Writing in Psychology

Thursday 2 march 2017, the first class essay, no comments:, post a comment.

How to Write a Psychology Essay

Saul Mcleod, PhD

Editor-in-Chief for Simply Psychology

BSc (Hons) Psychology, MRes, PhD, University of Manchester

Saul Mcleod, PhD., is a qualified psychology teacher with over 18 years of experience in further and higher education. He has been published in peer-reviewed journals, including the Journal of Clinical Psychology.

Learn about our Editorial Process

Olivia Guy-Evans, MSc

Associate Editor for Simply Psychology

BSc (Hons) Psychology, MSc Psychology of Education

Olivia Guy-Evans is a writer and associate editor for Simply Psychology. She has previously worked in healthcare and educational sectors.

On This Page:

Before you write your essay, it’s important to analyse the task and understand exactly what the essay question is asking. Your lecturer may give you some advice – pay attention to this as it will help you plan your answer.

Next conduct preliminary reading based on your lecture notes. At this stage, it’s not crucial to have a robust understanding of key theories or studies, but you should at least have a general “gist” of the literature.

After reading, plan a response to the task. This plan could be in the form of a mind map, a summary table, or by writing a core statement (which encompasses the entire argument of your essay in just a few sentences).

After writing your plan, conduct supplementary reading, refine your plan, and make it more detailed.

It is tempting to skip these preliminary steps and write the first draft while reading at the same time. However, reading and planning will make the essay writing process easier, quicker, and ensure a higher quality essay is produced.

Components of a Good Essay

Now, let us look at what constitutes a good essay in psychology. There are a number of important features.
  • Global Structure – structure the material to allow for a logical sequence of ideas. Each paragraph / statement should follow sensibly from its predecessor. The essay should “flow”. The introduction, main body and conclusion should all be linked.
  • Each paragraph should comprise a main theme, which is illustrated and developed through a number of points (supported by evidence).
  • Knowledge and Understanding – recognize, recall, and show understanding of a range of scientific material that accurately reflects the main theoretical perspectives.
  • Critical Evaluation – arguments should be supported by appropriate evidence and/or theory from the literature. Evidence of independent thinking, insight, and evaluation of the evidence.
  • Quality of Written Communication – writing clearly and succinctly with appropriate use of paragraphs, spelling, and grammar. All sources are referenced accurately and in line with APA guidelines.

In the main body of the essay, every paragraph should demonstrate both knowledge and critical evaluation.

There should also be an appropriate balance between these two essay components. Try to aim for about a 60/40 split if possible.

Most students make the mistake of writing too much knowledge and not enough evaluation (which is the difficult bit).

It is best to structure your essay according to key themes. Themes are illustrated and developed through a number of points (supported by evidence).

Choose relevant points only, ones that most reveal the theme or help to make a convincing and interesting argument.

essay structure example

Knowledge and Understanding

Remember that an essay is simply a discussion / argument on paper. Don’t make the mistake of writing all the information you know regarding a particular topic.

You need to be concise, and clearly articulate your argument. A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences.

Each paragraph should have a purpose / theme, and make a number of points – which need to be support by high quality evidence. Be clear why each point is is relevant to the argument. It would be useful at the beginning of each paragraph if you explicitly outlined the theme being discussed (.e.g. cognitive development, social development etc.).

Try not to overuse quotations in your essays. It is more appropriate to use original content to demonstrate your understanding.

Psychology is a science so you must support your ideas with evidence (not your own personal opinion). If you are discussing a theory or research study make sure you cite the source of the information.

Note this is not the author of a textbook you have read – but the original source / author(s) of the theory or research study.

For example:

Bowlby (1951) claimed that mothering is almost useless if delayed until after two and a half to three years and, for most children, if delayed till after 12 months, i.e. there is a critical period.
Maslow (1943) stated that people are motivated to achieve certain needs. When one need is fulfilled a person seeks to fullfil the next one, and so on.

As a general rule, make sure there is at least one citation (i.e. name of psychologist and date of publication) in each paragraph.

Remember to answer the essay question. Underline the keywords in the essay title. Don’t make the mistake of simply writing everything you know of a particular topic, be selective. Each paragraph in your essay should contribute to answering the essay question.

Critical Evaluation

In simple terms, this means outlining the strengths and limitations of a theory or research study.

There are many ways you can critically evaluate:

Methodological evaluation of research

Is the study valid / reliable ? Is the sample biased, or can we generalize the findings to other populations? What are the strengths and limitations of the method used and data obtained?

Be careful to ensure that any methodological criticisms are justified and not trite.

Rather than hunting for weaknesses in every study; only highlight limitations that make you doubt the conclusions that the authors have drawn – e.g., where an alternative explanation might be equally likely because something hasn’t been adequately controlled.

Compare or contrast different theories

Outline how the theories are similar and how they differ. This could be two (or more) theories of personality / memory / child development etc. Also try to communicate the value of the theory / study.

Debates or perspectives

Refer to debates such as nature or nurture, reductionism vs. holism, or the perspectives in psychology . For example, would they agree or disagree with a theory or the findings of the study?

What are the ethical issues of the research?

Does a study involve ethical issues such as deception, privacy, psychological or physical harm?

Gender bias

If research is biased towards men or women it does not provide a clear view of the behavior that has been studied. A dominantly male perspective is known as an androcentric bias.

Cultural bias

Is the theory / study ethnocentric? Psychology is predominantly a white, Euro-American enterprise. In some texts, over 90% of studies have US participants, who are predominantly white and middle class.

Does the theory or study being discussed judge other cultures by Western standards?

Animal Research

This raises the issue of whether it’s morally and/or scientifically right to use animals. The main criterion is that benefits must outweigh costs. But benefits are almost always to humans and costs to animals.

Animal research also raises the issue of extrapolation. Can we generalize from studies on animals to humans as their anatomy & physiology is different from humans?

The PEC System

It is very important to elaborate on your evaluation. Don’t just write a shopping list of brief (one or two sentence) evaluation points.

Instead, make sure you expand on your points, remember, quality of evaluation is most important than quantity.

When you are writing an evaluation paragraph, use the PEC system.

  • Make your P oint.
  • E xplain how and why the point is relevant.
  • Discuss the C onsequences / implications of the theory or study. Are they positive or negative?

For Example

  • Point: It is argued that psychoanalytic therapy is only of benefit to an articulate, intelligent, affluent minority.
  • Explain: Because psychoanalytic therapy involves talking and gaining insight, and is costly and time-consuming, it is argued that it is only of benefit to an articulate, intelligent, affluent minority. Evidence suggests psychoanalytic therapy works best if the client is motivated and has a positive attitude.
  • Consequences: A depressed client’s apathy, flat emotional state, and lack of motivation limit the appropriateness of psychoanalytic therapy for depression.

Furthermore, the levels of dependency of depressed clients mean that transference is more likely to develop.

Using Research Studies in your Essays

Research studies can either be knowledge or evaluation.
  • If you refer to the procedures and findings of a study, this shows knowledge and understanding.
  • If you comment on what the studies shows, and what it supports and challenges about the theory in question, this shows evaluation.

Writing an Introduction

It is often best to write your introduction when you have finished the main body of the essay, so that you have a good understanding of the topic area.

If there is a word count for your essay try to devote 10% of this to your introduction.

Ideally, the introduction should;

Identify the subject of the essay and define the key terms. Highlight the major issues which “lie behind” the question. Let the reader know how you will focus your essay by identifying the main themes to be discussed. “Signpost” the essay’s key argument, (and, if possible, how this argument is structured).

Introductions are very important as first impressions count and they can create a h alo effect in the mind of the lecturer grading your essay. If you start off well then you are more likely to be forgiven for the odd mistake later one.

Writing a Conclusion

So many students either forget to write a conclusion or fail to give it the attention it deserves.

If there is a word count for your essay try to devote 10% of this to your conclusion.

Ideally the conclusion should summarize the key themes / arguments of your essay. State the take home message – don’t sit on the fence, instead weigh up the evidence presented in the essay and make a decision which side of the argument has more support.

Also, you might like to suggest what future research may need to be conducted and why (read the discussion section of journal articles for this).

Don”t include new information / arguments (only information discussed in the main body of the essay).

If you are unsure of what to write read the essay question and answer it in one paragraph.

Points that unite or embrace several themes can be used to great effect as part of your conclusion.

The Importance of Flow

Obviously, what you write is important, but how you communicate your ideas / arguments has a significant influence on your overall grade. Most students may have similar information / content in their essays, but the better students communicate this information concisely and articulately.

When you have finished the first draft of your essay you must check if it “flows”. This is an important feature of quality of communication (along with spelling and grammar).

This means that the paragraphs follow a logical order (like the chapters in a novel). Have a global structure with themes arranged in a way that allows for a logical sequence of ideas. You might want to rearrange (cut and paste) paragraphs to a different position in your essay if they don”t appear to fit in with the essay structure.

To improve the flow of your essay make sure the last sentence of one paragraph links to first sentence of the next paragraph. This will help the essay flow and make it easier to read.

Finally, only repeat citations when it is unclear which study / theory you are discussing. Repeating citations unnecessarily disrupts the flow of an essay.

Referencing

The reference section is the list of all the sources cited in the essay (in alphabetical order). It is not a bibliography (a list of the books you used).

In simple terms every time you cite/refer to a name (and date) of a psychologist you need to reference the original source of the information.

If you have been using textbooks this is easy as the references are usually at the back of the book and you can just copy them down. If you have been using websites, then you may have a problem as they might not provide a reference section for you to copy.

References need to be set out APA style :

Author, A. A. (year). Title of work . Location: Publisher.

Journal Articles

Author, A. A., Author, B. B., & Author, C. C. (year). Article title. Journal Title, volume number (issue number), page numbers

A simple way to write your reference section is use Google scholar . Just type the name and date of the psychologist in the search box and click on the “cite” link.

scholar

Next, copy and paste the APA reference into the reference section of your essay.

apa reference

Once again, remember that references need to be in alphabetical order according to surname.

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Tips for writing a first-class essay

  • Tuesday, April 13, 2021
  • Undergraduate

Chloe Softly

  • United Kingdom
  • minute read

As a final year student, I have noticed huge developments in my academic writing and ultimately would like to share a few wise words on what I think has helped me to achieve first-class essay marks.

Firstly, how will we ever get a first without being aware of what is expected? We need to get to know the mark scheme. A great way of guaranteeing we are achieving all the key elements of the mark scheme, is to align our initial plan with each point of the criteria and keep checking throughout our essay writing to assure all areas are being covered.

Another BIG thing is always to make sure you understand the question. Now I hope this doesn’t sound patronising, but it is so important to read, read and read the question again to fully understand. A main part of understanding fully includes evaluating the action phrase in the question, so make sure you know what is required when you see phrases such as ‘Describe’ and ‘Critically Analyse’.

Along with understanding the question, we need to be able to answer it effectively, and the best way to do this is through the structure. Within academic writing it is vital to frame your argument coherently so the essay flows from paragraph to paragraph. A massive factor in enabling this stems from our essay structure outlined in the introduction. A thing I like to do after finishing my essay is putting a tick next to each paragraph if it matches with this initial outlined structure to guarantee that the essay flows.

The final tip I have is to make sure your references reflect the depth of your knowledge. I always include references from the core and further reading lists, but also carry out additional reading to provide my markers with new perceptions. They want to learn from us! In order to find new sources, I make sure to use the University of Manchester Library, to certify these sources are credible (Peer-Reviewed). With some essays you may end up having a multitude of sources that can be difficult to organise, so one way that I handle this is by creating a table that consists of three columns: one for the main argument, one for the supporting evidence, and one for the source citation. This presents me with a simple method of creating a bibliography, without adding extra pressure to myself.

Although these tips may be useful, we cannot ignore the abundance of resources that are available to assist us. One great resource is the ‘Academic Phrasebank’, a document put together by Dr. John Morley at the University of Manchester, that provides insights into how to succeed within your academic writing. From providing notes on essay structure, grammar, and most essential key phrases, this document has become an indispensable guide to me. All in all, from mark schemes to structure to sources, these are just a few tips that will hopefully help. It’s time to go get that first!

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How to Write an Introduction for a Psychology Paper

Kendra Cherry, MS, is a psychosocial rehabilitation specialist, psychology educator, and author of the "Everything Psychology Book."

first class psychology essay example

Emily is a board-certified science editor who has worked with top digital publishing brands like Voices for Biodiversity, Study.com, GoodTherapy, Vox, and Verywell.

first class psychology essay example

  • Writing Tips

If you are writing a psychology paper, it is essential to kick things off with a strong introduction. The introduction to a psychology research paper helps your readers understand why the topic is important and what they need to know before they delve deeper.

Your goal in this section is to introduce the topic to the reader, provide an overview of previous research on the topic, and identify your own hypothesis .

At a Glance

Writing a great introduction can be a great foundation for the rest of your psychology paper. To create a strong intro:

  • Research your topic
  • Outline your paper
  • Introduce your topic
  • Summarize the previous research
  • Present your hypothesis or main argument

Before You Write an Introduction

There are some important steps you need to take before you even begin writing your introduction. To know what to write, you need to collect important background information and create a detailed plan.

Research Your Topic

Search a journal database, PsychInfo or ERIC, to find articles on your subject. Once you have located an article, look at the reference section to locate other studies cited in the article. As you take notes from these articles, be sure to write down where you found the information.

A simple note detailing the author's name, journal, and date of publication can help you keep track of sources and avoid plagiarism.

Create a Detailed Outline

This is often one of the most boring and onerous steps, so students tend to skip outlining and go straight to writing. Creating an outline might seem tedious, but it can be an enormous time-saver down the road and will make the writing process much easier.

Start by looking over the notes you made during the research process and consider how you want to present all of your ideas and research.

Introduce the Topic

Once you are ready to write your introduction, your first task is to provide a brief description of the research question. What is the experiment or study attempting to demonstrate? What phenomena are you studying? Provide a brief history of your topic and explain how it relates to your current research.

As you are introducing your topic, consider what makes it important. Why should it matter to your reader? The goal of your introduction is not only to let your reader know what your paper is about, but also to justify why it is important for them to learn more.

If your paper tackles a controversial subject and is focused on resolving the issue, it is important to summarize both sides of the controversy in a fair and impartial way. Consider how your paper fits in with the relevant research on the topic.

The introduction of a research paper is designed to grab interest. It should present a compelling look at the research that already exists and explain to readers what questions your own paper will address.

Summarize Previous Research

The second task of your introduction is to provide a well-rounded summary of previous research that is relevant to your topic. So, before you begin to write this summary, it is important to research your topic thoroughly.

Finding appropriate sources amid thousands of journal articles can be a daunting task, but there are several steps you can take to simplify your research. If you have completed the initial steps of researching and keeping detailed notes, writing your introduction will be much easier.

It is essential to give the reader a good overview of the historical context of the issue you are writing about, but do not feel like you must provide an exhaustive review of the subject. Focus on hitting the main points, and try to include the most relevant studies.

You might describe previous research findings and then explain how the current study differs or expands upon earlier research.

Provide Your Hypothesis

Once you have summarized the previous research, explain areas where the research is lacking or potentially flawed. What is missing from previous studies on your topic? What research questions have yet to be answered? Your hypothesis should lead to these questions.

At the end of your introduction, offer your hypothesis and describe what you expected to find in your experiment or study.

The introduction should be relatively brief. You want to give your readers an overview of a topic, explain why you are addressing it, and provide your arguments.

Tips for Writing Your Psychology Paper Intro

  • Use 3x5 inch note cards to write down notes and sources.
  • Look in professional psychology journals for examples of introductions.
  • Remember to cite your sources.
  • Maintain a working bibliography with all of the sources you might use in your final paper. This will make it much easier to prepare your reference section later on.
  • Use a copy of the APA style manual to ensure that your introduction and references are in proper APA format .

What This Means For You

Before you delve into the main body of your paper, you need to give your readers some background and present your main argument in the introduction of you paper. You can do this by first explaining what your topic is about, summarizing past research, and then providing your thesis.

Armağan A. How to write an introduction section of a scientific article ?  Turk J Urol . 2013;39(Suppl 1):8-9. doi:10.5152/tud.2013.046

Fried T, Foltz C, Lendner M, Vaccaro AR. How to write an effective introduction .  Clin Spine Surg . 2019;32(3):111-112. doi:10.1097/BSD.0000000000000714

Jawaid SA, Jawaid M. How to write introduction and discussion .  Saudi J Anaesth . 2019;13(Suppl 1):S18-S19. doi:10.4103/sja.SJA_584_18

American Psychological Association. Information Recommended for Inclusion in Manuscripts That Report New Data Collections Regardless of Research Design . Published 2020.

By Kendra Cherry, MSEd Kendra Cherry, MS, is a psychosocial rehabilitation specialist, psychology educator, and author of the "Everything Psychology Book."

How to Write a Psychology Essay

Writing a psychology essay can be daunting, because of the constant changes in understanding and differing perspectives that exist in the field. However, if you follow our tips and guidelines you are guaranteed to produce a first-class, high quality psychology essay.

Types of Psychology essay

Psychology essays can come in a range of formats:

  • Compare and contrast.

For example:

  • Compare the benefits of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) with psychoanalysis on patients with schizophrenia.
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of family therapy for children of drug addicts.
  • CBT is the most effective form of treatment for those struggling with mental illness. Discuss

Once you understand what is being asked of you, and thus the focus of your essay, you can move on to identifying how to structure your work. In all cases the broad structure is similar – an introduction – body section and conclusion. Furthermore, in all cases, your work, and any statements you make should be made using only verifiable, credible sources that should be referenced clearly at the end of your work. To support you in delivering a premium psychology essay, we have indicated a general structure for you to follow.

Introduction

The most important thing about your introduction is it just that. An introduction. It should be short, captivating and hook your reader into wanting to carry on. A good introduction introduces a few key points about the topic so that the reader knows the subject of your paper and its background.

You should also include a thesis statement which describes your intent and perspective on the matter. The statement comes from first identifying a question you wish to ask, for example, “how does CBT differ from psychoanalysis in treating schizophrenics”. This will then enable you to identify a clear statement such as “CBT is more effective in treating schizophrenics than psychoanalysis”. In effect, a captivating introduction sets out what you will be saying in your essay, clearly, concisely, and objectively.

Body of the Essay

The body of the essay is where you make all your relevant points and undertake a dissection of the central themes of your work in the topic area. Note when undertaking a compare and contrast essay it is a good practice to indicate all the similarities and then the differences to ensure a smooth coherent flow.

For each point you make, use a separate paragraph, and ensure that any statements you make are backed up by credible evidence and properly referenced sources. In an evaluation essay, you should indicate the analysis undertaken to make the judgement you have, again backed by credible sources. Discussive psychology essays require you to state your point and then debate it with pros and cons for each side.

Overall, in the body section, you body text should be focused on providing valuable insights and evaluation of the topic and enable you to demonstrate deductive reasoning (“as a result of x… it can be indicated that”) and evidence based analysis (“although x indicates that y, a suggests an alternative view based on…”). Following a logical flow with one point per paragraph ensures the reader is able to follow your thinking process and eventually draw the same conclusions.

Furthermore, it is important when writing a psychology essay to examine a wide range of sources, that cover both sides of a topic or phenomenon. Without demonstrating a wide-ranging knowledge of the diversity of perspectives, you cannot be objective in evaluating a subject area.

In addition, you should recognise that not all your readers may be familiar with psychological terms or acronyms so these need to be explained briefly and concisely the first time they are used. Furthermore, you should avoid definitive statements, because psychology is constantly evolving so do not use phrases such as “this proves…”, instead use terms such as “this is consistent with work by…” or “this supports x’s view that…”. It is also not appropriate to use the first person (“I”), even when expressing opinions, always use the third person and where possible the past tense.

As with the introduction, the conclusion should hold the reader, and crystallise all the arguments and points made into an overall summation of your views. This summation should be in line with your thesis statement which has to be restated here and leave no room for unanswered questions. Your aim is to reaffirm that the points you have made in your body text sum up and provide a clear answer to the task of the psychology essay – whether this compare and contrast, discussion, or evaluation.

Key Phrases for a Psychology Essay

  • Previous work in the area has suggested that…
  • However, prior studies did not consider…
  • In this paper it is therefore argued that…
  • The significance of this view is that…
  • In light of this indication, there is a potential that…
  • In order to understand x, it is necessary to also recognise that…
  • Similarly, it has been suggested that…
  • Furthermore, additional evidence from x indicates that…
  • Conversely, x suggests that…
  • Similarly, the indications from … are that…
  • That being said, it is also evident that…

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How to Write a Psychology Essay

first class psychology essay example

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In most psychology and related courses, learners are expected to write short essays or extended exam-style answers about research studies or theories. I want to share some tips about how to structure this type of essay.

It will be especially useful if you are a student in your final years of school (e.g. A-Level, AP, Higher), as well as for college and university students.

THE STRUCTURE

The most common way of structuring an essay is to base it around three parts — an introduction, main body, and conclusion. I suggest that you stick that structure! It works well, and is also what a marker will be expecting to see.

At the same time, you should remember that this structure is only a foundation. Each of the sections will need to be tweaked to fit the needs of each particular essay.

Overall, the introduction sets the scene, and tells the reader (or marker) all of the background that they need to know before you really get started with the topic. The main section is where you really delve into the particular topic, including arguments for or against an idea, while the conclusion is where you sum up this argument and identify issues that rise. I’ll now explain each of these in turn.

INTRODUCTION SECTIONS

There are several things that should be included in a good introduction. It should state the aim of the essay, and provide enough background information to put the main issue into context.

For example, in an essay analysing the Asch (1951) study of conformity , you might begin by explaining the key context around conformity and social psychology at the time, defining some terms (especially what is meant by ‘conformity’) and giving relevant quotes and references. For example, you could point out that social processes at the time were viewed mainly in terms of individuals’ thoughts and feelings, but that Asch and others argued that social behaviour is more than the sum of its (individual) parts.

Your introduction could also give a very brief synopsis of the study itself, without going into lots of methodological details. Finally, your introduction should usually state the goal of the essay, along the lines of: “in this essay, I will argue that the Asch study is flawed.”

MAIN BODY OF THE ESSAY

The main body of your essay will be the majority of the piece in terms of word count. It is often divided into a further three subsections — for the issue, against the issue, and ‘on balance’ — but this does depend on the essay topic. In a short essay, three paragraphs might work well, but in longer essays, each of these parts will need to be expanded further.

Let’s imagine a short essay evaluating the classic Milgram (1963) study of obedience , for example. Here, your introduction will already have briefly summarised the study. A good structure for the main body might be:

• A paragraph supporting the study. This will give details, but will not be purely descriptive. Instead, you should use facts about the study to support an argument for its strengths. For example, you might point out that this study was the first of its kind, that it has been hugely influential, and that notwithstanding its ethical issues, it appears that the participants took the task seriously and believed in what they were doing, increasing the validity of the findings.

• A paragraph criticising the study. Here, you will present the other side of the argument (weaknesses). Again, you should use facts to build an argument. So don’t say things like, “this was a lab study, and therefore artificial”. That would simply be stating a fact. Instead, explain what this means in terms of the findings. A better comment would be: “Milgram’s study was a lab experiment. This meant that it was artificial, and we have to question how realistic the situation is when compared to everyday life. Granted, there are historical examples of people committing atrocities because they were ordered to do so by an authority figure. But in everyday life, it is very uncommon for a civilian to be ordered to give a deadly shock to a complete stranger. Outside of an experimental situation, it is entirely possible that most people would refuse such an order.”

• A paragraph weighing up the strengths and weaknesses. Taking into account further facts about the study as well as broader research ideas, this section allows you to present counterpoints to some of the arguments raised so far, and try to balance the discussion. It therefore sets up the final conclusion of your essay.

THE ESSAY CONCLUSION

Your essay’s conclusion should re-emphasise the main points you have made so far, and will also reflect back on the original aim of the essay. This allows you to show that what you have been talking about does indeed meet your aims, and that you have successfully answered the question (or fulfilled the task).

For example, an essay discussing the methodology of the research by Pozzulo et al (2011) into eyewitness memory might state something like: “In this essay, I have explained how the experimental methodology of the essay distinguished it from previous research…”

Of course, no essay will completely resolve an ongoing scientific debate. You therefore might choose to raise further issues that are unresolved here, or highlight alternative views, using terms like ‘however’, and ‘on the other hand’, or ‘it shouldn’t be forgotten that…’.

A strong ending will reinforce the main point, linking in to the original stated aim of the essay, e.g. “On the whole, though, the Pozzulo et al (2011) study demonstrates why experimental methodology is so important if we are to understand the processes at work when eyewitnesses try to remember faces that they have seen.”

OTHER POINTS TO CONSIDER

Overall, the 3-part essay structure is a coherent basis for writing essays, suitable for students at all levels. Even a lengthier essay (for example the 3000-word essays that my Masters students write about theories of learning) is completed in more or less the same way, with each of the three parts proportionally longer, and subdivided where necessary.

In fact, this blog post is following a similar structure, too. The first four paragraphs formed an introduction to what I was talking about. I then had a main body with three subsections (the three sections of the essay), and you have now reached my conclusion section!

The reason that this structure works so well is that the introduction and conclusion serve to put the main information into context and to comment on what it means. They also mirror each other — the end reflects back on what was said at the beginning. A similar format is used in storytelling, and people respond well to writing where everything seems to fit together and make sense.

At the same time, remember that every essay is different. Make sure that you check the guidelines for your own essay carefully. Refer to the marking criteria (if available), and if anything is unclear, discuss the requirements with your teacher/lecturer.

Good luck with your essay writing :)

Originally published on my Medium page here.

629 Psychology Essay Topics & Examples

Struggle with essay writing on mental health, disorders, or overall well-being? Our team has prepared this list of psychology essay topics for high school and college students.

📃 Aspects to Cover in a Psychology Essay

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At the core of every excellent psychology essay are the writer’s comprehensive knowledge and ability to structure it into bite-sized clusters of information.

While it is evident that your topic is your guiding line, you should not limit yourself to focusing only on the information you are including. Instead, you should try to cover all aspects of essay writing in your paper, from facts and their sources to writing strategies.

Psychology Essay Topics

From self-analysis and obedience to nonverbal communication and various mental disorders, most subjects may seem interrelated and reflective of each other.

Your search for an issue that is yours should begin with analyzing psychology essay prompts, such as:

  • What branch of psychology interests you most?
  • Which theorists have contributed to this branch?
  • Which issues and mechanisms have they outlined?
  • Is there adequate supplementary research on these problems?
  • What is the opinion of contemporary academia on these subjects?
  • Do you want to build upon existing arguments or attempt to critique?

After this, you can analyze what resonates with you, for example, a particular theory or a specific personality, and you can begin writing a thesis statement for your paper.

Pre-writing

Doing your research beforehand helps you get an understanding of how to develop your central theme. Your bibliography and your used titles demonstrate not only your credibility but also the approach you have regarding your subject.

A well-versed reader may even draw a correct conclusion regarding which theorists have influenced your work, even if you did not explicitly state them in your paper, judging by your used sources.

Therefore, be selective in choosing what books and journals to use for your essay and include only those that help advance your pre-written thesis statement.

Referencing information from books and journals is an essential aspect of writing an essay, as this demonstrates the soundness of your ideas per the academic viewpoint on your subject.

Psychology Essay Structure

Your essay may only be as good as the outline you create for it. When you divide your work into thematic blocks, you can begin to see which topics are lacking in development and may need extra attention.

Furthermore, when you split your work up, it becomes easier to write and create interconnected paragraphs. Who takes on the role of the appraiser, the used mechanism, and the personal and social implications of it are all examples of dissecting social evaluation into smaller problems.

Addressing each of these blocks in separate paragraphs helps maintain a coherent yet exciting narrative.

  • Your introduction should give your audience a brief overview of the issue that you will develop throughout the next pages;
  • Your conclusion should summarize your findings, effectively outlining the outcome of your work per your thesis statement;
  • The body paragraphs between your introduction and conclusion, as per you outline, should each address a single theme, creating a unique, interflowing narrative.

If you are not sure how to do this, then read an available psychology essay example to gain a better understanding of how to develop your theme.

Sample papers are an excellent way to jump-start your writing, as you can see for yourself, which approaches to essay wiring work and do not, respectively implementing or removing them from your essay.

Need more help before you can get started? Use IvyPanda for all your essay-writing needs!

  • Psychological Profile of John Wayne Gacy Gacy was born into a family of a homemaker mother and a father veteran of the First World War and a car repair person. In the course of charging, trialing, and convicting he never admitted […]
  • The Silence of the Lambs Psychological Analysis In the movie The Silence of the Lambs, Hannibal Lecter portrays several traits and behavioral patterns that show he is suffering from a psychological condition.
  • Six Major Psychological Theories: Strengths and Weaknesses Behavioral psychology is considered a descendant of the animal psychology, which argues that the environment has a lot of influence in the changes that take place in human beings.
  • Psychological Disorders in “American Psycho” Movie The main character, who will be the basis of this paper’s analysis, is Patrick Bateman, who is a young and successful individual.
  • The Tell-Tale Heart Psychological Analysis & Critique The outstanding character in the tale, who is also the narrator, attracts a lot of attention from the readers. The narrator forms the basis of the tale.
  • Psychological Science: Counseling Essay (Theory of Counseling) Another important aspect is the counseling process; this depends on the individual counselor and client and the urgency of the issue in question.
  • The Perception Process Stages – Psychology Perception refers to the process of organizing, identifying, and interpreting sensory information in an effort to understand and make sense of the environment.
  • Comparing Freud, Adler and Jung Psychology Freud did develop the original theories of the conscious and unconscious and subconscious; the ego, id and superego; the libidinal and aggressive drives; the Oedipus and Electra complexes; the defense mechanisms of the mind being, […]
  • Language in Cognitive Psychology Adult people can preserve 50,000 words of their first language and thousands of words of the second language in the form of lexicons.
  • Psychology and Christianity: “Abnormality” From a Biblical Perspective The Bible as God’s word is right in all religious teachings within the context of Christian setup. How can the Bible’s guidance inform an individual’s notion of abnormality?
  • Aileen Wuornos: Biological, Psychological, and Social Control Theories The name of Aileen Wuornos and the story of her life have been popular topics of discussion in mass media and professional literature.
  • “Inside Out”: Riley’s Psychological Analysis This genre of cinematography is mainly aimed at the children’s audience, which means that the task of the screenwriters is to create such material that would be able to tell the severe emotional problems of […]
  • Forensic Psychology: Zodiac Killer Case Analysis By looking at the subject matter of the Zodiac Killer, the present paper aims to identify important characteristics related to serial killers and how the domain of forensic psychology could be applied to solve cases […]
  • Psychological Testing: Ethical and Legal Issues Two of the cases that have had a major impact on the institution of psychological testing are ‘Larry P.v Riles and Crawford v.
  • The Psychology of Serial Killers These are just a fraction of questions that require answers in order to have a complete understanding of the psychology of serial killers.
  • Psychology: Change Blindness Experiment The independent variable was the type of change, and the dependent variable was the response to detecting the changes. Broadly, it was established that change blindness varied with the type of change introduced because incongruent […]
  • Biological Psychology: Development and Theories Therefore, biological psychology is used to examine the behavior of the humans and animals in order to facilitate in the treatment of the brain.
  • Positive Psychology in “The Pursuit of Happyness” Film Gardner demonstrates perseverance, hope, and social intelligence and illustrates the importance of effectance motivation and the power of social networks, even though the protagonist’s relationship with his wife could be improved.
  • Rain Man and Psychological Concepts The concepts of autism, conformity, and trust are described in the movie; and the peculiarity of this story is that one concept is closely connected to another concept, and the consequences of one concept influence […]
  • Psychological Theories of Sophocles’ Oedipus the King One of the greatest tragedies of Sophocles, Oedipus the King touches upon a deep psychological theme of the parents-son relations which lately was called the Oedipus complex and the theme of faith as a main […]
  • The Core Characteristics of Social Psychology Further, scientific methods form the integral part of social psychology in that they aid the development of theories and their validation in order to provide the scientific understanding of human behavior.
  • Norms in Psychological Testing Research Paper One of the inherent problems associated with norms and their interpretation in psychological tests is that as time goes on the characteristics by which a particular population/group is defined tends to change and as such […]
  • Criminal Psychology Although the above discussed theories indicate that anyone can be a criminal since the development of the behaviour is determined greatly by the environmental factors,Eysenck’s theory of crime indicate that there are heredity factors that […]
  • The Significance of Lifespan Development in the Practice of Counseling Psychology The physical aspect of lifespan development is one of the important ones: it is related to the growth and development of the body and changes in the body and the brain.
  • Indian Sex Workers and Psychological Effects of Job The article “Serving The Goddess”: The dangerous life of a sacred sex worker” is a brief account of the life of two devadasis, particularly their experiences as sex workers.
  • Memory Chart Stages in Psychology For instance, the brain uses the procedural memory to encode procedural skills and tasks that an individual is involved in. The stages of memory are very complex and often pass unrecognized.
  • Girl, Interrupted (1999): Exploring Four Mental Disorders Apart from the dramatic and the entertaining aspect of this movie, it contains a psychological aspect and this is the major purpose of this paper; exploring the psychological disorders in the movie, giving their causes […]
  • Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” Psychological View As a fact, based on the way the author strategically presents various characters, psychological critics have suggested that some characters in the A Midsummer Night’s Dream can be seen as representations of the ego, the […]
  • Attention Regarding Cognitive Psychology That a person only pays attention to the stimulus they are interested in and ignore the rest of the stimuli. The study of attention in cognitive psychology is not a new phenomenon.
  • The Psychology of Happiness The psychology of happiness is closely related to philosophy, as the science of happiness is based on three major theories, namely “the emotional state theory, the life satisfaction theory, and hedonism”. As far as happiness […]
  • Common Criticisms of Psychology It is the application of knowledge in the study of human activity such as the day to day lives and mental illness. Psychology is the study of human mind and behavior.
  • Psychological Concept of Learning This article explores the concept of learning by focusing on learning, the role of behavior in relation to learning, types of learning, and the relationship between learning and cognition.
  • Ethical Issues Associated With Psychological Testing The second case along the line of psychological testing includes the case of Brown V. Reason The above case was used to examine the validity of psychological testing.
  • Comparison of Codes of Ethics: The American Counseling Association and the American Psychological Association Both the Psychologist and the counselor abide to the same codes of conduct with regard to terminating their services to a client.
  • Physiological and Psychological Needs Differences Both physiological and psychological needs are necessary for the proper development of an individual. However, it is impossible for an individual to survive without satisfying their physiological needs.
  • The Movie “Blue Velvet”: Psychological Criticism The gist of this paper, therefore, is to offer psychological criticism of the Movie as regards its screenplay, plot, direction, and general presentation, and this is done by applying the Freudian Theory of Psychological Analysis […]
  • Definition and Theories of Environmental Psychology The human mind is divided into small sections that can be studied to identify the role played by the brain in the interaction between human beings and the environment.
  • Psychology of Adolescence Development The strategy allows the examination of the significance of adolescence as a standard stage of development. However, she admits that she experienced a period of anxiety and distress upon the death of her mother when […]
  • Psychological Assessment Tools for Christian Professionals This enables the specialist gathering the data to have a bigger picture of the assessee and thus employ the most effective methods in therapy or other help.
  • Modern Cognitive Psychology Renaissance philosophers of the seventeenth century attempted to use graphical representations to demonstrate the structure and operations of the human brain.
  • The Role of Hypotheses in Psychological Research A hypothesis is a specified concept about a certain concept which can be tested about the anticipation of the outcome in the study.
  • Cognitive Processes – Psychology As a result, memory is seen to be the storage of, and process of recalling what individuals have learned or experienced in the environment.
  • Effective Psychological Counselling Dissemination of new information to the client should be the main focus of any counseling session. Reviews are essential and should be done at agreed dates so as to ensure that the trend of the […]
  • Children’s Psychological Apperception Test The test was designed to determine children’s personality qualities and psychological issues together with the social or intimate problems that bother them on the stages of their lives and developments when the test is conducted.
  • Psychological Impact on Education Therefore, this research examines the impacts of psychology on education, professionals, and relationship success in the education setting. The educational psychology in accordance to the academic description may mean the study of teaching, learning, and […]
  • Psychologists’ Role in Criminal Justice In addition to research, the accumulation, and application of knowledge, psychologists can also participate in assessing the effectiveness of legislation. In this setting, basic scientists conduct theoretical research on the effectiveness of police and court […]
  • Psychological vs. Physical Continuity Theory In the analysis of psychological continuity theory, there is a variety of views on the roles of the soul and body in a person’s development.
  • Serial Murders Explained by Psychological Theory A serial killer may recognize the law as a deterrent to his or her activities, but not internalize the significance of the ban due to incomplete moral development.
  • Bipolar Disorder Psychological Assessment She is from a nuclear family, both her parents are alive, and she also has two brothers and three sisters. She is the second child in the family.
  • Roles and Functions of School Psychologists In addition, school psychologists play a critical role in promoting the personal and social strengths of the students in the institutions they work to enable them to attain a healthier mindset and well-being.
  • Integrating Psychology and Christianity The author introduces the topics of the worldview and outlines the four elements of the Christian worldview beliefs, viz.creation, fall, redemption, and the consummation.
  • Women in Psychology: Karen Horney Many traditionalists were incensed and the principle to instruct boys and girls on the same level, with the same method, with the hope of reaching the same goal, is generally viewed as a psychological and […]
  • Social Psychological Concepts in “The Hangover” When Alan wins the money, Phil acknowledges Alan’s skills, as he realizes that it is a form of support to the person in search for a friendship.
  • Examples of Special Populations in Psychology In professional psychology, particular population defines both children and adults with the following special needs; education, where the majority of the individuals are unable to comprehend and derive full benefits from the curriculum. The special […]
  • Social Psychology in Clinics In this regard, there are many theories that have been advanced to further explain the concept, practical and the validity of the social psychology in clinics.
  • Humanistic and Sociocultural Psychological Approaches From a sociocultural perspective in psychology, the lack of external influence and the specificity of ethnicity can cause the child’s behavior. In the sociocultural approach, the psychologist has to work with him as a teacher, […]
  • Psychological Cognitive Analysis on Movie “Memento” In this case, amnesia is seen as a loss of verbal memory-images and a loss of visual memory-images. In the case of Leonard, memory loss or reduction of memory is a main phenomenon, independent of […]
  • Posttraumatic Stress Disorders: Psychological Assessment PTSD was adopted by experts in the third revision of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders to replace terms like “shell shock, nervous shock, and combat fatigue” that described the response to traumatic […]
  • Adler’s Individual Psychology The paper highlights the most frequent criticisms of Adler’s theory and concludes by reasserting the significance of Adler’s Individual Psychology. This paper will engage in an in-depth review of Alfred Adler and his contributions to […]
  • The Theories of Social Psychology Furthermore, a person can bask in the accomplishment of group members and feel very good about it due to their similarity.
  • New Psychological Knowledge and Existing Theories To understand the issue more specifically, an example of research that led to the prevalence of claims in the media regarding the danger of exposing children to video games should be examined.
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder – Psychology This paper mainly addresses some of the characteristics of OCD, what contribute it, the kind of people who are likely to attract the disease, types of treatment of the disorder, and how it affects a […]
  • Educational Psychology Theories for Nurses The major educational psychology and learning theories are behaviorism, cognitivism, and constructivism. Educational and learning theories help nursing educators to enhance their students’ learning outcomes through the use of the most effective strategies that improve […]
  • Research Methodologies in Industrial Psychology Also, the matrix clearly illustrates that the choice of a particular methodology is shaped by the type of the research to be undertaken.
  • Saddam Hussein Psychological Analysis The following paper provides a summary of some of the relevant points in Post’s political profile of the leader during three periods of crisis in Hussein’s life and in the history of Iraq.
  • Freud’s Anxiety Neurosis – Psychology The objective of this study is to expose Freud’s anxiety neurosis and to provide a comprehensive approach as to the causes, treatments, and symptoms of the anxiety neurosis.
  • Psychology of Happiness in the World Psychology of happiness touches on various fields of social and cultural life and seeks to interfere with the lives of individuals for improving their talents and endowing their normal existence with greater meaning.
  • Conformity as a Social Psychology Concept In that regard, it can be described as the scientific study of people’s feelings, thoughts, and behaviors in the company of others or the context of society.
  • Critical Thinking Role in the Clinical Psychology These activities and conducts may lead a psychologist to identify the mental activities in the brain of the individual. Clinical psychologists specialization is founded on the framework the individual takes in training to become a […]
  • Contribution Ancient Great Thinkers to the Growth and Development of Psychology Then, the relationship between the mind and the body perplexed ancient philosophers and this led to the development of psychology as an independent field of knowledge that considers both philosophy of the mind and physiology […]
  • Role and Importance of Personal Ethics in Psychology The role of personal ethics in psychology in relation to the American psychological association is intended to guide psychologists and standard professionals to guide them in their decision making and conduct at work.
  • Psychology: Factors of Success in Life and Career One of the most researched elements about success is the factors that drive people to pursue it. Success is often associated with a positive mental attitude, which triggers the desire to be successful in whatever […]
  • Definitions of Intelligence in Psychology In this case, there are various items that can be used to test the emotional and physical aspects of an individual.
  • Definition of Positive Psychology in Psychology Positive psychology is the systematic analysis of the strengths and qualities that permit individuals to thrive. From the above analysis, it is advisable that scholars should engage in extensive research to establish the truth as […]
  • The Phases of a Crime and Their Importance in Psychological Profiling Attempt and accomplishment, the third and fourth phases of a crime respectively, differ in the sense that an attempt is a failed crime.
  • Consumer Behaviour and Psychological Motives In this case, it is assumed that the satisfaction of the consumer is dependent on the performance of the product or the perceptions of the consumer in relation to the product, and the motivations that […]
  • Forensic Psychology: Death Notifications Importance It is very important to surround the surviving relatives with compassion and understanding during the initial shock that follows the dreadful news. The purpose of delivering death notifications in person is to provide compassion.
  • Theory of Multiple Intelligences – Psychology Binet and Simon later revised their work in 1916 to incorporate the concept of mental age and concluded that intelligence varies depending on mental age.
  • Psychology in Movies: Stephen Chbosky’s Wonder Therefore, this film is a perfect example of how psychology can be integrated into a movie to raise the audience’s awareness and morale.
  • Paraphilias in Men and Women From Psychological Perspective The psychoanalytic theory clearly indicates that paraphilic disorder is a function of psychological abuse and other factors that are yet to be established.
  • Economic Crisis and Its Social and Psychological Constraint The failure of large businesses, decrease in consumers’ wealth and demand, and a considerable decline of economic activities also led to the social, cultural, and moral crisis due to the rise of unemployment.
  • Industrial-Organizational Psychology The vastness of the field requires a practitioner to have a wider knowledge on industrial psychology itself, and also basic knowledge of the company’s operations as well as the cultural background of its employees.
  • Serial Killer Psychology: Eileen Wuornos Eileen was a woman without remorse as she was not bothered by the death of her victims. It is said that her intention was to capture the attention of the man she was dating.
  • “Turns of the Screw”: The Psychology of the Story The author presents the story as a sequence of events that really existed, however, in this paper we will provide the argument that the reliability of the narrator can be argued and that ghost was […]
  • Psychologist William Sheldon: Theories and Methods Sheldon did not belong to the so-called pseudo-scientists, as he put the ancient points of view of the affiliation between the type of body and temperament on sheltered basics. The last type of body and […]
  • Mahler’s and Winnicott’s Contributions to Psychology Their theories are merely concentrated on the methods of disturbed children treatment through the involvement of psychoanalysis; the theorists are focused on the aspect of mother-infant interrelation and stages of infant’s development through the mother’s […]
  • Psychological Test Selection Factors and Tools Therefore, this essay explores the concept of psychological testing and assessment in a bid to find out how counselors select the kind of psychological tests to administer, the factors they consider when doing so, and […]
  • Human Psychology as a One of the Main Objects of Public and Professional Interest The fact that “psychology is the scientific study of behavior and mental processes” sets the stage for understanding the meaning and significance of other concepts, including the relationship between biology and psychology in Chapter 2 […]
  • The Relationship Between Religion and Abnormal Psychology But whose judgment will we use to separate the two contrasting elements of the psychology of normal and abnormal behaviors? Some religious beliefs permit the use of alcohol and it’s considered normal, yet others find […]
  • Introduction to Psychological Testing Achievement and Aptitude Tests Is commonly practiced in educational as well as employment set ups, since they tend to measure the scope of understanding of a given knowledge.
  • Industrial and Organizational Psychology Theory Industrial/organizational psychology is a field that applies psychology principles to the workplace.It can be used to solve issues that occur in the organizational context.
  • “The Black Balloon” From a Psychological Perspective It goes without saying that the health of each individual, in particular, depends not only on them but also on the attitude of the surroundings and the action of the governments in corresponding existing situations.
  • The Psychology of Addictive Behavior This is because of the debilitating effect the activity has on society and the individual. This report will concentrate on the factors of addictions that cause serious harm to society.
  • Crimes in Biological, Psychological, Sociological Theories With the course of time, people also started paying attention not to the very commitment of crimes but to the triggers that made a person act in a particular way.
  • Treatment of Psychological Disorders It upsets the balance of the body, and the restoration of it requires the calming down of the chemical reaction in the body, as well as the change in a person’s thinking.
  • Abraham Maslow, the Father of Humanistic Psychology From the above pyramid, Maslow contributed immensely to the field of psychology because he impacted people’s perception of psychology by introducing the concept of humanistic psychology.
  • The Psychology of Verbal and Nonverbal Communication On the other hand, one is to keep in mind that the main purpose of the kind of communication is to aid in the formulation of thoughts or ideas, which are expressed through speech.
  • Combatants: Psychology and Christianity Disciplines Moreover, I can learn from the Secular combatants how to defend the opinion I hold, and this can extend to values as well.
  • Environmental Design Psychology Theory The scientific approach of this sphere is aimed at developing the multidisciplinary focus, which will involve the aspects of human behavior, perception of colors and elements of design, and how people will develop the approaches […]
  • Forensic Psychology in the Criminal Justice System To evaluate the competency of a defendant, the forensic psychologist is guided by the scientific principles espoused in the field of psychological science.
  • Psychologists and Assessments Related to Death Sentence The paper aims to explore human rights related to the controversy and the ethical implications associated with the dispute. On the contrary, these psychologists may be ordered to give an evaluation of the psychological retardation […]
  • Psychological Issues in “Fight Club” by Palahniuk The story focuses upon an unnamed narrator who struggles to find a sense of fulfillment in a world in which personal fulfillment is supposed to be accomplished through making the right purchases and having access […]
  • Forensic Psychology, Its Tasks and Importance Forensic psychology is the subspecialty in professional psychology that studies various aspects of the legal system and law in terms of psychological practice.
  • Psychological Tests, Their Types and Users The projective test on the other hand is ambiguous and the respondent has to answer unstructured questions. The use of psychological tests in research is divided into three.
  • Psychology in Everyday life While some individuals may think of psychology as a course that is only important to students, therapists or everyone else that is interested in the field of psychology, knowledge in psychology is actually helpful to […]
  • Leadership and Organizational Psychology of Vince Lombardi The Meyers-Briggs Type Indicator is one of the most renowned personality tests an individual can use to assess one’s leadership journey.
  • Mary Whiton Calkins and Her Impact on Modern Psychology In order to expand her knowledge of psychology, Mary had to take a year’s studies in psychology prior to her teaching in the same field.
  • Introduction to Clinical Psychology This means that clinical psychology plays a vital role in promoting the development of mental and behavioral health of patients with mental disabilities.
  • Psychology And Society In conflict resolution, the one heading the exercise has to have an understanding of the psychology of the conflicting parties. This is why a psychology scholar cannot afford to ignore the works of his/her predecessors.
  • Definition of Cognitive Psychology The cognitive theory has been found to be a blend of the human and behavioral theories. Past research shows that the origin of cognitive psychology is in the behavior of a human being.
  • A Clinical Psychologist – Dr. Na’im Akbar As a faculty member, he also agitated for the introduction of courses in Black psychology that would also serve the interests of the black minority race.
  • Love and Memory From a Psychological Point of View The commonly known love types include affection, passionate love, friendship, infatuation, puppy love, sexual love, platonic love, romantic love and many other terms that could be coined out to basically describe love.
  • Atychiphobia, or the Fear of Failure in Psychology Putting it simply, the fear of failure is the incapability to suppress the anxious and irrational feeling of fear that, as a result, affects one’s life.
  • Mind-Body Debate: Monism and Dualism in Psychology As a result, it is almost impossible to find the answer that can address the views of all philosophers and psychologists who are interested in determining the nature of the mind and body interaction.
  • Beck Depression Inventory in Psychological Practice Beck in the 1990s, the theory disrupted the traditional flow of Freudian theories development and introduced the audience to the concept of cognitive development, therefore, inviting psychologists to interpret the changes in the patient’s emotional […]
  • Psychology, Theology, and Spirituality in Christian Counseling The author adds that the counselor needs spiritual maturity in a bid to get the client to the same level of maturity.
  • Personalistic and Naturalistic Approach in the History of Psychology Therefore, changes and progress occur due to the goals and charisma of individuals who changed the course of history. In contrast, naturalistic theory implies that social, intellectual, and cultural development depends on the Zeitgeist, the […]
  • Psychological Trauma: Treatment Planning Their mother, Tanya is the sole breadwinner in the family who works in one of the Information Technologies firm while their father is a local driver with one of the truck companies in the city.
  • Personality Tests in the Field of Psychology In addition to that, the test’s questions touch on various aspects of a person’s life thus analyzing their personality from different angles.
  • Psychology in the “50/50” Hollywood Film The terror management theory is a psychological concept to describe the instinct of self-preservation present in all humans which drives motivation and behavior under the threat of mortality. A threatening stimulus in the form of […]
  • Multicultural Psychology as a Subspecialty of Psychology Over the past 30 years, the study of culture minority issues in the field of psychology has grown to what can now be seen as a significant and dynamic subspecialty in the context of American […]
  • Psychological Perspectives: Jason’s Life Case However, the real self Jason was a man who tended to isolate himself from family and have inferiority complex along with unrecognized homosexual tendencies. Moreover, Jason did not feel parental support because of the conditions […]
  • Relationship Between Psychology and Christian Faith Truly, I have realized that sincerity is found in Jesus discipleship and the study of persona, but the varying aspects guiding the honesty are the belief in Christ and analytical thinking.
  • Psychology and Enduring Relationships In line with this view and drawing on the link between the length and benefits of coupling, it is important to understand the psychology of enduring relationships to predict the extent that people stay together.
  • Personality Psychology: Cinderella’s Personality A lot of Cinderella time is spent working in the house, and she exhibits a high degree of submission. Cinderella behaviour is not linked to her personality but the immediate environment that she lives in.
  • Positive Psychology: The Science of Happiness Positive psychology is a science of positive features of the life of a human being, including happiness, welfare, and prosperity. According to him, happiness is freedom from pain in the body and a disturbance in […]
  • The History Development of Psychology: The Understanding of Human Behavior The aim of the paper is to identify the reasons that have shaped and led to the development of the history of psychology.
  • Zeitgeist Influences on the Birth of Gestalt Psychology In this context, it can be seen that Thesis: Gestalt psychology as a discipline has to be viewed as the product of the “Zeitgeist” of a large chunk of the Twentieth Century that was impacted […]
  • Functionalism School of Psychology John Dewey, the founder of functionalism, was the first to apply functionalism to social education and addressing social problems. James Angel, a student of Dewey, studied the functions of the mind and mental processes.
  • Psychology: Diana Baumrind’s Obedience Study The intensity of the electric shocks varied from the mild to the severe and it was Milgrams intention to understand the level of obedience that the experimenters would exhibit in carrying out the shocks, when […]
  • Cognitive Psychology: Clarkston Industries Company’ Case This is one of the arguments that she can put forward to justify her decision about Jack’s status in the company.
  • Inevitable Prejudice in Social Psychology Adorno supposes that the authoritarian personality is hostile to those of an inferior rank and servile to those of a higher rank.
  • Research in Industrial and Organizational Psychology Basic research in I/O psychology can be described as a study or research conducted in an organization with the aim of adding more scientific knowledge.
  • Bowen Family Systems Theory – Psychology In this context, the theory is relevant in demonstrating that the level of stress prevalent in the family due to alcoholism and irresponsible behavior of the family head is directly responsible for the development of […]
  • Expectancy Theory in Motivation Psychology According to the theory suggested by Vroom, which would later on be called the Expectancy Theory, the behavior of a person is largely predetermined by the consequences that their behavior is going to have.
  • Human Emotions Psychology: Rooting in Biology or Culture To my mind, both biology and culture play a certain role in human emotions, and it is crucially important to analyze in what way biology turns out to be a root of human emotions and […]
  • Counseling Psychology in Dealing With Divorce One of the end results of divorce is the change of the emotional and mental state of an individual. Counseling was introduced in the country in the 1950s owing to the recognition of the vitality […]
  • Social Psychology: Definition, Aspects and Theories In contrast, social psychology is the study of the causes of behavior and mental attitudes. Social psychology deals with the study of how different contexts influence human behavior, feelings, thoughts, and other mental states.
  • Kohut and Self Psychology and the Freudian Classical Model Kohut’s theory of self psychology by contrast returned human agency to the theory of personality and promoted a more dynamic interplay between the individual and his or her environment.
  • Written and Psychological Contracts of Employment The basic indication of the existence of an employment contract is the consent of both the employee and the employer to fulfill their obligations, with the former willing to work with expectation of compensation from […]
  • Positive Examples of Conformity and Obedience Psychology Social influence refers to the ability of an individual to influence another person or a group of people in according to one’s own will.
  • Psychological and Sociological Theories in Life People tend to behave in a way that is beneficial for the development of the system. This theoretical paradigm explains people’s choice to obtain the higher education as this enables them to contribute to the […]
  • Psychological Test Design Process There are six steps in total to design a psychological test and the most important aspect is the clarity of thought while framing the question paper.
  • Clinical Psychology: Career Pathway The purpose of the report is to present an overview of the ideal job and industry in which I would like to work in the future.
  • Psychological Disposition in Sylvia Plath’s Poems The secondary argument supporting the claim of the psychological temperament in Plath’s works is based on the interpretation of her state of mind when she forcefully vilified her father as a Nazi sympathizer.
  • Technology in Psychological Assessment The speed in conducting tests with the help of technology and the improved data analysis based on the effective use of statistical procedures make the technology play the important role in the sphere of emotional […]
  • The Mind-Body Problem in the History of Psychology The crux of the problem is evident from its name: what is the relationship between the mind and the body? A prominent medieval philosopher Thomas Aquinas ties the issue of the body and the soul […]
  • Educational Psychology in Learning and Teaching Thus, this course has significantly helped me as a teacher in studying and applying modern research methodologies and suppositions, practices and plans which emphasize on the use of both quantitative and qualitative methods in improving […]
  • Statistics and Psychology Quantitative data are information about the world in the form of numerical data. The main application of statistical methods in psychology involves the use of statistics to analyze and interpret data.
  • Violations of Psychological Code of Conduct 8 A psychologist used chimpanzees in his study and paid the staff who cared for the animals. However, the psychologist went on a business trip and forgot to pay his workers.
  • Character’s Psychology in “Jazz” by Toni Morrison Whether it be on her talks of achievement or the information that she can burn a cigarette in his attendance with no harming her image, it is obvious so as to what Selden and Lily […]
  • Physiological Psychology Definition The nervous system affects behavior through the brain; it is the signals that are sent via its tendons to the brain that will affect the behavior of an individual.
  • Personal Development: Psychological Difficulties, Sexuality In my opinion the period of adolescence is the most difficult in human life and I think that it would be interesting to discuss the attitude to sexuality with the help of personal development theories.
  • Psychology of Sexual Response Cycle Changes experienced by females include; increase in the size of the breasts, swelling of the clitoris and inner lips of the vagina, the walls of the vagina also begin to swell and lubrication of the […]
  • Psychological Testing in Employee Screening The HRI is designed to examine relationships between the supervisor and the employees he/she is in charge of supervising. The instrument is designed to cover the philosophy, principles, and approaches related to the effective performance […]
  • Current Trends in Psychological Research It is stressed that the cultural aspect is often neglected in clinical and counseling psychology, and the increase in awareness of diversity and cultural competence are likely to essentially improve assessment effectiveness and patient outcomes.
  • Psychological Traps in the Human Decision Making They include the anchoring trap, the status-quo trap, the sunk cost trap, the confirming evidence trap, the framing trap, the overconfidence trap, the prudence trap, and the recall-ability trap.
  • Social Psychological Concepts of Bullying and Its Types Some of the factors that contribute to bullying include poor parenting, economic challenges, lack of mentorship, and jealousy among others. One of the main concepts used to explain bullying is that of parenting roles and […]
  • Positive Living Skills by Terry Orlick He nurtures people, regardless of their age or culture, to be part of the transformation of the world to be a better place to live in.
  • Social Anxiety Disorder Causes and Symptoms Also referred to as social phobia, social anxiety disorder is a psychological condition that is associated with the constant fear of surrounding social conditions.
  • Industrial/Organizational Psychology Project
  • Socio-Cultural Approach to Psychology
  • Justine’s Psychological State in “Melancholia”
  • Psychology of Sleep: Article Study
  • Structuralism, Functionalism and Cognitive Theory in Psychology
  • Psychology in Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper”
  • Psychological and Psychosocial Support in Disaster Nursing
  • Gestalt Theory as a Psychological Perspective
  • Environmental Issues, Psychology, and Economics
  • Japanese Psychology as World-Renowned School of Thought
  • “Mindset: The New Psychology of Success” by C. Dweck
  • Sensation and Perception Studies in Psychology
  • “On Psychological Oppression” by Sandra Bartky
  • Generosity and Psychological Well-Being
  • History of Psychological Assessment: People’s Behavior in Terms of Their Skills
  • Psychology of Aggression and Violence
  • The Impact of Psychological Problems on a Person
  • Psychological Concepts in the Streisand’s Movie “Prince of Tides”
  • Psychology of Choice and Decision-Making
  • Lifespan Development Psychology: Observation at Cosmo Park
  • Albert Bandura: An Eminent Psychologist
  • Psychology of Social Perception and Communication
  • Long-Lasting Marriage and Its Psychology
  • Biology and Psychology in Behavior Explanation
  • The Psychology of Personality: Maya Angelou’s Case
  • Good Parents Traits and Raising Children – Psychology
  • Workaholism Historical Background and Definition – Psychology
  • The Psychology of Personality: Counselling Process
  • Psychological Contract
  • The Principles and Theories of Organizational Psychology
  • Maggie’s Character in “The Black Balloon”: Psychological Perspective
  • Human Interaction With the Surrounding Environment
  • Correctional Psychology and Its Procedures
  • Groupthink and Social Psychology
  • Theories of Developmental Psychology
  • Psychology of Personality: Theories
  • Contemporary Issues in Clinical Psychology: The Future of Clinical Psychology
  • Forensic Psychology: Validating Eyewitness Testimony
  • Psychological Trauma, Development and Spirituality
  • “Integrative Approaches to Psychology and Christianity” by David N. Entwistle
  • Concept of the Theory of Behaviorism in Psychology
  • Psychology in the Episode of Dr. Phil’s Show
  • Psychological Concepts in “A Child Called “It” by Pelzer
  • Psychological Interventions: Becoming a Helper
  • Behaviorism and Its Impact on Psychology
  • Culturally Informed Psychological Assessment
  • Sports Can Improve the Psychological Well-Being of People with Disability
  • Astrology as Pseudo-Psychology
  • Stroke Analysis: Psychology and Causes
  • What Is Environmental Psychology?
  • Interview Research Profile: Psychological Profile
  • Educational Psychology: Strong Points and Weaknesses
  • Egoism: Ethical and Psychological Egoism
  • Anorexia Nervosa in Psychological Point of View
  • Google Inc.’s Organizational Psychology
  • Psychological Theories and Methods Behind Training of Service Animals
  • Psychology of Anakin and Padme From “Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith”
  • Introduction to Psychology: Motivation and Emotion
  • Psychology in Childcare: Theory and Practice
  • Community Psychology: Social Change and Justice
  • ANOVA Test on the Level of Psychological Aggression
  • Foolishness: Psychological Perspective
  • Forensic Psychology’s Risk Assessment
  • Individualism Versus Group Cognition in Psychology
  • Behaviorism in Development of Psychology
  • Noam Chomsky’s Contribution to Cognitive Psychology
  • Psychology and Theology in Christian Counseling
  • Psychological Perspectives and Schools of Thought
  • Psychological First Aid for Disaster Victims
  • Humans Behavior: Physical and Psychological Needs
  • Cognitive Psychology Development Important Milestones
  • Systematic Desensitization – Psychology
  • Humanist Psychology, Cognitive Psychology and Positive Psychology
  • Influence of Heavy Metal Music on Adolescence (Behavior, Identity, Mood, Regulation, Psychology)
  • Role of Research and Statistics in the Field of Psychology
  • Introduction to Psychology: Rating Attractiveness: Consensus among Men, not Women, Study Finds
  • Freud and Jung Psychology
  • Forensic Psychology: Television v. Reality
  • Cross-Cultural Psychology Study
  • Moral Development and Its Relation to Psychology
  • Psychological Impacts of Sexual Abuse on Ryan
  • Culture, Emotions, and Psychology Relationships
  • Psychological Foundations of Criminal Behavior
  • Renee Baillargeon Biography and Her Contribution to the Developmental Psychology
  • Theories of Psychology: Behavioral, Cognitive, Developmental
  • Aspects of Psychology: Theories of Intelligence
  • Adolescent Consumer Psychology and Feedback Loop
  • Martin Seligman’s “Flourish” and Modern Psychology
  • Forensic Psychology: Media and Crime Relationship
  • Industrial Psychology in Employee Selection and Training
  • Burrhus Frederic Skinner and his Influence on Psychology
  • Influence Physical Environment on Human Psychology
  • Positive Psychology and Chinese Culture
  • Application of Clinical Psychology
  • The Psychological Explanation of Terrorism
  • Psychology Aspects in Spearman’s, Stenberg’s and Gardner’s Models of Intelligence
  • Psychological Profile: Charles Manson
  • Obesity: Psychological/ Sociological Issue
  • Emerging Issues in Multicultural Psychology
  • Psychological Approaches: Applying to Personal Life
  • Psychological Factors Affecting Sex Workers
  • Abnormal Psychology Case Study: General Anxiety Disorder
  • Psychology of Conflict Communication
  • Socialization of Adolescents in Modern Psychology
  • Goal Setting in Sport Psychology: Enhancing Athletes’ Performance and Building New Skills
  • Understanding the Psychological Impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Society
  • Cognitive Psychology – A Concept of Attention
  • Fetishism: Psychological Sexual Disorder
  • Application of Psychology in Workplace Environment
  • Psychological and Sociological Issues in Australian Tourism
  • Chaim Potok: Psychological Transformation in “The Chosen”
  • Health Psychology: Going Through a Breast Cancer Diagnosis
  • Cognitive Psychology: Culture and Cognition
  • Cognitive Psychology: Intelligence and Wisdom
  • Decision-Making in Cognitive Psychology
  • Psychological Theories Explaining Violent Crime
  • Social Psychology of Attraction
  • Depression as a Psychological Disorder
  • Analytical Psychology of Carl Jung
  • Psychology: Drug Impact and Use Prevention
  • Psychology Forces in Wilber’s “Spectrum of Consciousness”
  • Learning Journal in the Social Psychology Study
  • Psychology: Chewing Gum’ Negative Effects
  • Psychological Safety in a Team Environment
  • Forensic Psychology: Eyewitness Testimonies’ Unreliability
  • Psychologist’s Roles in Criminal Justice System
  • Positive Psychology and Academic Stress
  • Christine Ladd-Franklin’s Contribution to the Psychology
  • Psychological Definition of Persuasion
  • Jury Selection Process Psychology
  • Infants’ Psychology and Development
  • Developmental Psychology: Designing Educational Toys
  • Adolescence and Adulthood Developmental Stages – Psychology
  • “The Power of Habit” by Charles Duhigg – Psychology
  • Involvement of Psychologists in Military Interrogations
  • Cognitive Psychology Definition and Concept
  • Psychological Issues: Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
  • Ethical Reflection of Psychological Experiments
  • Psychology Issues in Mark Twain’s “The Lowest Animal”
  • Psychology Issues: Group Survival in Extreme Situations
  • Psychology Research and Its Methods
  • The Effect of HRM Practices on Psychological Contract in Organisation
  • Psychological Testing Tools: Intelligence Tests
  • African American Culture: Psychological Processes
  • Child Psychology Development
  • The Concept of Ego Depletion in Psychology
  • Research Methods in Psychology
  • Childhood Friendship and Psychology
  • Historical Perspectives of Abnormal Psychology
  • Forensic Psychology Role in the Investigation of Crime
  • Bernard Williams The Self and the Future and Psychological Continuity Theory of Personal Identity
  • Developmental Theories in Psychology
  • Historical Perspective of Abnormal Psychology
  • Psychological Testing in the Workplace
  • The Philosophy of Psychology
  • Contemporary Issues in Cultural & Cross-Cultural Psychology
  • Sex Addiction as a Psychological Disorder
  • The Real Father of Psychology
  • Personality Psychology: Theory, Techniques and Assessment
  • Behavior Psychology in Teenage Females
  • Retrieval Learning in Cognitive Psychology
  • The Use of Creativity in Psychology
  • Cross-Cultural Psychology in Contemporary Psychiatry
  • Benefits of Learning Psychosomatics as Branches of Clinical Psychology
  • Modern Psychological Counseling
  • Evolutionary Psychology and Christian Worldview
  • Psychological Concept of Processing Stimuli
  • Psychological Analysis of Gilman’s The Yellow Wallpaper
  • Introducing the World of Psychology
  • The Organizational Project: Psychological Needs Application Development
  • Amundson on Hedonic Psychology, Disability, and Life Quality
  • Psychology of Personality: Role Models
  • Biological Psychology: Lesion Studies and Depression Detection
  • “Researching and Practicing Positive Psychology…” by Wang
  • Drug Abuse and Its Psychological Effects
  • Psychology: Areas of Application
  • Social Psychology and Personality: Lessons Learnt
  • Positive Psychology Intervention for Ageing Population
  • Effects of Different Music on Psychological State
  • Psychological Conditions in Addition to Highly Superior Autobiographical Memory
  • Post-Fordism: Industrial and Organizational Psychology
  • Cognitive Psychology: The Effects of Memory Conformity
  • Correctional Psychology’s Impact on the Penitentiary System
  • Psychological Concepts: Nature vs. Nurture
  • Human Psychology: Fulfilling Internal Needs
  • Developmental Psychology of an Immigrant Family
  • Psychological Traits in Consumer Spending Habits
  • Social Justice in Counseling Psychology
  • Adulthood and Puberty Psychology
  • Vignette: Psychological Child Maltreatment
  • Psychology: Proposed Implementation and Evaluation Plan
  • Forensic Psychologist’s Role in Homicide Investigation
  • Clinical and Counseling Psychology
  • Psychology: The Aftermath of a Death
  • Psychological Testing and Assessment
  • Ethics: Informational and Psychological Security of the Individuals
  • Test (Gender) Bias in Psychology
  • The Via Classification Test as a Psychological Tool
  • The Role of Technology in the Psychology Profession
  • Psychological Counseling and Psychotherapy
  • Some Basic Propositions of a Growth and Self-Actualization Psychology
  • Anorexia as Social and Psychological Disease
  • The Impact of Technology Development on the Adolescence Psychology
  • Psychological Determinants of Adolescent Predisposition to Deviant Behavior
  • SOAP Case-Notes: Psychological Rehabilitation
  • Testing and Evaluation in Psychological Research
  • Psychological Theories of Grandfather’s Development
  • Application of Cognitive Psychology
  • Screening Survey in Psychological Science
  • Causes of Premature Termination of Psychological Treatment
  • Celebrities’ Psychological States: Diagnoses Are Not Cut and Dry
  • Bipolar Disorder: A Major Psychological Issue in America
  • The Psychological and Physiological Effects of Cannabis
  • Socio-Psychological Trust Issues in Youth
  • Researching of Abnormal Psychology
  • Developmental Psychology as Scientific Study
  • Exam Anxiety as Psychological Disorder
  • Child Psychology Research and Ethics
  • Historical Impact of Psychology on Human Resource Management
  • Psychological and Psychiatric Diagnoses in a Patient with Multiple Symptoms
  • Developmental Psychology Analysis
  • Psychology Powered HRM Practice: Meteor Cargo Limited
  • Sexting and Its Psychological Consequences
  • Psychological Health Issues Among Veterans
  • The Psychological Well-Being of Nurses During COVID-19
  • The Role of Psychological Support in Teaching
  • The Origin of Psychological Disorders: Freud and Adler’s Perspectives
  • Psychological Imbalance: Mental Health Issues
  • Psychology and the Nature of Human Conduct
  • Biological and Psychological Factors Influencing Drug Experiences
  • Adolescent Development: Adolescent Psychology
  • Childhood Trauma Long-Term Psychological Outcomes
  • Psychology of Type A and Type B Personalities
  • Controversial Experiment in Psychology History
  • Psychology Development in Mexico
  • Applications of Positive Psychology in Healthcare
  • Developing a Psychology-Related Career Plan
  • Stress as an Important Psychological Issue
  • The Eye-to-Eye Project’s Importance for Psychology
  • Psychological Health Disparities in Children
  • Psychologists and Interrogations
  • Psychology: The Little Albert Experiment
  • The Consciousness of the Psychological and Physical Effects of Nursing
  • Stigma and Psychological Distress in HIV Caregivers
  • Rising Interest in Psychology and Psychology Degree
  • Urie Bronfenbrenner, a Psychological Researcher
  • Psychology in Human Resource Management
  • Environmental Psychology: The Impact of Interior Spaces on Childhood Development
  • Socio-Psychological Factors of Abortion in Women of Different Age Groups
  • Expectations From Psychological-Sociological Course
  • Psychological Experiments on Videogames and Theater
  • Psychological Disorders Analysis
  • Psychology and Personality: The Main Theories
  • Misconducts and Self-Care in Psychology Professionals’ Activities
  • Device Use and Psychological Disorders: Regression Model
  • The Midlife Crisis in Developmental Psychology
  • Human Consciousness in Philosophy of Psychology
  • Jury Psychology and Decision Criticism
  • Psychological Issues of Independent Living
  • Future Ways for Helping People With Psychology
  • The Relevance of Relational Self-Psychology
  • The Psychological Impacts of Rape and Potential Interventions
  • Evolutionary Psychology and Psychological Anthropology
  • The Psychology of Evil Analysis
  • Self-Assessment Test in Psychology
  • The Psychological Nature of Memory
  • The Discrepancy Between an Original Psychological Article and Its Representation
  • Racial Profiling in Cultural Psychology
  • Humanistic Psychology and Its Main Ideas
  • Group Influence as a Social Psychology Issue
  • Using Psychological Tests in the Employer’s Decision-Making Process
  • Psychology in Sports: Tradition of Stoicism in Sports
  • Researching of Criminal Psychology
  • Ethical and Psychological Egoism
  • Abortion and Its Physical and Psychological Effects
  • Psychological Practice in Health Centers
  • Sports Psychologists and Chaplains
  • Mental Disorders: Biological-Psychological Perspectives and Psychotropic Medications
  • Christian Spirituality: Integration Into Sports Psychological Practices
  • Emotional and Psychological Impact on Illness Outcomes
  • Sports Chaplaincy and Psychology Collaboration
  • Physical Health Problems and Psychological State
  • Criminology and Psychological Profiling Approaches
  • Sex Offence: The Role of Psychological Disorder
  • Discussion of Psychological Imbalance
  • Consequences of Pandemic COVID-19: The Psychological Climate in the Family
  • Psychological Wellness and Mental Health
  • My Lot in Life: Psychological Aspects of Education
  • Vincent van Gogh: A Brilliant Psychologist and Poet of Art
  • Community Psychologists as Agents of a Social Change
  • Changing Racial Identity: A Psychological Aspect
  • Architectural Development Design: Environmental Psychological Implications
  • “The Social Psychology of Compassion” by Radey and Figley
  • Psychological Therapy: Borderline Personality Disorder
  • Adolescence and Young Adulthood in Educational Psychology
  • Positive Psychology’s Influence on the Self
  • Psychological Disorders: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment
  • How Psychological Science Aligns With Biblical Truth About Self-Handicapping?
  • Hewlett-Packard: Application of Cross-Cultural Psychology
  • A Career in Counseling Psychology
  • Understanding Human Psychology: Brain Stimulation
  • Career Field in Psychology: Counselor
  • The Influence of Positive Psychology
  • Sensation and Perception: Psychological Science
  • God of the Bible From a Psychological Perspective
  • Psychological Considerations and Sociological Effects of Drones
  • The Elderly Abuse: Physical and Psychological Aspects
  • Is “Candide” Positively Influenced by Psychological Factors
  • Psychology: Emotional Regulation
  • The Dying Person: Physical, Psychological, and Social Care
  • The Field of Psychology: Practice Standards
  • Implications of Theological and Psychological Reflections on Human Behavior
  • Psychological Lens Narrative: Personal Experience
  • Influence of Psychological and Behavioral Aspects of the Individual on Exposure to Herd Investing
  • Writing Proposal in Psychology
  • Investigation: Psychology of Sport Fans
  • Professional Psychology: Importance of Confidentiality and Code of Conduct
  • Personality Psychology Overview
  • Psychological Profile of Vladimir Putin
  • Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation: Psychological Problems
  • Deprogramming Cult Members: Religious and Psychological Analysis
  • Analysis of Plays: Psychological Critical Perspectives
  • Child Development: Psychological Factors and Theories
  • Forensic Psychology and Behavioral Analysis
  • Psychological Disorders: Classification
  • History of Ethical Principles in Psychology
  • Research Design in Psychology
  • A Child’s Psychological Development
  • Childhood and Adolescence Psychology
  • Changes in Life and Psychological Stress Assessment
  • Psychology: Health Behavior Change & Reflection
  • Psychology Integration: Healthcare Industry
  • Stuttering Management: Psychological Therapy Effectiveness
  • A Psychological Perspective on Death and Mourning
  • Psychological Factors After Officer-Involved Shootings: Officer Needs and Agency Responsibilities
  • Cyber-Bullying vs. Traditional Bullying: Its Psychological Effects
  • Ecstasy Unveiled: The Journey from Therapeutic Compound to Street Drug
  • Careers in Industrial-Organizational Psychology
  • Child Pornography: Legal and Psychological Implications
  • Data Analysis in Psychological Wellbeing Research
  • Relationship Satisfaction and Psychological Well-Being Among Greek People With Physical Disabilities
  • Sports Psychology: Zen in the Martial Arts
  • Aspects of Sport Psychology Overview
  • Nature of Health and Illness: Biological Psychology
  • Psychological Aspects of Weightlifting
  • The Concepts of Nature and Nurture in Modern Psychologist to Explain Juvenile Delinquency
  • Biological Psychology: Memory
  • The Impact of Culture on Aging: Psychological and Sociological Analysis
  • The Psychological Aspect of Logical Fallacies of Technology
  • The Psychology of Interpersonal Relationships
  • Development of Structuralism as a Systemic Movement in Psychology
  • Psychological Health and Social Environment Correlation
  • Psychology: Social Media and Bullying
  • Psychological Aftermath of Illnesses and Injuries
  • Impact of the Internet on Psychological Wellbeing
  • Violence and Aggression Between People as Psychological Phenomena
  • The American Psychological Association: Referencing Style
  • Neuropsychological and Psychological Disorders
  • Apple’s Popularity: Consumers’ Psychology
  • Psychological Theories and Tests of Motivation
  • Doctoral Program Educational Psychology
  • Physical and Psychological Trauma in Women
  • Ethical Practices in Psychological Assessment
  • Traumatic Brain Injury: Psychological Manifestations
  • Research Methods in Psychology: Pros & Cons
  • The Horrific Consequences That Result From Inaccurate Psychological Diagnosis
  • Management of HR Talent and Teams: Psychological-Contract Perspective
  • Motivation Theories in Fulfillment of Psychological Needs
  • Psychological Processes Which Affect Various Techniques and Approaches
  • Environmental Psychology: Contemporary Educational Institutions
  • Teenage Depression: Psychology-Based Treatment
  • Industrial Psychology in Explaining Corporate Behaviors
  • The Psychological Perceptions of Pain
  • The Psychology Concepts Review
  • The Evolutionary Psychology Key Points
  • History and Evolving Nature of Clinical Psychology
  • Evaluating Psychological Information on the Web
  • The Psychological Contract and Motivation
  • The Hand – The Psychological Personality
  • Victims of Disasters: Psychological Traumas
  • Psychological First Aid: Connection With Social Support
  • Sigmund Freud: Theories and Contribution to Psychology
  • Comparing the Psychological Challenges Facing Tom and Laura Wingfield
  • Health and Health Policy of HIV and AIDS: Physical and Psychological Wellbeing
  • The Psychological Wellbeing of People in a Working Environment
  • Job-Oriented Analysis in HR Management
  • Features of Psychological Research Methods: Application in Practice
  • Consultative Psychology Skills: Applying Skills to Identify the Problem
  • The Shifting Gender Composition of Psychology: The Discipline
  • Feminist Psychology in Canada
  • Contributors in Psychology as a Science
  • Personality and Psychology of the Motivation
  • Psychology Article Analysis: The Shared Reality
  • Social Psychology and Social Neuroscience Connection
  • Social Psychology Concepts in News Coverage
  • Sleep Deprivation: Biopsychology and Health Psychology
  • The American Counseling Association and the American Psychological Association Websites
  • Self Concept: Developmental Psychology
  • Psychological Issues: Self-Identity and Sexual Meaning Issues, and Memory Processing
  • Practitioner-Scholar Model in Psychology
  • Psychological Strategies to Understand Literature
  • Psychology. Brain Structure and Behavior
  • American Psychological Association Style Manual
  • Genograms in Family Assessment
  • Cognitive Psychology and Its Implications
  • Freud’s Impact on Modern-Day Psychology
  • Free Will and Choice in Islamic Psychology
  • Ethics in the Field of Psychology
  • Personal and Social Psychology in Modern Community
  • Lifespan Variable: Psychological Aspects
  • Freud’s Impact on Modern Psychology
  • William James and His Contributions to Psychology
  • Psychology of Communication Technology
  • Psychological Theoretical Positions of Sigmund Freud
  • Philosophical Origins of Approaches to Clinical Psychology
  • Clinical Counseling Psychology: Research and Statistics
  • Profile Interview: Psychological Assessment
  • The Concept of Personality in Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology, Its Issues and Purposes
  • Media Attention to Psychology
  • Developmental Psychology: The Impact of Family-Of-Origin on Adulthood
  • Psychological Testing Article Analysis
  • Imagery in Sports Psychology and Its Effects
  • Child Development and Evolutionary Psychology
  • Child Psychology. “Music Lessons Enhance IQ” by Schellenberg
  • Child Psychology in a Multicultural Environment
  • Psychology. “Self-Esteem” Book by Dr. Matthew McKay
  • Parenting Training Classes: A Psychology Experiment
  • Ethics in Groups of Psychologists and Counsellors
  • Positive Psychology Concerns
  • Schizophrenia: An Abnormal Human Behavior
  • Psychology Achievement Test
  • Music and Text Messaging Influence on Social Psychology and Psychosocial Development
  • Folk Psychology. The Role of Folk Psychology
  • Environmental Psychology: The Problem of Protection
  • Observation Paper Psychologist Theories
  • Clinical Psychology Matrix Structure
  • Reflection of Personal Learning Style in Psychology
  • “Careers in Environmental Psychology” by Conaway
  • What Can Psychology Teach Us About Human Development?
  • How Many Years Will It Take To Be a Psychologist?
  • Who Founded the First Laboratory of Scientific Psychology?
  • What Does Recent Social Psychology Research Tell Us About?
  • How Abraham Maslow and His Humanistic Psychology Shaped the Modern Self?
  • Can Positive Psychology Make Us Happier?
  • What Way Did Philosophy of Plato Influence Psychology?
  • What Are the Different Perspectives of Psychology?
  • Are Psychology Journals Anti-replication?
  • Does Human Psychology Drive Financial Markets?
  • Why Are Men More Depressed Than Women in Psychology?
  • How Can Social Psychology Explain the Behavior of Suicide Bombers?
  • How and Why Did Psychology Develop as an Academic Discipline?
  • Can Evolutionary Psychology Explain Individual Differences in Personality?
  • What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Quantitative and Qualitative Methods in Psychology?
  • How Both Sociology and Social Psychology Can Help Us to Understand Anti-social Behavior?
  • What Are the Main Perspectives in the Study of Psychology?
  • Can Psychology Explain Sexual Violence?
  • What Have Psychologists Found Out About the Psychology of Testimony?
  • Why Can’t One Approach to Psychology Describe All Human Behaviour?
  • Why Do Psychologists Consider Psychology to Be a Science?
  • Who Benefits From Humor-Based Positive Psychology Interventions?
  • Does Positive Psychology Ease Symptoms of Depression?
  • How Art and Psychology Are Related?
  • How Can Applied Psychology Help Make Societies More Peaceful?
  • How Behavioral Economics Relates to Psychology?
  • Do Psychology and Education Have a Link?
  • What Can Evolutionary Psychology Tell Us About Who We Find Attractive?
  • What Are the Effects of Bipolar Disorder Psychology?
  • Does Psychology Place Too Little Emphasis on the Study of Communication?
  • Cultural Psychology Ideas
  • Cognitive Development Essay Ideas
  • Psychotherapy Paper Topics
  • Emotional Development Questions
  • Behaviorism Research Ideas
  • Family Therapy Questions
  • Cognitive Dissonance Research Topics
  • Psychoanalysis Essay Topics
  • Chicago (A-D)
  • Chicago (N-B)

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Bibliography

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University of Sussex

  • Starting at Sussex
  • Critical thinking
  • Note-making
  • Presentations, seminars and group work
  • Reading and research
  • Referencing and academic integrity
  • Revision and exams
  • Writing and assessments
  • Time management

Maria introduces this section on writing and assessments

Maria: Welcome to this section on writing and assessments. Writing is a major part of your university life. In these pages, you'll find techniques and strategies to support you in the essay-writing process. You'll also find example essay types and features of academic writing. Additionally, you'll find information on how to make the most of your feedback. Over the academic year, we also run workshops on academic writing, so keep an eye out for those. Remember, we're here to help you.

There are six topics in this section relating to Writing and assessments:

Critical essay writing (this page) | Reflective writing | Reports | Dissertations | Academic writing style, editing and proof-reading | Feedback  | AI

A very large part of your time at university will be spent writing, since it is the main method of assessment used at Sussex. While essay-writing is an opportunity to show your tutor how much you have understood of your subject and how widely and deeply you have researched the question, this is not the main purpose of an essay. The most important purpose of an essay is to critically analyse the main ideas of a topic and to decide on your own viewpoint. You then present this viewpoint in the form of an argument, weighing the evidence for and against your proposition. So you need to develop the skills of analysing materials and demonstrating what is correct and incorrect about them, and synthesising materials, i.e. comparing and contrasting the many different sources and texts you come across.   

Therefore, it is important to develop your writing skills. As with all academic skills, you are not expected to have perfect academic writing when you arrive ; it is a skill that you will develop as you practise it more and more. In these pages, we show you how to adapt your writing to different written assessments.

Ann Marie talks about her first essay assignment and how to get started

Ann Marie: It's a very scary process. You would just sit to start writing and then completely shut off and you'd be like, 'I don't know what to do.' And then after a lot of times, there was once when I sat down to write it, I took the whole day and I didn't write even two lines. It used to be like, sit down, read certain things, go back again, have a cup of coffee or tea or something like that, come back thinking I'll make it, make two lines. But then it didn't happen. But then again, it's a process of again, going back to it, I guess. The problem is, the more you read, the more ideas you have, and then the more you don't know where to start. And you're so confused. And it was one of my friends, actually, I was probably, I just was so lost. And I probably spoke to one of my friends and he was like, 'You should just know when to stop reading.' And then sometimes, and my housemate, because she did a course at Sussex the year before. So she was really very helpful. So she said, 'Just write, just continue writing. Don't think about the word limit. Don't think about what you're writing. Don't think if there is a structure to it or if it's beautiful and it's what you want to present as final. Just keep writing. Put down your thoughts. Let it all be there on a paper, on a piece of paper.' And when you see it and then when you re-read it, you yourself can formulate it and structure it better. But if you just keep it in your head and not start anywhere, you're not going to get it out. So that was a good piece of advice, I felt. So then that's how I started. I just started writing whatever I wanted to, whatever I thought could be an answer. I didn't think about perfection at that time. Just went with the flow and then took a break, went around, came back, re-read it, reorganised it - it probably looked nothing like how I had started it off with, but then yeah.

What type of academic writing do you need to focus on?

There is a lot to think about and practice when it comes to academic writing. Look in at the six areas below and see which applies to you. You can go directly to the ones you want to focus on:

  • Have you been asked to write an essay and need help to understand what is involved? If yes , go to Critical essay writing below (this page) for a plethora of information on academic essays.
  • Have you been set a reflective writing assessment and are wondering what to do? If yes , head to Reflective Writing for more information (takes you to a different page).
  • Are you writing a report and trying to figure out its components? If yes , the section on Reports will help you out (takes you to a different page).
  • Do you have a dissertation  to write and need some pointers to help start you off? If yes , good Luck! Click over to Dissertations to get the basics plus some encouragement (takes you to a different page).
  • Do you need some support with writing in correct academic English style or want help with editing and proof-reading? If yes , try looking through the information on Academic writing style, editing and proof-reading to check you are following the guidelines (takes you to a different page).
  • Would you like to know how best to collect feedback from your assessments and how to benefit from it? If yes , the section on Feedback has useful advice on the best ways to deal with this (takes you to a different page).

Critical essay writing

Georgia talks about her first essay assignment.

Georgia: I think my first assignment was an essay for one of my modules. I found it quite overwhelming because it's just, 'Here's an essay topic - go away and do it.' Although I'd done essays before in A-level and I'd done psychology ones before, it wasn't to the same level, and I didn't have to do anywhere near the same kind of research. Doing research for the essay was probably one of the things that took maybe the most time, especially at the beginning. I used Library Search, which was fantastic, and that's what I still use to find most of my research because it's a great way to see what the university has access to and you can break it down into chunks for keywords for what you need for your assignment, and then it will just pull up everything that has that in it. Obviously, that's not something I knew straight away. And those were skills that I developed. But the first one was a lot of going through the marking criteria, going through research, trying to understand the research, trying to bring it all together and making sure I answered the question, which is quite important and it's very easy actually to derail from. Referencing as well was something that I'd done a bit of previously. I did an EPQ and I'd had to do referencing for that. So I'd had some experience, but figuring out the referencing style and things like that, which I used Skills Hub for. I also used referencing software and that really helped me and took a bit of the stress away from having to figure out how to do references and how to write long references. It put all my research into one place and kept it for me whereas I know lots of people who did research and then couldn't remember where they found that bit of information from. And so that really helped me with my first assignment.

For many students, writing critical essays will form the majority of their assessment at Sussex. Because setting out an argument is such an important part of academic work, learning how to do it well is fundamental for university success.

There are many parts to writing a successful essay. This list is a basic order, but most essays require moving back and forth between stages as you refine your thinking and writing, rather than following a strict linear path.

  • understanding the essay title or creating your own
  • planning for the length of your essay
  • researching the subject
  • creating a brief essay plan
  • developing the argument
  • adding counter-arguments
  • writing a detailed outline
  • developing the paragraphs
  • sticking to academic writing conventions
  • proof-reading.

In order to get a good grade, your essay must :

  • prove you understand the topic
  • answer the question
  • show that you have read widely
  • demonstrate you have evaluated the evidence
  • display critical thinking
  • have a clear argument
  • contain relevant information to support your argument
  • be well structured and organised
  • conform to academic style
  • use consistent and accurate referencing
  • be professionally presented
  • be grammatically correct
  • have been proofread for mistakes.

Essay Questions

Feedback from tutors often focuses on students not answering the question. It may be that you know plenty of information about the topic and are keen to show off everything that you have read, but if you do not focus on responding to the question, you will lose marks. Take time to make sure that you have understood exactly what the question means, or composed a question that you can answer with precision.

Sara and Tavian talk understanding essay questions and structure

Sara: So when I get a question, I really have to have a think about that because I know often times it's the case of when you write a perfectly good assignment, but you haven't answered the question. So I think I break down the question. I see what the keyword is. Is it 'evaluate', is it 'discuss', is it 'compare'? I think that is a key thing to look at. And then what they're actually asking of you and what you're answering. So when I'm writing my assignments, I always make sure when I'm done with the paragraph to read that paragraph back and see if it's actually adding to what the question has asked of me. And I think that's very important because you can be so invested in your work and just writing a lot, but then at the end you're not actually answering the question and you're not going to get any marks, no matter how good your writing is. So I think going back, reading it through and keeping the question in mind constantly really helps. Tavian: So the Skills Hub, I was mostly looking at the formatting of an essay because I hadn't really written an essay. As I mentioned, well reports are mostly what we do in the Business School, at least for my course in my modules. So it had been almost since first year since I'd written an essay, and so I just wanted to understand a little bit more, okay, what the difference was. You know, do you use appendices or not? Because reports are very appendix heavy. And so yeah, that was really helpful for me to understand then, okay, what's expected? And then I had to adapt my approach.

Essay questions at Sussex

There are different types of academic essays at university. You may start university with essay questions that ask for description and explanation. As you progress throught your course, there will be more focus on critical writing. See Critical Thinking for more details.

Description

A description is not intended to persuade the reader to agree with a view. You will be asked to give an account of a concept or a process. It should be accurate and factual. The aim of this essay type is to give the reader an informed understanding of what is being described.

Explanation

Similar to a description, the purpose of an explanation is not to convince the reader of a point of view. The aim of this essay type is to give explanations as to why or how something happens and to establish the meaning of a theory or argument. Unlike a description, it also includes causes, purposes and consequences.

Critical argument

The most common type of essay question. The aim of this essay is to state a clear position and present a persuasive line of argument in order to convince the reader of this particular view. An argument should consider alternative perspectives and be supported with evidence throughout.

Decoding your Essay Title

Here are some useful tips to help you understand the question:

  • highlight words which tell you the approach to take (the directive words)
  • circle the words which guide you on selecting the subject matter of the essay (the topic words)
  • underline the words which the question is asking you to focus on (the limiting words)
  • ask yourself what the essay is really looking for. Can you identify the central question? How many sections are there to it?
  • find the links between what you have learnt through reading or lectures and the title.

Cottrell, S. (2013)

Let’s look more at directive, topic and limiting words:

  • directive words tell you what you need to do
  • topic words show you what content you must discuss
  • limiting words provide boundaries for your essay.

Look at the example question below. Can you identify the directive, topic and limiting words?

Discuss critically how semantics and pragmatics both have a role in the understanding of meaning

Now look below to reveal the three parts that are indicated:

Directive = Discuss, critically, both

Topic = Semantics, pragmatics, the understanding of meaning

Limiting = have a role in

Now, practise by breaking down the following question into the three types of question words:

Review the evidence for links between cholesterol levels and heart disease, and evaluate the usefulness of cholesterol screening programmes in preventing heart disease.

Directive words

Making sure you understand the directive word helps to stay on task and answer the question.

Activity: Directive words

Use the Dialog cards below to reveal the meaning of some of the most common directive words (seven) used in essay questions (there is a text only version below the activity):

1. Compare = Identify the similarities of two or more things.

2. Criticise = Identify weaknesses and disadvantages. You should also point out favourable aspects, so it should be a balanced view.

3. Evaluate = Assess how important or useful something is.

4. Critically Evaluate = similar to evaluate / weigh up the arguments for and against / assess the strength of the evidence on both sides.

5. Analyse = Break an idea into parts and consider how they relate to each other – investigate.

6. Assess = weigh up how important something is – similar to evaluate.

7. Contrast = similar to compare / looks at the differences.

Devising your own Essay Question

As you progress through university, there will be opportunities to devise your own essay titles. While this may seem to be a luxury at first, it soon becomes clear that it is harder than you think!

Here are some key points to consider when creating your essay title:

  • check the marking criteria first. You’ll need to come up with a question that enables you to meet the criteria
  • consider the right kind of directive word for the topic. If there are two main competing theories in the literature, a compare and contrast essay might be suitable. If you want to explore an innovative approach, you might like to critically evaluate the evidence in support of and against it
  • some words are not suitable as directive words. Describe, for example, leads to purely descriptive writing. Analyse or Evaluate would be better alternatives
  • keep the title concise, and stick to just one question
  • you may choose to use a short quotation in your title, but make sure that it links to the academic debate you want to focus on. The quote may provide the topic and limiting words, but you might need to follow it with a typical essay question to focus your essay. For example:

‘ There is not a brick in the city but what is cemented with the blood of a slave .’ (Bristol Annalist, early 18th century)

Critically evaluate this assessment of the impact of the slave trade on Bristol.

  • essay titles do not always use directive words – it’s up to you whether to use them. This title does not contain a directive word

        ‘In what respects was the debate over slavery fundamental to later history of the British Empire?’

  • ask a friend or family member to read your title to make sure it can be understood.
  • check that you can find research evidence relevant to the topic.

Planning and Structuring your Essay

Saira and amelia talk about planning their essay structure.

Saira: For me, what I do is I first start with a plan, so I'll just have a general idea of what's my argument. Because for some modules or some degrees, I guess you might need to have a bit of a balanced argument, but I know for Law you need to be quite persuasive and you need to understand what it is that you're trying to argue and set that out in the beginning. A lot of people tend to think that you have to wait till the end to say what you want to say. But that's probably the worst way to go about it, because you're going to be lost while you're writing. So I usually just have a bullet-point plan with headings. What's my introduction, what are my middle paragraphs and what's my conclusion? And then I have a separate section where I think about what are my academic sources I'm going to use. How am I going to compare them? Do they show different points of views? And then I just make sure that I have all my referencing and things sorted out. And then I usually do about two drafts. So the first draft, I just write things in my own words. And then the second draft I go through and make it more formal and put in, you know, proper referencing and then make it look nice: 1.5 line spacing, edge to edge, Times New Roman size 12. And then, yeah, that's pretty much how I go through essays. Amelia: The biggest thing for me coming from high school into uni was analysis. In high school, a lot of the analysis was like, what was my personal analysis? And then I came to uni and they're like, no, no, no. Like, you can have an opinion, but it has to always be backed up by academic research. And so changing my analysis from a personal analysis to an academic analysis was hard and still is really hard. And like, it's not, 'What is your opinion?' It's, 'What is your opinion on the research?'

The planning and structuring of your essay goes hand in hand with reading and researching it. Usually, they both happen at the same time: as you read more and develop your knowledge and opinions on the subject, you start to picture the shape of the essay in your mind. And as the structure of the essay begins to become clear, you will know which sources of information you need to investigate more, and which you can leave behind. 

Basic Structure of Critical Essays

Critical essays have three sections: an introduction, a main body, and a conclusion  (or a discussion for science-based essays) .  

You can imagine an essay like an hourglass, with the introduction and the conclusion/discussion as the wide top and bottom parts, where the general context of the essay is discussed. The main body is the very narrow part of the hourglass, where the focus is on very specific aspects of the topic . 

Read  the lists below of which   features are found in the three main parts:

Introduction

  • the hook - a strong statement or surprising fact about the topic which engages the reader
  • background information - some background information about the topic. For example, a brief history or an explanation of the context
  • a thesis statement – what your argument and position is. This is the most important part of your essay and what the essay can be reduced down to. All the other parts of your essay act as extra details to your thesis statement. 
  • signposting - tell your reader what you will cover.
  • topic sentences – the sentence in each paragraph which outlines its main idea. 
  • use of sources, explanations, examples and data to support your topic sentence idea. Most essays, and all science-based ones, need multiple sources per paragraph.  
  • critical analysis of the evidence and sources. (In science-based essays, rgis comes in the discussion )
  • concluding sentences – final sentences in each paragraph which sum up the idea and may link back to the next question or to the next point.

Conclusion (for non-science-based essays)

  • a brief restatement of your argument
  • a summary of your main points
  • a strong closing statement - perhaps a prediction or a recommendation.

Discussion (for science-based essays)

  • a brief summary of your argument
  • critical analysis of the evidence and sources
  • a strong closing statement - perhaps the implications of your argument on other parts of the discipline, or a recommendation for more research.

Remember! Stating that ' more research is needed ' is not a very useful recommendation. Be specific about what the research should be on and what it should attempt to find out. 

There is more information on each of these sections below.

Planning for length

Planning starts with understanding your task, how much time you have, the number of words you have to write and what direction you're going to take.

Before you embark on research, give yourself realistic goals for the amount of material you need by sketching out a plan for length. This helps to breakdown the task into manageable sections, and to focus your reading.

Access this YouTube video talking about ' Planning for length '

Writing an essay outline

Elena talks about the structure of her science essay.

Elena: Once we have the essay topic - I found it also at the beginning very hard to just start writing. So what I do is I just write down thoughts or some bullet points of what I think I want my essay to go into. What I want to discuss, what the topics I want to include are, maybe some details, some of my thoughts. So I write that down first and then I actually don't have a structure I don't start with the introduction or I don't start with the conclusion. I usually start with what I feel most comfortable. So I take one of those bullet points that I jotted down. I do further research into it. Well, this is because it's also scientific, so it's a bit different. So I do research into it. I write notes, and I continue writing notes on what I find, and I just put that all into the document. Then once I have that, I begin to structure it. So I do the structuring later so that I have all the information that I want to include already in the document. So I structure it. And then what we have in scientific essays that's really important is the abstract or something that resembles an abstract, where in the introduction you have to include a summary of what the essay is about and the conclusions also. So then I work on that so that I have something that clearly defines what my essay will be about. So I work on that, and then I go into the body and then into the conclusions. And as a scientific essay or scientific topic, we always appreciate further research - like a little section of further research. So I develop that into the conclusion. And yeah, slowly, slowly it takes time. Editing, re-editing, maybe even proofreading. Having someone to proofread your essay is also very important. And yeah, like a student mentor. In first year, I would always go to student mentors to discuss my essay, how I can Improve it, how like critical opinions are always appreciated and what I did good as well, both negative and positive feedback.

After you have planned for length, you can start your research .

Before you plan the content of your essay, you need to decide a clear position on the question (e.g. you disagree with the question's statement, or you have identified the main reason for the phenomenon mentioned in the question) and think about a line of argument (i.e. how are you going to persuade the reader that you are correct?) You should identify evidence to support your argument, and find at least one counter-argument.

Next comes the writing! But starting an essay can be daunting, because you may not know exactly what to write about and in what order.  So, an easier step is to create a outline. It will also help you to stay on track throughout the process.  

An essay outline is like the skeleton of your essay. You include the essential information, and can play around with the order until you are happy with it. This is the experimental phase of your writing. Don't worry about writing full sentences or including every reference. Correct spelling and grammar aren't important in this phase. It's only after the essay outline is complete that you can start writing full sentences. You won't need to worry about wondering what each paragraph will be about or where to add a particular reference - you've already decided all this in your essay outline. 

 Your essay outline can be more or less detailed depending on what helps you. Some things you could include in your outline are:

  • a word count for each section
  • your thesis statement (main overall argument) in the introduction
  • topic sentences describing the main idea of each main body paragraph
  • concluding sentences for each main body paragraph
  • citations and references.

Experiment with how much detail works for you in your plan. It is almost impossible to write well without planning something beforehand, but it is also easy to overplan as an excuse not to get writing!

Access this blank  PDF  Essay plan template: Structure of an essay.

Access this YouTube video talking about ' Planning for content'

Developing your argument

Imagine that you want to change the brand of coffee that you buy for you and your flatmates. By reading and researching, you have investigated the different options, and with critical thinking, chosen the one you want to switch to. You now decide to gather your flatmates together and persuade them that the coffee you want to get is better than the coffee you all currently drink.

Coffee cup

 “ Stylised coffee mug ” by freesvg.org is licensed under CC0 .

Just like for a critical essay, in order to win them over you’ll need to develop your argument. It might be best to write down all of your the reasons for changing and deciding which ones are most likely to be persuasive:

  • there are both caffeinated and decaf varieties
  • the company has a carbon-offsetting scheme
  • I really like the flavour
  • it’s cheaper than the current choice
  • it reminds me of my holiday in Italy
  • it’s fair-trade.

You can probably cut out the personal reasons to persuade your flatmates because there isn’t any objective evidence for them. You are left with:

  • tthe company has a carbon-offsetting scheme

Next, how are you going to group these points? Carbon-offsetting and fair-trade are both about sustainability, so your argument will be clearer if these two points are kept together.

  • the company has a carbon-offsetting scheme and the coffee is fair-trade
  • it’s cheaper than the current choice.

Now think about the order they should be in. Which one of your reasons packs the biggest punch? All of your flatmates want to save money, so this is probably the best reason to put first. Decaf coffee isn’t drunk very often in your flat, so this one can go last.

  • there are both caffeinated and decaf varieties.

Your flatmates are going to want proof of what you say, so make sure you include evidence to back up each of your reasons for wanting to change coffee. 

  • it’s cheaper than the current choice. Show them a receipt
  • the company has a carbon-offsetting scheme and the coffee is fair-trade. Open up the company website
  • there are both caffeinated and decaf varieties. Bring them some examples!

You’ve also found a counter-argument to swapping brands: Your coffee is only available in two shops in town. Let’s bring this up last of all since it isn’t really related to price, sustainability or varieties of coffee. To make sure your flatmates don’t agree with the counter-argument, you need to explain why it isn’t such a big problem. Put the counter argument at the end. 

  • the brand is only available in two shops in town. However, one shop is on the bus route back from campus and you are happy to pick some up when needed.

Of course, you’ll start and end explaining that you want to change coffee brands.

You might not succeed in convincing your flatmates to switch what they put in their lattes, but you have succeeded in developing an argument. The process is the same for developing an argument in an essay, but with a bigger word count and more complex topics!

Complete the checklist to make sure you have done everything you can to develop the best argument possible.

  • I’ve decided on my position
  • I have a number of reasons for my position
  • I’ve selected the reasons that are most persuasive and I have evidence for
  • I’ve put the reasons into groups that are connected in some way
  • I’ve ordered the reasons/groups of reasons, putting the strongest ones first
  • I’ve attached my evidence to each reason
  • I’ve thought of some counter-arguments to my position and I have included their weaknesses in my essay.

Access this excellent YouTube video on ' How do I develop an argument? '

For extra resources, look at Making an Argument .

Main Body Paragraphs

If your essay is a sandwich, and the introduction and conclusion are the slices of bread at the top and the bottom, then your main body paragraphs are the filling. This is where you will put the main flavour to your essay – the arguments, the details, the evidence, the examples etc. Get this right and the rest of your essay becomes much easier to write.

Remember that for each main idea, you need a new paragraph, for example one effect of a situation; one reason why you agree with the question; one event in a timeline. Putting all the reasons why you agree with the question in one paragraph is too confusing for the reader, and will probably be a very long paragraph. Likewise, splitting paragraphs by the different sources that you have found (e.g. Paragraph 1: source 1 says this...., Paragraph 2: source 2 says this....) is also not a good idea if both sources are talking about the same concepts. It's better to put each of the concepts that they both discuss in individual paragraphs, showing the reader that you have synthesised their opinions.

The structure of a paragraph

Paragraphs tend to follow a general structure. You can adapt it to your needs but always keep in mind the main shape:

  • start with a topic sentence, which tells the reader the main idea of the paragraph. This main idea should of course fit with your argument
  • next, you can give more detail on the main point. What does it mean? What are the ins and outs? What are the reasons for it? What are its implications? Why is it important? What examples are there?
  • you need to include sources (usually more than one) to back up your main point, or the details of the main point.
  • a good way to include sources - especially in science-based essays - is to use the fact:citation sentence pattern. This is a paraphrased fact, followed by the citation of the source. Keeping to this sentence pattern makes it easy for the reader to follow your argument and not get distracted by your referencing. 
  • avoid starting or ending paragraphs with a reference.
  • to round off, write a concluding sentence which summarises the paragraph or links to the question or the next paragraph.

You may also find this structure called the PEEL model of paragraph writing.

Let's look at an example of a paragraph:

Using Evidence

The quality of evidence you have in your essay depends on how well you’ve done your reading and note-making. How well you present the evidence depends on the quality of your plan. In each main body paragraph, you have a main point, and further details you want to address. Select relevant evidence from your notes during the planning stage so that you know which evidence belongs to which point, and weave it into the paragraph to support your argument. It can be very tempting to include material that isn't relevant because you’ve worked hard to collect it and it's interesting. However, if it doesn't fit with your argument, leave it out.

Synthesising evidence

In order to develop an argument, you have to consult and refer to a variety of different views. This shows the reader that you have read widely, and you have presented a balanced, non-biased argument. It’s very likely that you'll need to use more than one source per paragraph in order for your argument to develop. Putting these different sources together, or synthesising them, is an important academic skill. It can show that there are multiple people with the same view on a topic, or can help highlight the nuances between different schools of thought.

Read this example of a main body paragraph using synthesis of two sources:

The first topic sentence tells us that the paragraph will look at fabrication being a part of psychotic behaviour, and the second sentence gives more detail on this. The third and fourth sentences synthesise what Elphick and Mitchell write, since both have similar opinions. Note the synthesising language:

  • and this viewpoint is also found in
  • both Elphick and Mitchell see fabrication as
  • albeit to varying degrees (This phrase acknowledges that there are some differences between Elphick’s and Mitchell’s work).

There are many more phrases that can be used to synthesise different sources! Keep an eye out for them when you are reading and note down useful ones.

Refuting Counter-arguments

Including counter-arguments in your essay shows that you have considered views that contradict ones which you have presented but have decided that they are not strong enough to sway your opinion. Using the synthesis table above, include a main idea that does not agree with your thesis and find some sources for it. Using your critical thinking skills, make sure to demonstrate why these main ideas are incorrect or refute them

Some counter-arguments may disagree with a small detail of a paragraph. In this case, it is fine to include them as one or two sentences towards the end of a paragraph. Other counter-arguments may disagree with a main point, or an entire section of your essay. If so, they deserve a paragraph or more dedicated to them. Read this example of a paragraph addressing and then refuting a main counter-argument.

This section of the essay is in support of Kernohan’s theories, but it would lose marks if the student did not mention some opponents of Kernohan. The topic sentence makes clear that this paragraph will introduce some counter-arguments, with more details in the second half of the sentence. Bayliss’ position is summarised, and then the rest of the paragraph explores the weaknesses of Bayliss’ argument.

Note the specifical language for refutation:

  • however, Bayliss’s research did not take into account
  • while it is true that (This is a concession that Kernohan’s work is not perfect, but the student then shows why this is not a big problem).

Like synthesis, there are many more phrases that can be used to refute counter-arguments, and you can collect them while you are reading. Look at this Academic Phrasebank for some great examples.

Writing Introductions, Conclusions and Discussions

While you are reading, pay attention to how the introductions and conclusions/discussions that you come across are written. Are the introductions similar to each other? Does each conclusion/discussion have a comparable structure?

Introductions should:

  • introduce your topic, giving some background information such as a brief history or the current context
  • explain how you have understood the question, in particular any terms that may have multiple interpretations
  • include your position - your thesis statement. For example, do you agree or disagree with the essay title topic?
  • list the issues you are going to discuss. Why are these the important ones? List them in the same order they appear in your essay
  • be roughly 10% of your word count.

Triangle pointing down with text. Read text version below

A triangle is overlaid in text going down the triangle to signify the scope, starting wide at the top and becoming narrower at the bottom, we have:

1) the background, history/context

2) definition of terms

3) the specifics of the topic in question

4) a thesis statement and position

Conclusions/Discussions should:

  • restate your position
  • summarise your main points
  • make it clear why your conclusions are important or significant
  • include a strong closing statement. This could be a prediction for the future, reference to further research, or a suggestion for a way forward

Triangle pointing down with text. Read text version below

A triangle is overlaid in text going down the triangle to signify the scope, starting at the pointed top and becoming wider at the bottom, we have:

1) restate position

2) summarise main points

3) strong closing statemnet

Other topics in this section relating to Writing and assessments:

Critical essay writing (this page) | Reflective writing | Reports | Dissertations | Academic writing style, editing and proof-reading | Feedback

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first class psychology essay example

How to write a first-class essay in 4 easy steps

You’ve just started your journey with the University of Bolton and your first assignment has come through. It’s fair to say that the required standard for essay writing at university is a considerable step up from what you’ve experienced during your school years.

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  • Related courses
  • University Of East Anglia
  • Psychology (PSY4002Y)

Psychology Essay & Research Proposal - FIRST CLASS (78%)

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UNDERGRADUATE LEVEL. This essay explores the link between exposure to violent video games and aggression. What this essay was praised on: (1) Critical analysis - "exceptionally strong critical analysis which is well referenced"; (2) Introduction - "includes all the key elements such as definitions ...

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  • Uploaded on January 18, 2021
  • File latest updated on January 18, 2021
  • Number of pages 8
  • Written in 2019/2020
  • Professor(s) Unknown
  • Grade A+
  • research proposal
  • violent video games
  • first class
  • Institution University of East Anglia
  • Education University of East Anglia
  • Module Psychology (PSY4002Y)

1  review

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By: kimmy123 • 3 year ago

A really useful exemplar essay. I've always struggled with critical analysis and this essay provides loads of helpful ideas (i.e., points of critique and how to integrate them). Would definitely recommend to any psychology uni student!

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Frank T. McAndrew Ph.D.

How to Get Started on Your First Psychology Experiment

Acquiring even a little expertise in advance makes science research easier..

Updated May 16, 2024 | Reviewed by Ray Parker

  • Why Education Is Important
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  • Students often struggle at the beginning of research projects—knowing how to begin.
  • Research projects can sometimes be inspired by everyday life or personal concerns.
  • Becoming something of an "expert" on a topic in advance makes designing a study go more smoothly.

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One of the most rewarding and frustrating parts of my long career as a psychology professor at a small liberal arts college has been guiding students through the senior capstone research experience required near the end of their college years. Each psychology major must conduct an independent experiment in which they collect data to test a hypothesis, analyze the data, write a research paper, and present their results at a college poster session or at a professional conference.

The rewarding part of the process is clear: The students' pride at seeing their poster on display and maybe even getting their name on an article in a professional journal allows us professors to get a glimpse of students being happy and excited—for a change. I also derive great satisfaction from watching a student discover that he or she has an aptitude for research and perhaps start shifting their career plans accordingly.

The frustrating part comes at the beginning of the research process when students are attempting to find a topic to work on. There is a lot of floundering around as students get stuck by doing something that seems to make sense: They begin by trying to “think up a study.”

The problem is that even if the student's research interest is driven by some very personal topic that is deeply relevant to their own life, they simply do not yet know enough to know where to begin. They do not know what has already been done by others, nor do they know how researchers typically attack that topic.

Students also tend to think in terms of mission statements (I want to cure eating disorders) rather than in terms of research questions (Why are people of some ages or genders more susceptible to eating disorders than others?).

Needless to say, attempting to solve a serious, long-standing societal problem in a few weeks while conducting one’s first psychology experiment can be a showstopper.

Even a Little Bit of Expertise Can Go a Long Way

My usual approach to helping students get past this floundering stage is to tell them to try to avoid thinking up a study altogether. Instead, I tell them to conceive of their mission as becoming an “expert” on some topic that they find interesting. They begin by reading journal articles, writing summaries of these articles, and talking to me about them. As the student learns more about the topic, our conversations become more sophisticated and interesting. Researchable questions begin to emerge, and soon, the student is ready to start writing a literature review that will sharpen the focus of their research question.

In short, even a little bit of expertise on a subject makes it infinitely easier to craft an experiment on that topic because the research done by others provides a framework into which the student can fit his or her own work.

This was a lesson I learned early in my career when I was working on my own undergraduate capstone experience. Faced with the necessity of coming up with a research topic and lacking any urgent personal issues that I was trying to resolve, I fell back on what little psychological expertise I had already accumulated.

In a previous psychology course, I had written a literature review on why some information fails to move from short-term memory into long-term memory. The journal articles that I had read for this paper relied primarily on laboratory studies with mice, and the debate that was going on between researchers who had produced different results in their labs revolved around subtle differences in the way that mice were released into the experimental apparatus in the studies.

Because I already had done some homework on this, I had a ready-made research question available: What if the experimental task was set up so that the researcher had no influence on how the mouse entered the apparatus at all? I was able to design a simple animal memory experiment that fit very nicely into the psychological literature that was already out there, and this prevented a lot of angst.

Please note that my undergraduate research project was guided by the “expertise” that I had already acquired rather than by a burning desire to solve some sort of personal or social problem. I guarantee that I had not been walking around as an undergraduate student worrying about why mice forget things, but I was nonetheless able to complete a fun and interesting study.

first class psychology essay example

My first experiment may not have changed the world, but it successfully launched my research career, and I fondly remember it as I work with my students 50 years later.

Frank T. McAndrew Ph.D.

Frank McAndrew, Ph.D., is the Cornelia H. Dudley Professor of Psychology at Knox College.

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At any moment, someone’s aggravating behavior or our own bad luck can set us off on an emotional spiral that threatens to derail our entire day. Here’s how we can face our triggers with less reactivity so that we can get on with our lives.

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What I’ve Learned From My Students’ College Essays

The genre is often maligned for being formulaic and melodramatic, but it’s more important than you think.

An illustration of a high school student with blue hair, dreaming of what to write in their college essay.

By Nell Freudenberger

Most high school seniors approach the college essay with dread. Either their upbringing hasn’t supplied them with several hundred words of adversity, or worse, they’re afraid that packaging the genuine trauma they’ve experienced is the only way to secure their future. The college counselor at the Brooklyn high school where I’m a writing tutor advises against trauma porn. “Keep it brief , ” she says, “and show how you rose above it.”

I started volunteering in New York City schools in my 20s, before I had kids of my own. At the time, I liked hanging out with teenagers, whom I sometimes had more interesting conversations with than I did my peers. Often I worked with students who spoke English as a second language or who used slang in their writing, and at first I was hung up on grammar. Should I correct any deviation from “standard English” to appeal to some Wizard of Oz behind the curtains of a college admissions office? Or should I encourage students to write the way they speak, in pursuit of an authentic voice, that most elusive of literary qualities?

In fact, I was missing the point. One of many lessons the students have taught me is to let the story dictate the voice of the essay. A few years ago, I worked with a boy who claimed to have nothing to write about. His life had been ordinary, he said; nothing had happened to him. I asked if he wanted to try writing about a family member, his favorite school subject, a summer job? He glanced at his phone, his posture and expression suggesting that he’d rather be anywhere but in front of a computer with me. “Hobbies?” I suggested, without much hope. He gave me a shy glance. “I like to box,” he said.

I’ve had this experience with reluctant writers again and again — when a topic clicks with a student, an essay can unfurl spontaneously. Of course the primary goal of a college essay is to help its author get an education that leads to a career. Changes in testing policies and financial aid have made applying to college more confusing than ever, but essays have remained basically the same. I would argue that they’re much more than an onerous task or rote exercise, and that unlike standardized tests they are infinitely variable and sometimes beautiful. College essays also provide an opportunity to learn precision, clarity and the process of working toward the truth through multiple revisions.

When a topic clicks with a student, an essay can unfurl spontaneously.

Even if writing doesn’t end up being fundamental to their future professions, students learn to choose language carefully and to be suspicious of the first words that come to mind. Especially now, as college students shoulder so much of the country’s ethical responsibility for war with their protest movement, essay writing teaches prospective students an increasingly urgent lesson: that choosing their own words over ready-made phrases is the only reliable way to ensure they’re thinking for themselves.

Teenagers are ideal writers for several reasons. They’re usually free of preconceptions about writing, and they tend not to use self-consciously ‘‘literary’’ language. They’re allergic to hypocrisy and are generally unfiltered: They overshare, ask personal questions and call you out for microaggressions as well as less egregious (but still mortifying) verbal errors, such as referring to weed as ‘‘pot.’’ Most important, they have yet to put down their best stories in a finished form.

I can imagine an essay taking a risk and distinguishing itself formally — a poem or a one-act play — but most kids use a more straightforward model: a hook followed by a narrative built around “small moments” that lead to a concluding lesson or aspiration for the future. I never get tired of working with students on these essays because each one is different, and the short, rigid form sometimes makes an emotional story even more powerful. Before I read Javier Zamora’s wrenching “Solito,” I worked with a student who had been transported by a coyote into the U.S. and was reunited with his mother in the parking lot of a big-box store. I don’t remember whether this essay focused on specific skills or coping mechanisms that he gained from his ordeal. I remember only the bliss of the parent-and-child reunion in that uninspiring setting. If I were making a case to an admissions officer, I would suggest that simply being able to convey that experience demonstrates the kind of resilience that any college should admire.

The essays that have stayed with me over the years don’t follow a pattern. There are some narratives on very predictable topics — living up to the expectations of immigrant parents, or suffering from depression in 2020 — that are moving because of the attention with which the student describes the experience. One girl determined to become an engineer while watching her father build furniture from scraps after work; a boy, grieving for his mother during lockdown, began taking pictures of the sky.

If, as Lorrie Moore said, “a short story is a love affair; a novel is a marriage,” what is a college essay? Every once in a while I sit down next to a student and start reading, and I have to suppress my excitement, because there on the Google Doc in front of me is a real writer’s voice. One of the first students I ever worked with wrote about falling in love with another girl in dance class, the absolute magic of watching her move and the terror in the conflict between her feelings and the instruction of her religious middle school. She made me think that college essays are less like love than limerence: one-sided, obsessive, idiosyncratic but profound, the first draft of the most personal story their writers will ever tell.

Nell Freudenberger’s novel “The Limits” was published by Knopf last month. She volunteers through the PEN America Writers in the Schools program.

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  16. Psychology Essay & Research Proposal

    Institution. University Of East Anglia. UNDERGRADUATE LEVEL. This essay explores the link between exposure to violent video games and aggression. What this essay was praised on: (1) Critical analysis - "exceptionally strong critical analysis which is well referenced"; (2) Introduction - "includes all the key elements such as definitions ...

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