusion, prepare the next and last page of the research paper. This page is ‘References.’

Since psychology research papers are mostly based on APA format. It is a must for the writer to cite every source mentioned in the body. Mention full citations of the sources in alphabetical order in the references section.
For example: ‘Steve, R., (2019). Psychology of behavior and conduct. International Journal of Psychiatry. 5 (2); Washington DC: Perkins.’

Important Tips When Writing A Psychology Research Paper

Non-judgmental tone

Ensure to keep a non-biased and non-judgmental tone throughout the psychology Research paper.

Omit wordiness

It is wise to avoid overwriting or use fancy words. Since the research paper should be readable by all populations. It should have clear and concise readability.

Minimal use of passive voice

Do not use passive voice in the context. Use active voice such as, instead of writing, “it was found by Carlson (2020) that…,” write “Carlson (2020) found that…”

Use past tense

Since you should have already completed and conducted the study. Use past tense to write the research paper.

Third-person usage

Instead of using ‘I’ or ‘me’ use the third person and avoid the first-person use.


In the literature review section particularly, use transitioning sentences. To critically analyze a set of research evidence.

Read and Proofread

Lastly, read the entire paper aloud. And proofread to rectify any mistakes or to add any missing points.

Composing a psychological scientific paper might be daunting initially. But splitting it down into smaller parts makes it much more doable. Begin early by picking on a major topic, gathering data, and producing a strong framework. Taking these preparatory measures will make writing a psychology Research paper simpler.

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