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How do you write a psychology research paper in APA format

APA format is really just a style guide that affects the way you present information. The APA format for a psychology research paper is one of the most commonly used formats, so the sooner you learn how to use it, the better off you will be.

APA format really has more to do with the aesthetic layout of your paper and the way you cite your sources. If you are writing a standard research paper you should include the following sections:

  • Cover page
  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Background (literature review)
  • Body
  • Conclusion
  • Reference page
  • Appendix

But if you are writing a report based on an experiment you conducted and the findings therein, you should include the following sections:

  • Cover page
  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Literature review
  • Methodology
  • Results
  • Discussion
  • Conclusion
  • Reference page
  • Appendix

As far as your citations are concerned, it is best to refer to the APA publication guide on citations. There is a format guide available in book form and online, free of charge. You can look up how to cite your sources in text and in the reference page. This is important because each type of source has a slightly different citation and the number of authors for each source has an influential role as well.

It is also recommended that you double check with the APA guide as per any tables, charts, graphs, or figures you include. Some of these may need to be listed in the text, while others are referred to in the text but only listed in the appendix. You may need to include an appendix and a table of figures if you have figures and graphs, or figures and a copy of the questionnaire you used in a case study. It is really all contingent upon what you include in your research and what you are including in your paper.

If you are unsure, you can always ask your teacher for a recommendation in addition to reviewing the APA website.

There are many potential topics in the field of psychology. If you are struggling to pick a topic for your next paper, you should review the broad topics below and see if there are any more precise ideas you can think of related to your paper and a thesis that is appropriate:

  • Schizophrenia
  • Child abuse
  • Physical attraction
  • Limerece period in relationships
  • Memory
  • Depression
  • Learning disabilities
  • Dreams
  • Intelligence tests