Psychology is a multi-faceted field, but people often disregard the art of written presentation. Students often have a difficult time understanding the myriad of demands when writing an article or a paper.
To help students grasp the dos and don’ts of psychology writing, we’ve assembled a list of essential tips. After reading them, you will know what to focus on and what to avoid. Implement each of these tips to express yourself better and showcase your knowledge in a stellar way.
1. A singular subject must be followed by a singular verb and pronouns as well
Many psychology writers get carried away whilst writing longer sentences and make this grammatical error. It’s easy to lose your line of thought while trying to turn your thought into words, but you have to stay focused. Adding plural parts of the sentence will only result in a worse grade or your paper being rejected.
- How you shouldn’t write it: The subject found their task to be quite challenging.
- How you should write it: The subject found his task to be quite challenging.
2. Don’t be afraid to use tools
Writing in psychology can take a strain on both your mind and body. Due to the priority of getting your point across, you can miss so many mistakes.
Grammatical errors, spelling mistakes, and many other things can pass unnoticed. Proofreading and writing tools such as EssayOnTime, College Paper or Australian Writings can help you write better and focus on what’s important.
Other tools such as Essay Writing Land or Edu Geeks Club can also provide extra sources, if you’re in need of it. By using writing tools, you ensure that you’re handing in a paper in the best possible form.
3. Always use drafts
Inspiration can come and go, depending on a multitude of factors. When you think of an idea or a way to express something, write it down. After a certain period of time, gather all your ideas and create a draft. Writing will be much easier this way, simply because you will have multiple drafts to show you the timeline of your writing.
When you have a block, go over the drafts, and you will invigorate your thought process. Additionally, keep your drafts and different versions on the cloud, in case of an accident. By doing so, you won’t have to worry about the safety of your work.
4. Too many words aren’t good
Psychology writing isn’t a competition to prove who is the most verbose. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to explain things in an overly complex way. Of course, knowing the right terminology is mandatory, but only if it’s expressed in a succinct form.
- Bad: As all hope slowly dwindled in the life of an alcoholic, Jung was sure and adamant in the belief that spirituality actually may be the cure that a man suffering from this malady is searching for.
- Good: Jung believed that spirituality is a viable cure for alcoholism.
5. Avoid absolutes
A psychologist’s job is to elaborate on his and her findings and propose solutions. A human mind is a strange machine where everything may or may not be true.
Therefore, it is your job to place a hypothesis or to make a correlation between the factors at hand. Even one absolute claim may cause your paper to get rejected or your work to be disregarded.
- Bad: Childhood trauma caused the patient’s subsequent behavior.
- Good: Upon observing the factors at hand, childhood trauma may have contributed to the later behavior of the patient.
6. Leave opinions out of it
It’s natural to form an opinion whilst reading for your paper. No matter how normal it may be, a psychology paper is no place for opinions.
Your job is to state facts, cite sources and connect everything you know in a cohesive work. Additionally, never use 1st person unless there are conditions that specifically ask for it.
- Bad: I will write about the effect of hallucinations on later spiritual experience. I think they are connected and there is evidence to prove it.
- Good: This paper will elaborate on the way spiritual experiences are influenced by hallucinations. Within the paper, there will be an overview of all significant works on the matter.
7. Take breaks and exercise
Expecting too much from yourself is counter-productive. If you don’t have inspiration, try taking a walk or having a quick workout. The physical activities allow your mind to roam free and your blood to flow faster. Afterward, you will find completing your paper much easier.
Psychology writing is all about channeling your ideas and abiding by the rules. It’s not hard to sound respectful and professional, while still getting your point across. Don’t forget to proofread and exercise if you’re experiencing a writer’s block.