How to Write a Psychology Essay
Before you begin to write your psychology essay, it’s a good idea to decide just what area of psychology you want to focus on. Without a proper focus, the essay will be meandering and uninteresting. A good choice is educational psychology.
What’s Educational Psychology?
Educational psychology is the study of children in an educational environment and looks at the way they learn, teaching methods and childhood development and aptitude. When this is used properly, it’s possible to improve the methods used for teaching children.
Many psychology articles have been written on the results of educational psychology and can be used as you write your essay. Psychology research articles can be found online and quoted or referenced in your psychology essay.
With so many options in careers with a psychology degree, you can write on literally any area of psychology, but educational psychology is one area that is particularly interesting. The examples we give here will be in this field.
Wondering what’s psychology? It is the science of studying the human mind and how it works. The main focus here is on behavior, particularly in various environments. It’s a fascinating area of study and one that can lead you in many different directions when you write your essay. Whatever you choose to write about, you’ll find plenty of facts, studies and stats to back your statements up.
With so many studies to choose from, be sure to narrow your research to the ones that are published by reputable journals or education sites. It’s important not to get caught up in quasi-psychology topics and blog posts.
To avoid starting your essay abruptly, you’ll want an introduction. This is the first paragraph of the essay and should be just three to five sentences long. The purpose of the introductory paragraph is simple; it’s designed to explain what the essay will be about. An educational psychology essay will tend to be an expository essay or one that explains the topic. In this case, you’ll be educating people on this particular branch of psychology (unless you choose a different psychology topic).
The introduction should include your thesis statement, which will tell the reader what the main point of the essay is. Let the reader know what to expect in this section.
The main part of the essay is the body, which will be anywhere from three to eight paragraphs long. Each paragraph can be several sentences long, but each one should stay focused on a single idea that supports the thesis statement.
For every main idea, you’ll want to use data or research that you’ve looked up and collected from reputable sources. The first sentence can be written as the main idea, then follow up with the supporting information.
Use the information you collected in the pre-writing phase, through your research. You should have plenty of information and facts to sift through, so you can select the information that best describes educational psychology. Remember that you want to provide your reader with a good idea of what it’s all about and educate them if they’ve never heard of this area of study before.
The conclusion paragraph is a tidy way to round up all the information that was given in the psychology essay and present the thesis statement one last time. Ideally, you will rewrite the thesis to make it slightly different, without losing the main intent. The conclusion paragraph should be roughly the same length as the introduction, or slightly shorter. You don’t need much space to sum up the whole essay.
An essay is a well researched and logically structured answer to a particular question, or questions, usually presented as an argument. It is a point of view formulated by critically assessing the information or ideas relevant to the essay topic. It is presented in the form of a series of main points which support your direct answer to the question. Each of these points is addressed in a separate paragraph and is supported with evidence, explanation and/or examples. The argument presented in an essay should be supported by referencing authorities in the relevant field. The argument should also form a cohesive whole: this means the paragraphs need to be logically ordered and connections made between the points presented in those paragraphs.
Essays are used as an assessment tool to evaluate your ability to research a topic and construct an argument, as well as your understanding of subject content. This does not mean that essays are a 'regurgitation' of everything your lecturer has said throughout the course. Essays are your opportunity to explore in greater depth aspects of the course - theories, issues, texts, etc. - and in some cases relate these aspects to a particular context. It is your opportunity to articulate your ideas, but in a certain way: using formal academic style.
In any type of writing or presentation you need to consider the institutional context (the university), and your audience (who will be reading your essay). These elements influence the style and tone of your writing. In most instances your writing should be formal and typically objective. This means everyday language and slang as well as unsubstantiated opinion is unsuitable in the context of an academic essay. Furthermore, students write essays for their tutors and lecturers: in other words, as a student you are in the uncomfortable position of writing about a topic for someone who most likely knows more about it than you do! You are writing for someone who is familiar with the content, as well as the conventions and practices of the discipline, and in your own writing it is expected that you adapt your writing to suit this context.
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