This should say as much as possible about thecontent of the paper, in as few words as possible. For example,if you are writing about the psychological causes of teenagepregnancy, a good title is ``Psychological causes of teenagepregnancy.

'' Titles withcolons are currently in vogue (``A study of thinking:Psychological causes of teenage pregnancy'') but usually they arenot as cute as you think they are when you first think of them.

This is a brief (usually one paragraph) summaryof the whole paper, including the problem, the method for solvingit (when not obvious), the results, and the conclusions suggestedor drawn.

Do not write the abstract as a hasty afterthought. Look at it as a real exercise in cramming the most information inone paragraph.

The reader should not have to read any of therest of the paper in order to understand the abstract fully. Itspurpose is to allow the reader to decide whether to read thepaper or not.

A reader who does not want to read the papershould be able to read the abstract instead. When you write anabstract, remember Strunk & White's admonition, ``Omit needlesswords.

Tell the reader what the problem is, whatquestion you will try to answer, and why it is important.

Itmight be important for practical reasons or for theoretical (ormethodological) reasons having to do with the development of ascholarly discipline. If the problem is a very basic one, you may state the problemfirst and then review what has already been found out about it. If the problem is one that grows out of past literature, reviewthe history of how it arose.

But do not forget to mention thebasic issues behind the research tradition in question, thepractical or theoretical concerns that inspired it. In this case, you have probablychosen the wrong topic. ) Your literature review should be appropriate to the kind of paperyou are writing.

If it is a thesis, you should strive forcompleteness, both in reviewing all the relevant literature andin making the main arguments clear to a reader who is unfamiliarwith that literature.

For a course paper or journal article, itis sufficient to review the main papers that are directlyrelevant In some areas of psychology, the titles of many empirical research reports are informal in a way that is perhaps best described as “cute. it does not include the raw data—individual participants' responses or scores—researchers should save their raw data and make them available to other researchers who request them..

Again, you should assume that your reader has not readthem, but you need not go into detail.

Writing a research report in american psychological association

Do not say that ``X found Y'' or ``demonstrated'' if X's conclusionsdon't follow from X's results. You can use words like ``X claimedto show that Y'' or ``suggested that'' when you are not sure.

Try to avoidexpressions like ``Unfortunately, Smith and Jones neglected toexamine precisely what you are examining . '' It might have beenunfortunate for them or for the field, but it is fortunate foryou, and everyone knows it.

The introduction should lead up to, and conclude with, astatement of how you intend to approach your question and whyyour approach is an improvement on past efforts (or why it isworth undertaking even if it isn't). This is essentially what isnew about your approach, your particular contribution.

Something like ``applying X's method totest Y's theory'' is good enough.

This section gives the details of how you wentabout your project.

It is usually divided into subsections suchas subjects, materials, and procedure. These subheadings arestandard ones, but they are not always appropriate, and othersubheadings are acceptable.

The point of subheadings is that thereader may want to skip this section entirely and return to itlater in the paper. The subheadings should make it easy to findrelevant details.

Itis not a dump of your unanalyzed data, nor merely a report ofwhether your statistical tests were significant, but somewhere inbetween. It should contain whatever summary statistics will helpreaders see for themselves what happened, such as means andstandard deviations of various conditions, and raw correlations,when these are relevant.

It should also contain the results ofstatistical tests.

Make sure to do and report just those teststhat are relevant to the question that inspired your project Ask you supervisor for advice, but if in doubt, keep it simple, choose a memory experiment (you don't get extra marks for originality). You will also be likely to write your paper according to APA style. The report should have a thread of argument linking the prediction in the introduction to the content in the discussion..

Ifyou must include your raw data (and sometimes there is goodreason to do this), put them in an appendix.

How to write a lab report | simply psychology

) Graphs, charts, and tables are often useful in this section (andelsewhere, but less often). They should be labeled consecutivelyeither as Figures or Tables, depending on whether a typesettercould be expected to set them, (yes for tables, no for figures),e.

Each one should have acaption explaining clearly what it is, if possible withoutrelying on anything in the text. (Figure captions are on aseparate sheet so that the typesetter can set them, but forcourse papers, this is not necessary.

) The text should tell thereader when to look at the figures and tables (``As shown inFigure 1 . ''), and it should point out the important points, butit should not simply repeat in writing what they say.

Figures and tables are supposed to go at the end of the paper,but this is for the benefit of the typesetter. Most professors(except nitpickers) prefer the tables and figures close to wherethey are needed.

It is a good idea to begin the discussion witha summary of the results, for the benefit of the reader who wantsto skip the results section (and to remind the reader who didn'tskip it but got interrupted by a phone call and forgot it).

In the rest of this section, you return to your original questionand tell the reader what your results have to say about it (``Theresults indicate that . '') and what they do not have to say(``However, the results are inconclusive concerning .

Try tothink of objections that someone might make to the conclusionsthat you draw (whether the objections are correct or not) andeither answer them or qualify your conclusions to take them intoaccount (``Of course, these conclusions assume that the subjectswere telling the truth, which might not be the case'').

You mayalso say why you think the objections are weak even if they arepossible (``On the other hand, there was no reason for thesubjects to lie'') You can't and shouldn't rely on others to intuitively appreciate the beauty and importance of your work, he says. Sounds simple, right? In fact, choosing what to include can be overwhelming, warns sixth-year Yale University social psychology graduate student Aaron Sackett. It is easy to get caught up in the desire to be .

Your task here is not to do a sales pitch forsome idea but rather to help the reader understand exactly whatcan and cannot be concluded.

Research report (psychology)

Theadvantage of this is that it puts the results in the context ofthe issues that generate them. The disadvantage is that the flowof the discussion gets interrupted with a lot of statistics, etc.

The discussion section is also the place to say anything else youwant to say that does not go anywhere else. You may reflect onthe implications of your results, or your methods, or whatever,for other issues that were not the main point of the paper.

Youcan talk about how your project should have been done, and why. Or you can make a more general argument, for which your resultsare only a part.

Note that some of these things may be quite creative, but none ofthem amounts to simply reporting ``your own ideas'' withoutsupport. You should report your own ideas -- when you can supportthem with arguments and reply to potential arguments againstthem.

If you can't do this, maybe your ideas need to be changed. You can also make suggestions that might be true, labeled assuch, but then try to state the alternative too.

It is often a good idea to end the paper with a general statementof main message. More generally, one type of well-constructedpaper will reveal its main ideas to a reader who actually readsonly the first and last paragraph and the first and last sentenceof every intervening paragraph, and this principle appliesespecially to the discussion section by itself.

Usually,articles are mentioned in the text by author and date, e. ,Baron (1988), and the references at the end are listedalphabetically by author. Each discipline and each journal hasits own conventions about references.

These usually insureuniformity, but they don't even help the typesetter. Theimportant thing is that you give the reader what she needs tofind the articles you have cited.

For journals, both the volumeand the year are usually needed as well as the page numbers,because mistakes are common. If you really want to do it ``right''pick a journal and imitate the style.

Sometimes you want to say something that isn'tquite necessary.

If you canget away without using them, it saves the reader's eyes This guide introduces you to the world of psychological report writing. As part of the specification you should have knowledge of the conventions of reporting conclusions. The next part of the guide aims to examine each section of psychological report writing in detail. In order to understand how each section unfolds, it is .

Butsometimes it's hard to resist making rather extensive, but rathertangential remarks. Although it may sometimes seem that yourreader is a typesetter, you should write as if your reader were ascholar, that is, a professor, graduate student, or advancedundergraduate, doing what you are doing, trying to get to thebottom of some issue by reading what other people have done.

Youmay assume that this person is familiar with the discipline youare writing in (e. , she got an A in Psychology 1) but not withthe specific topic. Thus, you need to explain anything notcovered in Psychology 1.

(For some audiences, you need toexplain even more, but then you are doing journalism or textbookwriting, not scholarship. However, journalism is not a bad thingto learn to do, and scholars are unlikely to object if youexplain too much, as long as you do it concisely.

) Take theattitude that you are part of a giant enterprise of many peopleseeking the truth about the subject you are discussing. (Someday you may be surprised to find your professorhanding out copies of your paper to other students. ) You may assume your reader is intelligent, but he reads only yourpaper, not your mind.

Therefore, when you use any terms that arenot obvious, you must make sure to define them so as to removeany relevant ambiguity. A good way to do this is with both anabstract definition and an example: ``I use the word 'dyslexia' torefer to seriously impaired reading despite normal instruction,vision, hearing, and language ability.

By this definition, aretardate could be called dyslexic if his reading is far behindhis speech. '' There are practically no ``standard definitions'' infields like psychology, so you must choose your terms and yourdefinitions of them so as to capture what you want to say withoutflying the face of other people's definitions of the same terms.

Because terms are so important in academic discourse, do not usemore than one term for the same idea (no matter what you learnedin 9th grade English). Academic writing may seem pompous and convoluted toyou. Do not use words justbecause they sound academic (especially when you aren't sure whatthey really mean).

How to really write a psychology paper | psychology today

The syntax should help the reader figure out themeaning; the reader should not need the meaning to decipher thesyntax The following set of guidelines provides psychology students at Essex with the basic information for structuring and formatting reports of research in psychology. During your time here this will be an invaluable reference. You are encouraged to refer to this document each time you write a lab report. The writing of laboratory .

For example, put ``only'' just before what it modifies(``Smith suggested that only men are susceptible to thiseffect,'' not ``Smith only suggested that men .

'') to avoidambiguity of syntax, even if you think the meaning is clear fromcontext. Of course, pay attention to correct usage as well.

Make sure you know the rules for using commas; many people donot. (Strunk and White, "The elements of style," provide anexcellent review of the roles, as well as many fine suggestionsfor elegance as well as clarity.

) When you read, pay attention to the different ways that peopleindicate the relationship of their work to the truth. Words suchas indicate, demonstrate, prove (not used outside ofmathematics), test (a hypothesis), hypothesize, suggest, assert,question, claim, conclude, argue, discover, define, and assume dohave very specific meanings in academic discourse.

Seligman I've been correcting graduate student papers and editingjournal articles for more than twenty-five years. The first sentences of eachsection, and the first sentences of each paragraph as well, arethe most important sentences.

They should state, in plainEnglish, your main points. Cognitive therapy preventedrelapse better than drug therapy.

We performed four analyses ofcovariance on our data, first transforming them to z scores When you write a psychology paper, you are, above all, writing to convey factual knowledge that is supported Psychology writing can be very dense, with many references to previous research. Writers of psychology in order to conclude that Americans' attitudes toward gay rights have become more liberal, you would .

Wethen did paired comparisons using a Bonferroni correction. Don't squander the opportunity towrite forcefully by beginning with secondary points andcaveats. They belong in the body of the paragraph or section, butnot as openers.

Good scientificwriting uses qualifiers and caveats sparingly.

Qualifiers applyto marginal results, arguable statements, speculations, andpotential artifacts. They do not apply to strong findings,well-confirmed statements, or bedrock theory.

"Seem", "appear","indicate", "may", "suggest" and the like are meaningfulverbs. Right: Wrong: Our findings suggest that electric shockmay increase hunger. It also appears that water-deprivation seemsto lower hunger.

Help these readers byusing short sentences and plain words. Whenever a big word temptsyou, look hard for a plain word.

Whenever a long sentence temptsyou, find a way to break it up. The big word and the longsentence must increase accuracy a lot to make up for impedingreading.

Wrong: Thus, by assigning this group tothe wait-list condition, treatment effects would not beartificially inflated by including the higher income group with abetter prognosis in the initial treatment phase. So webiassed against our hypothesis by putting more of them in thewait-list control.

Omit words and ideas that the reader alreadyknows 16 Nov 2014 - (How you did it.) In the Method section, you describe the essentials of how you gathered your data. The art of writing a Method section is considered by some people to be the hardest to learn, although in principle there is no reason why this should be. It must contain enough information to enable the reader .

Overwriting slows the reader down and does not increaseaccuracy at all.

Wrong: The wait list control group, whencompared to the attention control group, the drug treatment groupand the psychotherapy treament group did worse than the attentioncontrol group, and much worse than the experimental drugtreatment group and the psychotherapy treatment group. Right: Psychotherapy and drugs did better thanattention alone and much better than no treatment.

Poor writers turnto the awkward passive voice to avoid saying "I did such andsuch".

Writeforcefully and use the active voice whenever you can.

Right: Wrong: It is suggested that animals can learnabout noncontingency. When noncontingency is learned by ananimal, helplessness results.

This small increase in accuracy slows the reader to acrawl. If you can manage it, group all your citations at the endof the paragraph.

Always state thedirection along with its significance.

Wrong: Right: Small doses of the drug put small rats tosleep right away, while big rats stayed awake even with verylarge doses (F weightXdose (2,31)=14.

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