Writing a psychology paper may seem easy but it can be awfully difficult if you don’t know how to do it right. Well, there are many sources out where that you can utilize but not all of them are actually worth your time. To write a perfect research paper, you need to be well conversant with not only the writing process but also how to put down the ideas you gather in the best way possible. This article gives guidelines and suggestions for writing different components of the essay as well as researching.
Let’s dive right in
Read the Question
Choose the Topic
Write Down the Points
Locating the sources is also Vital
Read the Question
Even if you have come across the same question over and over again, it is always wise to read it every time you want to write an essay. Remember, a single word can change the whole meaning of a sentence. Therefore, you must read and understand the topic before beginning researching it. Do not just read the topic, if the lecturer has given a template be sure to go through it so you can understand exactly what he or she expects. That way, you will know where to begin, and what you aim at achieving at the end of the day.
Now that you have understood the question, it is time to brainwave, and try to understand whether there is something you know about the topic. If you have been attending the lectures, chances are incredibly high that you will have an idea of what to write about. If you notice, you don’t have an idea, don’t worry. It’s easy to write about a topic you have never come across before and still get a good grade.
Choose the topic
Selecting a topic for the essay is not as easy as it sounds. A huge percentage of students choose a broad topic and this makes them sound imprecise. When selecting a topic, be sure to narrow down as much as possible. The more the specific you are, the clearer your essay is likely to be. Writing on a broad topic will not only make you sound vague but also you will find yourself beating around the bush. So, the topic you select must be specific. If possible, choose a topic that you find interesting. You do not want to spend hours, or even days trying to study something you find hard to understand.
Now that you are fully aware of what you want, it is time to look for the information. Researching is a crucial part of essay writing. Getting all the ideas without using other sources is practically impossible. Researching helps you get the information from other researchers’ points of view. So, before starting to write your essay, you need to carry out a thorough research on the topic. The internet has thousands of articles, journals, books, and other resources.
While this is a good thing, it can also make it extremely hard for one to know which sources to use. When researching, make sure you understand the background and the evidences of the ideas you are going to give. It is always important to give the reader a history, background and the context of the subject. The only way to achieve that is by researching and having an overview of the subject at your fingertips.
Write Down the Points
Do not just read but rather, be sure to write the points you find eye-catching. You cannot remember everything you learned during the research. However, when you write down key points, it will be super easy for you to recall the ideas you want to write about.
Another benefit of writing down the points is that you will be able to write the essay in your own words. Some people try to write the essay as they research, which is a huge blunder. No matter how hard you try to paraphrase, you will find yourself plagiarizing. If you have points on the other hand, chances are incredibly high that you will expound them in your own words.
Locating The Sources Is Also Vital.
When you research, write down the sources alongside the ideas. This will make it easy for you to provide the references. One of the biggest mistakes students make out there is trying to find sources after they are through with the essay. This will not just waste your time but rather you will get a lot of headaches.
Nothing is more thrilling than writing the essay and then including the sources, you had put down during the research. Moreover, it is easy to include something that is not even related to the topic if you cite random sources.
From What Perspective Are You Going To Write The Paper?
Well developing an objective is a critical step in essay writing. The reader (Who is your lecturer in this case) wants to know what your objective is from the get-go. Many people tend to give general information in the introduction, and that a mistake.
The way you begin your essay speaks volumes about your writing. The lecturer can tell whether you are going to write a great essay or you will just beat around the bush. Well, let them know what your views are and the approach you will take. This achieves two objectives:
It creates suspense.
If the readers know your stand, they will be compelled to read more to see how you support your claims. This is even more so if they do not share the same opinion as you. Also, even if the read support your opinion, they will want to read on and see whether you actually have valid reasons to support the argument.
It enables you to create a hook
. Telling the reader what to expect is a great way to create a hook and make the reader get interested in reading the work.
Nevertheless, you need to know whether the lecturer expects you to support or argue against that particular claim. While some essays are straightforward, others require you to do a bit of researching to get the objective. So, think about the rubric when determining the objective.
Ask Your Professor
Well, asking is not wrong. Furthermore, once you are done with the research, it is vital that you consult with your lecturer before wiring your essay. This is not a must-do a thing but if you feel something needs clarification, inquiring from the teacher is the best move to take.
How Do You Organize Your Essay?
Templates and guidelines are so many out there but they may not be helpful. Picking a template from the internet and trying to use it is a bad move and it can cost you a lot of time. Here is how to organize your essay to get the best results
You can imagine reading a 20-page essay that doesn’t have any headline. It would be as exciting as watching the paint. Sub-topics enable you to break your essay into small and manageable sections. Moreover, you are able to focus on one idea at a time, while you built upon the whole subject. To bring some order in your essay writing, focus on having sub-topics.
At all times, make sure you match each subtopic to the objective of the essay. Every idea you talk about should be aimed at strengthening your main argument. It would be insane if you just came up with ideas that are not related to the subject just to have sub-topics.
Create a template, if the lecturer had provided the template, well and good. However, if you are supposed to create your own rubric, make sure you create it before beginning to write the essay. That way, you will be organized even before you start writing. You know to which section you are going next, which makes it easy and enjoyable to write the essay.
Now you have researched and you all set to begin. Writing long research paper in one sitting is not possible. Also, many people find themselves wasting a lot of time and doing nothing. To avoid that, set realistic goals and live up to your word. If you choose to write 2 pages every day, stick to that. The period you take depends on the deadline, of course. Setting goals will help you avoid frustrations and getting overwhelmed.
The writing process
Every step is critically important in the whole essay writing process. For instance, when you are writing the introduction, knowing what is you ought to write is important. In your introduction, talk about the topic and come out clearly about your purpose. The thesis statement provides the exact information about what your essay is all about. State your hypothesis clearly and precisely in the thesis statement.
Keep the topic short
It is easy to get overwhelmed by the idea of wanting to expound on the topic. Focus on keeping the introduction short or else you will end up talking a lot of irrelevant things. For short essays, make it less 100 words. However, if the essay is long, you might want to expand it further.
The body of an essay is by far the most critical part of your writing. No matter how good the introduction is, the essay will make no meaning if you fail to explain yourself well in the body. This is the section where you provide evidence that whatever you are talking about is really the truth. Be sure to introduce all the arguments and explain them as clearly as you can. The reader must see the arguments, those who support the claim and what they had to say, and finally the results according to your own reasoning.
Another important thing to consider when writing the body of your psychology essay is that ideas must flow smoothly and logically. A good argument should always have two or more premises and a conclusion. So, if you want your essay to stand out, be sure to explain every idea logically. Every paragraph should have a different idea.
Talking about what other authors and researches had to say about the topic is also a powerful way to show the lecturer that you are competent. Make sure you include those who share a different opinion. Even when you are arguing against a certain idea, it is vital to recognize those who critique it and provide their point of view. By doing that, you do not just sound unbiased but also, you prove to the lecturer that you are open-minded.
In an attempt to make the essay longer or hit a particular word count, many people tend to repeat ideas. This is most likely to happen if you are not well organized, or if you do not follow the rubric.
The concussion also is should wrap up the ideas and give evidence that you actually talked about the subject. This section clearly states your thoughts. You give the final thoughts you arrived at after evaluating all the ideas. Remember, although you have many arguments in an essay, it an argument by itself. So, it should have a section that shows what you finally found out. On other words, the conclusion must connect logically to eh other parts of the essay or else the whole argument will use the meaning.
Some topics are so complex, which makes it hard to write the conclusion one sentence. In that case, the wise move to take is providing a summary of the key ideas and how they support the whole idea. That gives you a chance to articulate yourself without limitations
Cite the Sources
Using someone else’s ideas and claiming they are yours is the biggest mistake you can make in academic writing. Thus, it is always vital that you cite your sources whenever you borrow ideas from another source. Make sure the sources you use a peer-reviewed and credible.
Citing other people’s work makes your essay credible. And well, if you are working for classwork, then your professor wants to see whether you have mastered the citing and the formatting style. American Psychological Association (APA) is the most widely used formatting style when writing psychology papers.
The Right Mindset
Firstly, an essay is a story only that you have to use academic language. So, you should not overthink when writing. On the contrary, let the ideas flow smoothly without forcing them. That way, you will enjoy writing and most probably your professor will too. Taking the essay as a story will enable you to arrange the ideas in a chronological order. Tell the reader a story that seeks to prove something.
Secondly, write to the outside world. DO not assume that the professor has studied the subject and that they know what you mean. A good essay introduces ideas and defines difficult work. Giving background information about the author is one of the greatest ways of writing a great essay.
Once you are done writing your essay, don’t submit it immediately. You will find mistakes in your work every time you read it afresh. For that reason, keep the essay and proofread it when your mind is not tired. By doing so, you will be able to capture even the slightest mistakes. Nevertheless, you should be cautious not to waste a lot of time editing. As noted above, every time you read your work, you will notice one or two things that need to be changed. So, don’t expect to be perfect because that will result in analysis paralysis, which will consequently waste your time for nothing.
More about the conclusion
No new ideas. Let’s say you have remembered an important point and you can’t just figure where to put it. The conclusion is not the best place to write new ideas. Actually, you should never write something that is not in the essay
Avoid terms like, in conclusion, to sum up, wrapping up, to end with et cetera. When you are concluding your essay, you already know that you are concluding. Therefore, you might think that telling the reader that you are concluding is a good idea. The reader understands clearly that you want to include, so, telling them again is absolutely unnecessary and irritating.
Editing your work
Editing your own work is one of the most tiresome and boring things ever. Thankfully, there are many tools out there that you can utilize to edit the essay. Alternatively, you can ask your friend to proofread and edit your work. A second eye is always good regardless s of what you are doing.
Final take away
Writing an essay is never hard but it can be extremely had if you do things the wrong way. Thankfully, if you follow the right procedure, you will not only enjoy writing the essay but also, you will write an essay that the professor loves. There’s a saying in aviation that goes, a great landing begins with a good approach.” Writing essays is not exceptional, do it right straight off and you are all set.