Ten Simple Steps for Writing an Exclusive Psychology Paper

Ten Simple Steps for Writing an Exclusive Psychology Paper

Do you know how to write a psychology paper properly? Writing psychology papers is time consuming and requires superior research skills. Along with figuring out how to write a thesis for a psychology paper, you also generally need to put together a literature review based on the most relevant and up-to-date research.

If you are struggling with how to write a psychology paper, rest assured that you are not alone. In this article, we will list the steps of the writing process.

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Writing Process Step-by-Step

Read carefully as we explain the writing process step-by-step. There are not 3 stages of writing but ten stages to keep in mind. Why is it important to follow a writing process and be able to list at least 6 steps of the writing process? The benefits of the writing process is that it keeps things connected.

So how to explain the stages of the writing process for college students and how does the writing process help students? During the course of your studies you will be expected to write a lot of papers. To describe the six steps or stages included in the writing process means the same approach can be used over and over again.


We begin at the prewriting stage. As you think about how to write a psychology research paper, you will need to decide on the topic. Consider the types of writing in psychology. Fortunately, there are plenty of psychology research paper topics for college students. The trick is to do some brainstorming in order to pair it down to a topic that is narrowly-focused and worth writing about. Among the brainstorming methods are free writing, listing, mind mapping, and charting. Choose one that is best for you or better yet, try them all to maximize your output as you seek out the ideal psychology subject to research on.

Browse the Web for Ideas

Now that you have a few interesting topic ideas, the next step is to go online and look through all available resources.

Doing some initial research will go a long way towards learning more about your chosen topic and finding the right online articles and scholarly journals to get your paper started.

Visit the Library
Is it possible to find a few interesting topic ideas inthe Library?While most students find a lot of useful information online, you can also benefit by looking through hard copies of books and journals. Examine the works of notable researchers and authors based on the topic you have selected. Once you have a better understanding about the topic, look for psychology essays and research studies that best support your thesis arguments.

Utilize Online Databases

Chances are that campus computers at your college or university allow free access to the best online databases, including JSTOR, EBSCO, and PsychINFO. Take advantage of the resources that these databases provide and use them in your paper. Some articles are available in their entirety online whereas others can only be found in hard copy or on microfilm at your university library. If you have any questions, your librarian will be happy to assist.

Create a Preliminary Reference List

Congratulations. You have found a lot of great potential sources that can be cited in your paper! This is one of the milestone steps of the writing process as the research state will be more or less complete from here on out. The next step is to make a preliminary reference list based on the books, journals, articles, and other sources that you have found. Now you will proceed to include the sources that help build your case while eliminating sources that are less relevant. While you might eventually end up needing to include additional information depending on the direction your paper goes, the vast majority of your sources should be found by now.

Organize Your Research

At this stage you will be doing deeper research. This is why it is crucial that you use proper organization and structure. Doing so will make it so much easier to write your essay. There are various methods for achieving this, so your best bet is to choose the one that suits you best.

Create an Outline

The time has come to do your psychology paper outline. Why is the writing process important, especially in terms of the outline? Because if you have a blueprint for your entire paper – first outlining the introduction, body, and conclusion – it ensures that your paper is going in the right direction. You will then expand the outline by including your broad categories and sections. Complete your psychology research paper outline by inserting sub-sections that are linked to each argument or concept. Note that the outline itself does not follow any psychology research paper outline APA or MLA requirements.

Write the First Draft

Ladies and gentlemen, we have entered the drafting stage. Now that your outline is finished, you will now write the first draft of your psychology paper. While this is not the paper you will submit, you should still go ahead and include your citations. It’s much easier than having to go back, locate each reference, and insert them into your final draft.

Proofread Your Paper

The editing stage of the writing process happens when you have finished the first draft. No matter how much research you have done or how strong your arguments are, if it contains typos and grammar mistakes, your grade will suffer. Furthermore, as you give your paper a read, you might find that certain information is missing or some of the arguments appear weaker than you had originally envisioned. Print out a hard copy and jot down notes so that you can go back and add new ideas.

Revise, Review and Prepare the Final Draft

We have reached the post writing stage. Now that you have corrected your mistakes and made significant changes to the organization of the paper, ask a friend or classmate to peer review your work. It is also nice to have a second pair of eyes since the way you intended to convey a message might differ from the way another person receives it. Make revisions based on feedback and complete the final draft. Double check to see if you have accidentally skipped citations and make sure the paper is properly formatted according to your professor’s guidelines (i.e., MLA, APA)

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