Academic Writing Complete Guide

Purpose and Audience of this Guide
Why read academic articles?
Essay Writing
Report Writing
Oral Presentations
Finding Sources
Good Academic Scholarship
Understanding Feedback
Exam preparation and Techniques

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Psychology essays

The process of writing a psychology essay is pretty much simple and enjoyable. The organization and process are the same as any other essay. It requires careful planning, intensive research, research analysis as well as secondary research analysis before you can begin the writing process. Once you have researched extensively and exhaustively for your topic, you can be outlining the essay and eventually write it. Once you write you will have to review and edit it.

The first paragraph of your essay is very crucial since it is the one that you use to grab the attention of the reader and draw them onto your topic. You can use a quote from an expert, a statistical data, or even a question just to draw the reader into finding more about the essay.

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Planning your strategy of attack

This starts by carefully reading your assignment. Do not make the mistakes of taking a glance at the instruction and assume that you know what is required of you. You need to derive keywords and start from there. For instance, you are writing about neurological antecedents that relate to schizophrenia, you have to go beyond the antecedents and schizophrenia or your essay may end up being unfocused to targeted to the assignment prompt.

Research analysis

Make use of university-based academic databases as a starting point for your research. Most institutions have access to academic psychology databases such as PsycINFO or PSYCHNET. If you follow a library base research and access to the internet is a sure way of landing great information that relates to your topic. You will also get the access to scholarly websites that have peer-reviewed journals, written articles or abstracts that have been reviewed by psychology experts or related professional journals. The internet provides a great way of searching for information on professional association websites with special sections for publications or links to other reliable websites that have information relevant to what you are looking for.

You can highlight pertinent areas in those journals so that you can retrieve them and make your referencing much easier during the writing process. It is possible for you to remember any information you have highlighted when you are organizing your essay. Additionally, the information will be readily available with the appropriate reference.

Outlining your essay is important

If you are a good writer, you might skip this stage. However, if this is a class assignment, it will be necessary for you to incorporate it as it helps in the organization of your psychology essay. An outline is a roadmap for your essay and it is a good way of ensuring that you do not fall off the wagon of your topic. All related ideas in your topic are well covered and kept together. The outline makes it easier to fill in the party of the easy with relevant information. This is because of idea generation that takes place in every paragraph you prepare in the outline. You then access your references and ad more details to the pints that you have outlined.

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Writing the Essay

With an outline, the process of writing the essay becomes fast. If you do not have one, then you have to ensure that your flow is intact. The following sections of a psychological essay can be used with or without a subheading.

The introduction

This paragraph must contain a lead sentence that grabs the attention of the reader. To do this, you can use a startling quote from an expert, a statistic, or even a question. The introduction also introduces the background of the problem to the audience. It is also in this paragraph that the writer introduces what the essay is going to deal with entirely. This is why a unique approach must be invoked when writing the introduction. As a good writer, you stress the rationale for writing this paper. For instance, if you are studying depression in adoptive parents, you can indicate the symptoms are similar as the ones presented in a post-partum depression in birth mothers, but there is too little information on the phenomenon. As such, you should have a thesis statement that outlines such an area. It is supposed to be a two-sentence statement that is presented at the end of your introduction.

Research question

After stating your topic area, you follow it with a research question. I your literature review type of an essay or one that uses qualitative research as the premise, you only as the research question, quantitative studies only take a research hypothesis.

Literature review

The literature that you review should give more insights into your topic or research question. You have to use evidence from credible sources to support your ideas. When using literature, endure that it is current. The best thing to do is to ensure that you are using the most recent publications and text from sources that have been published in the last five years or thereabouts. You should follow your literature review with a recap of the literature cited in the form of critical analysis.

The conclusion

This paragraph recaps what you have presented in the essay. You are not supposed to leave the reader without any follow up questions. If they still have something in their mind that is not clear, then your work is not properly concluded. You are supposed to synthesize all the information you have discussed in light of the evidenced you have presented in your essay.

You reaffirm your thesis statement as well as reiterating and summarizing your major points. However, you are not supposed to introduce new information, facts, or evidence in the conclusion. Anything you write in this paragraph should tie to your thesis statement, meaning, it is everything that you have discussed within the body of your essay. You can use phrases like, “In conclusion…” to give the essay a sense of closure.

Works cited

Most psychology essays are written in APA format. You have to pay attention to its guidelines on formatting and referencing, everything you have used in the essay that is not your original idea must be cited accordingly. The sourced have to be listed in a Works Cited page that comes at the end of your paper. When making entries in this page, ensure that only the sources you have used are listed. Do not list any sources that you have not used in the essay just to make a list long. Lectures and instructions can trace every source you have used in your essay. Citations and references make your work credible, believable and they demonstrate your research capabilities.

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Proofreading and editing

Even if you are the best writers, you have to proofread your work. If you are using a computer to proofread, ensure that it has an updated spellchecker set for your language. It also checks grammatical errors. However, it is not foolproof, which is why it is essential for you to do the proofreading by yourself. You will notice mistakes that the computer may have overlooked. Correct anything to do with grammar, punctuation, and spelling.

Read your essay aloud and listen to any awkward sentences, phrases or incomplete sentences. Correct them accordingly. Get another person to read your essay. They will tell you about the points that are not clear and places where you need to improve regarding adding or deleting some details. Use the feedback to make your essay as flawless as you can.

Read your essay again to ensure it has the same message you wanted to pass across. Xo not just to fill out the word count requirement, you should ensure that every word is meaningful. After you are done with this process, you can prepare the final draft of your essay and present it to your instructor. If it is meant for publication, then go ahead and publish it where necessary.

Crucial components of psychology

Psychology relies on some components to make it more effective. These components are as follows:

  • A global structure
    Ensure that you have structured your contents in a way that allows the logical flow of ideas. Every paragraph must have a sensible statement that ties to the subsequent paragraph. Each of the paragraphs should have a topic sentence presenting the major theme illustrated and developed through several points.
  • Knowledge and understanding
    Recognize, remember, and show your understanding of a range of scientific materials that connect with your main theoretical perspective.
  • Critical evaluation
    The evidence from literary sources must support every argument you make in the essay. The essay should also demonstrate independence of thought, insight, and evaluation of the available evidence.
  • The quality of written communication
    Ensure that your piece is clear and uses appropriate paragraphs, spelling, and grammar. Your sources have to be referenced using the PAP format

Psychology essays might not be your forte, but that does not imply that they are hard to write. To write an effective paper, you have to practice as well as show interest from the onset. You do not wake up and become an expert.

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