How To: Writing a Research Paper

how to writing a research paper

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Whether you’re completing a school research project, university dissertation, or completing professional research, you’ll need to know how to write a research report.

And there are set formats for writing up research that ensures a consistency across the discipline.

This way, everything important is included in the report and is easy to locate for other researchers to take your results and carry them on further in the future.

Read on below to find out more about how to write a research report.

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how to writing a research paper

how to write a research report

Title

Write a title that concisely sums up what the research is about, making use of relevant keywords (for the benefit of database trawlers) and style (for real human readers).

Abstract

Roughly 100 words, summarising the entire paper. Check out next week’s video, which will be all about writing the perfect abstract.

Introduction

Get your reader up-to-speed in your area of research. Provide a review of the literature to set the scene, and let you reader know what your hypothesese are and why your research is important.

Method

Get into the nitty-gritty of exactly how you conducted the research. There should be enough detail in this section for your reader to completely replicate the study if they want to.

It’s useful to sub-divide this section so you don’t miss out any important details. Sub-divisions that are commonly used in Psychology articles include:

  • Materials
  • Apparatus
  • Participants
  • Design
  • Procedure

Results

Whilst this section can be hard to read, it’s still a very important element of the report. Include all results and data that you have.

Descriptive statistics should be displayed in tables or graphs as well as in the text. Inferential statistics, stating statistical significance probability, should be included here too.

Discussion

Here is your opportunity to discuss what your results actually mean.

How do they match your initial hypothesese? What implications do your findings have?

Some people like to combine Results and Discussion so that they can discuss results immediately after presenting them – this can be particularly useful when presenting the results of multiple experiments in one paper.

References

This is an exhaustive list of all other resources you mention at any point in your paper. This can include journal articles, books, videos, published interviews.

Generally, Psychology papers use the APA referencing format – though be sure to check with your school, university or journal incase they have other requirements.

The APA Referencing style in the body of the text is: Research has found the references are important (Smith, 2020)

The APA Referencing style in the reference section at the end of your paper is: Smith, F. (2020). Referencing: Why it is so important. Journal of Psychological Referencing, 30 (2), 243-251

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About Daniel Edward 65 Articles
Daniel set up Psychology Unlocked in 2016 to support Psychology students in higher and further education. Daniel has a Bachelor's and Master's Degree in Psychology, Politics and Sociology from the University of Cambridge.