How to Write a Psychology Research Paper: Helpful Ideas

Psychology is as interesting a subject as it is complex and extensive. Therefore, writing a research paper on psychology typically requires that you do extensive research, regardless of your topic. That’s why it is essential to study the questions first and fully understand what is expected of you. Then, mindfully choose your topic, develop your thesis and research, and discuss your findings in the paper.

Understanding the sections of a psychology research paper

Research papers are divided into sections to make the entire writing process easy and help your audience understand. A complete psychology research paper will consist of a title page, an abstract, an introduction, methods, results, a discussion, and references. It may also contain figures, tables, or appendices (or appendices), depending on what you worked on. Below is a brief explanation to help you understand the sections of a psychology research paper:

  • The title page: this is the first page where the title, your name, and your institution will appear. The title page is typically only one page and may or may not acknowledge funding support or individual assistance.
  • The abstract: this section is also one page and paragraph summarizing the entire research. Abstracts are usually 250 words or less in length; they provide an overview of the study.
  • The introduction: the introduction section is about the topic and why you’re studying it. It is the first major section of the paper, describing the topic you’re investigating and identifying unresolved issues to be addressed.
  • Methods: this section details how you conducted the research, including the subjects used, the study design, the materials used, and the study procedure.
  • Results: this section describes the data you collected and the results of whatever statistical test you performed.
  • Discussion: this section is the final major section of a psychology research paper; it features, summarizes, and describes the results. You will also address the limitations of the research and directions for future research.

Helpful ideas and tips on how to write a psychology research paper

We admit that writing a psychology (or any) research paper is not easy. It is an advanced type of academic writing that demands ample attention, time, and your best. Below are tips and steps on how to write a research paper in psychology:

  • Let your topic be specific: the first step is choosing a topic; let it be focused rather than broad and vague. Broad and ambiguous research topics don’t let you present your arguments accurately because there’s no scope to carry out your research. Thus, read and brainstorm to find interesting topics, then narrow them down to a focused topic or question.
  • Organizing your research: research extensively on your psychology research paper, reading through journals, articles, and online databases. As you do that, ensure you note important information; waiting till after the research will be overwhelming. Organize your research to make the writing process easier and much smoother.
  • Have a strong hypothesis: every part of the paper demands your utmost attention, including your hypothesis. The stronger your hypothesis, the firmer the foundation of your research paper. Thus, let your hypothesis be concise, and it should have a scope that can prove true or false.
  • Your psychology research paper outline: when you’re done researching, create an outline first before you get down to writing. Your psychology paper outline helps you organize your thoughts, and you may get more ideas along the way.
  • Draft: now, you’re ready to write the first draft of your psychology paper, but be careful not to write it at once. Take one section at a time; we recommend writing the abstract and introduction sections last.
  • Proofread and edit: read through your paper to edit it; read it aloud to make spotting errors easier. Also, check your cited sources to ensure you cited them correctly; this helps you avoid plagiarism.

15 Psychology paper ideas of topics for research

There are countless ideas for what your psychology paper should be based on. Below are our suggestions for your essay if you’re unsure what topic to choose.

Controversial topics in psychology for research paper

  1. Child sexual abuse
  2. Abortion: Legal or not?
  3. Influence of culture on our sexual orientation
  4. Are victims always blameless?
  5. Psychotherapists and patients: who is more authoritative?

Developmental psychology paper topics

  1. Hostile parenting on child psychology
  2. Age effect on memory
  3. Impact of mental games on cognitive skills
  4. Does behavior change with age?
  5. Bullying’s effect on student achievement

Social psychology research paper topics

  1. Social media effects on children
  2. Having students as Facebook friends: is it ethical?
  3. Entrepreneurship’s impact on social change
  4. Prejudice
  5. Social cognition


Writing a psychology paper does look like tough work, but these tips will guide you in writing. However, if you’re still stuck in any aspect of the writing process, you can always ask for help. There are many professional writers skilled enough to offer “write my psychology research paper” services.

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