Is this your first time writing a research paper on psychology, and you are trying to figure out how to go about it? First, you should know that you must prepare to avoid the overwhelming process. Psychology research can be difficult, even for people who have done it several times, so don’t fret.
However, the process becomes much less stressful if you know where and how to start your research. Keep reading as we show you a standard psychology research paper outline and how to write a well-researched paper.
What are the typical sections of a psychology research paper?
Before you start writing the paper, you must first create an outline. You want to resist the urge to start writing immediately and rush the paper; you may spend a longer time at it. Creating an outline allows you to organize your thoughts and ensure the paper flows logically. That said, below is the standard (or at least ideal) structure of a psychological research paper:
- Your title page: you will include the title of your research paper, your name, course name and code, and your supervisor.
- The abstract is a concise summary of your paper, usually 120 to 150 words long. It briefly talks about your research method and the results. You should write this part last to ensure you include all the important details.
- Introduction: now, you’re getting into the paper gradually; this section introduces the topic and gives context and background information. A thesis statement or hypothesis ends the introduction section and prepares readers for the paper.
- Methodology: this section explains the methods you used to conduct the research in detail. It includes the procedure and materials you used, the type and number of participants you used, and others.
- Results: here, you will present your findings but do not explain them; the next section is for the explanation.
- Discussion: this is where you will explain the results you tabled in the previous section.
- Conclusion: your conclusion establishes the connection of your findings to the hypothesis you stated earlier in your introduction.
How to write a psychology research paper: key tips to note
If you follow the right guidelines, writing a psychological research paper doesn’t have to be hard. Below are tips to make the research paper writing process easier:
- First, figure out the type of paper your professor or instructor expects you to write; there are several types.
- The next step is to choose a good topic, particularly if your instructor did not assign you a subject or specify a theme. When choosing your topic, avoid being too general, so the work doesn’t get too cumbersome. Also, choose a topic that’s too narrow, or you won’t find sufficient information for a rich paper.
- Research thoroughly and make careful notes as you do; it’s hard to gather references after completing the paper.
- Working with an outline and a strong working frame; will save you much time, stress, and frustration, among other things.
- Draft your first paper following the APA format, then revise what you’ve written and edit.
Some psychology research paper example topics to get you started
There are many areas of psychology you can write a paper on; what matters is finding an area of interest. Below are some great ideas to work with or get inspired by.
Controversial topics in psychology for research paper
- Discrimination and prejudice
- Nature vs. nurture
- Using abusive language to cope with past trauma
- Mental disorder: a cause of homosexuality?
- Effect of culture on sexual orientation
- Social media content: its effects on teenagers’ sexual orientation
Developmental psychology research paper topics
- Child abuse
- Parenting styles
- Divorce and separation: its effects on children’s development
- Gender roles in families
- Media violence impact on children
- Parenting: effect on child’s cognitive development
Sports psychology topics for research paper
- Controlling fans’ aggression
- Doping in sports: psychological and physiological effects
- Sports behavior and arousal-anxiety
- Racial abuse: its effects on athletes
- Imagery in sports performance
- Managing anxiety in sports performance
Although you may find writing a paper on psychology intimidating at first, it doesn’t have to be. By breaking the process into bits of smaller steps, you can manage it better. We hope these tips and topic ideas can help you get started and make the work easier.