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How to Write a Psychology Research Paper

As a student, you are likely to write one of two basic kinds of Psychology research papers. The literature review involves summarizing the research conducted by others. The empirical paper is either reporting the results of your own study or presenting the proposal for a study.

Papers in the field of psychology follow the American Psychological Association (APA) writing style format. The basic parts of the paper are dependent upon whether it is a literature review or an empirical paper.

Parts of a Literature Review:

  • Introduction – introduces the topic and provides an explanation of the topic’s importance. It also provides related theories or findings concerning the topic. Finally, it provides the thesis statement for the literature review.
  • Body – provides evidence from others’ research related to your thesis statement.
  • Discussion/Conclusion/Implication – states your final conclusion. It synthesizes your findings into a succinct summary and discusses what your conclusion means in relationship to the explanations or theories stated by field experts. It also presents questions you have as a result of your research. Finally, it states the possible implications for existing theories.
  • References – lists references cited in your paper….
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