Psychology Term Paper Writing Help
p>In most courses, students are required to complete one or two term papers
over the course of a semester. Most often, you are expected to finish one paper by the middle of the semester and the second by the end if your professor prefers that students demonstrate their academic prowess through research rather than taking a test. Ultimately, these papers will help pave the way for graduate school since your merit is judged by the quality of your research rather than test scores.
Picking a Subject
College students are notorious for procrastinating on term papers because they take time away from watching their rival suffer defeat at the NCAA. However, the first part of this is so simple that it will only take one hour of your time in a loosely structured brainstorming session. At first, you want the topic to be broad, so you look up articles and books related to, for example, ‘depression.’ After devouring much of the literature on depression, you may want to narrow your focus. In noticing that depression tends to be significantly higher among stigmatized groups in the population (i.e. ethnic minorities, gays/lesbians, the poor, or the physically unattractive), you then start researching how depression manifests within these particular communities, and start devising potential topics such as: the impact of social rejection on the obese, or how depression affects the academic results of gay teens, etc.
Searching for Sources
No matter what you are asked to write, gathering reliable sources will enrich the content of your paper. The best places to look are academic databases such as JSTOR and Sage Publications for peer-reviewed journal articles and the library for books. Most professors would prefer that you restrict your source-findings to these media. However, if there are news articles, movies or unpublished dissertations relevant to your research, then by all means include them as well. Usually, teachers would want you to refrain from using open-source media such as Wikipedia or answers.com because they have not been edited by the appropriate authorities and arguments from there are not considered definitive proof in most academic circles. After choosing a research topic, you want to gather and review the relevant source material.
Developing a Working Thesis and Writing the Rough Draft
Once you get to this phase of the writing process, you have to make sure that the scope of your paper is neither too broad nor too narrow. However, with many research topics, you might find a deluge of information while with others, you will find only a few articles or books. To maximize the potential of your paper, you need to ensure that there is enough information available on your topic and that it is not so general that there is no indication that it will tell us anything different from the vast amount of research out there that has covered it in depth. In any case, the thesis is the pinnacle of your paper and everything that you write before or after this point must support your argument. Be careful not to write anything that will contradict your thesis as that leads to confusion. In addition, it is not a good idea to deviate from the subject matter, as it will dilute the strength of your argument. In choosing your thesis, ensure that experts in the field have not yet reached a consensus about it (i.e. depression is a leading cause of suicide), and that there is supporting evidence no matter which side that you wish to argue. After you have pinned down your working thesis, it would be prudent to create an outline and write a rough draft. The rough draft would essentially serve as a compilation of your ideas. Just write down everything that could be relevant to your paper, as it is much easier to trim the fat than it is to add new content.
Revisions and Producing the Final Draft
In order to produce a polished thesis paper, you must rewrite the paper several times until you have a neat product as your teacher can spot a parking-lot paper in the first two paragraphs. The process will include not only correcting spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors, but also pruning unnecessary statements, sources that are not relevant to your argument, and ensuring that you have followed the format put forth by your professor. If possible, have a friend, colleague or professor proofread the document because, quite often, you are too invested in your own work to cut the dead weight such as brilliantly diverting but useless arguments. Sometimes, you can get a brilliant paper within three drafts. Unfortunately, the process usually takes longer than that and can often take several more drafts before it can be submitted.
Your paper should conform to APA format, as it is most commonly used in the social sciences such as sociology, psychology, and public policy. However, your professors may have a few quirks. Although most instructors prefer that their students write the essay in APA format, there are some that will specify MLA style or the footnotes/bibliography format of Chicago/Turabian, even though these requests would not be very common among American college professors. To ensure that you get the best score possible, consult the reference section of the library to find the style guide that would help you properly format your paper. Alternatively, you may prefer to purchase your own guide from a bookstore, or through Amazon.com. If your term paper requires an exhaustive number of sources, software such as End Note will format your bibliography and in-text citations in the style that you specify.