How to Write a Psychology Research Paper, Step-by-Step

June 6, 2024

psychology research paper

Writing a psychology research paper from scratch can be overwhelming and somewhat intimidating especially if it’s your first piece of work.

However, when you know where to start, the assignment can be less stressful to handle and easy to complete within the specified deadline.

We’ve written this guide to provide you with a standard lead to writing an engaging research paper fast, so you can borrow the tips we’ve put together to make your psychology research paper writing process less intimidating and easy to manage.

How to Format and Write a Research Psychology Paper

1. Determine the Type of Psychology Paper to Write? 

psychology research

When it comes to writing a psychology research paper, the approach you use should fall within the expectations of your instructor.

First, start by determining the type of psychology research paper they’d like you to write, so you can submit the kind of paper that meets their expectations.

Literature Review 

If your instructor asks you to write a literature review on a psychology topic, you’ll have to summarize the research and findings compiled by other people on the topic.

As for the outline, a literature review on a psychology research should include an introduction, body, and a conclusion – with the number of cited studies and pages varying depending on the brief your instructor provides and the depth of the research and finding.

Psychology Lab Report 

Unlike a literature review, a psychology lab report requires that you conduct your own empirical experiment and come up with a more personalized finding.

Similar to many APA format lab reports, your research outline in this case should include a title page, an abstract, an introduction, methodology, results, relevant discussions, and references. 

2. Select a Good Psychology Research Paper Topic

psychology topics

Credit: Very Well

The next step is to choose an appropriate topic for your psychology research paper.

If your professor has already given you a subject to cover, stick to it and focus on completing the project according to the brief they provide.

However, if they’ve left it to you to choose a topic, you’re free to choose something that you’ll find worth focusing on. Here are some research topic ideas worth checking out.

Be careful how you choose your topic. Don’t go broad and avoid being too general.

Narrow down to a psychological research topic that focuses on a specific issue. This will allow you to have a stronger focus on relevant research, and even be able to develop a strong thesis and, at the same time, explore more specific findings than you would if you chose to go broad.

3. Develop an Effective Research Strategy

The key to writing and completing a compelling research paper in psychology is to do in-depth research upfront.

A strong approach is to come up with a well-written bibliography as this make it easy to track your sources and support the information in your research paper with relevant findings.

Remember, the further deep you get into research, the more information you’ll find that you can add to your research analysis.

Regardless of how many sources you’ve used, make a careful note of each, so it’ll be easier to track back to the source in case questions about your paper arise.

4. Create a Psychology Research Paper Outline  

There’s no point getting down to writing a psychology research paper if you don’t have an established framework in place.

So create a good research paper outline that you can use to get the project completed.

With a good structure in place, you’ll have a proper flow of ideas and organize your thoughts in a way that’s easy for your instructor to connect with from start to finish.

Often, a well-structured outline goes a long way to show exactly how your research efforts strengthen your arguable hypothesis as you work on the paper.

The outline for a research paper is actually simpler to create than you actually think. The three major parts are the introduction, body, and conclusion.

A lot of your work will go to the body section, and how detailed this part is will depend on the depth of research you conducted in step 3. 

5. Write Your First Draft 

At this point, you’re set to start writing your research paper using a standard framework that your instructor will approve.

Stick to the APA format, and include all the citations for the material you’ve used as reference in your writing.

As you write, make sure your psychology research paper includes only the most important, comprehensive, and relevant information.

This will go a long way to prove that you took time do your research and present your finding in the right way possible.

6. Proofread Your Psychology Research Paper 

Once you finish writing your draft, step away from the writing for a while.

Come back to it later for editing. Read and re-read the paper carefully, noting all the grammatical mistakes you may have made and fixing them.

It also makes sense to check the accuracy of the information you’ve included in the psychology research paper. I

f you’re unsure of something, go back to your bibliography and check the sources you indicated for reference.

If you can’t do this alone, feel free to ask a friend, particularly a course mate, to help you weed out the issues your research paper may have. This will ensure you end up with an up to the standard paper that will undoubtedly impress your instructor.

Get Essay Writing Help

What if you already know how to write any research paper but you just have too many assignments to focus on the research project? The best thing you can do if that’s the case is to seek for academic assistance. And Help for Assessment is a good agency to contract your work to.


If you’d like us to help you complete the work in good timing, check out our research writing service and place your order with us. Our editorial team will work hand in hand with you to get your paper completed in good time.

About the author 

Antony W is a professional writer and coach at Help for Assessment. He spends countless hours every day researching and writing great content filled with expert advice on how to write engaging essays, research papers, and assignments.

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