How to Write a Psychological Research Paper
Part 1Decide on a Topic
1Most likely, you’ll bounce around from topic to topic until one stick. You’ll need time to rebound and to change topics. College professors recommend that you get started on your research paper the day it is assigned. The more time and effort you put into it, the better your grade will be. So get started now. Don't procrastinate.
2If you are writing a research paper for your job, know what your instructor expects. Your paper will undoubtedly have guidelines or requirements that will fundamentally shape your research. Know what those guidelines are at the very beginning. You don’t want to start working on it and find out later that you need to start over again. For example, if you are writing a research paper for a college course, you should know how long it should be, what sources can be used, the topics you can choose from, and the deadline to turn it in. Once you understand the parameters, you can set out a schedule to complete the paper on time.
Part 2Constructing a Thesis
1These are potential answers to your research question. Use what you know about the topic to surmise possible answers to your question
Part 3Performing Research
1Depending on your project, you’ll need to find ways of collecting information to back up your claims. If your paper is on a science topic, you’ll need to set up an experiment and collect data from that experiment. If you are writing a history paper, you’ll need to find primary sources (information produced during the time under investigation) that support your thesis statement.
Part 4Starting Your Research Paper
1An outline is a great place to organize your thoughts before you sit down to write. It is also a great place to figure out what needs to come first. Once you have a general idea of the trajectory of your paper, you'll be able to introduce it more efficiently
Part 5Drafting Your Research Paper
1During this draft, you will answer your primary question with your thesis statement and then systematically support that statement with evidence acquired during your research phase. Write a complete rough draft before you start editing. It is easier to get all of your thoughts out on the paper (especially if you have a solid outline to follow) and then go back and edit. Don’t edit as you go. It will disrupt your thought process.
2Consider printing it out and making notes with a pen and pencil. Some writers read their papers aloud. Hearing your words forces your brain to process them differently. This makes finding errors a little easier.