Saul McLeodpublished Before you write your essay it's important to analyse the task and understand exactly what the essay question is asking. It is possible your lecturer will give you some advice - pay attention to this as it will help you plan your answer. Next conduct preliminary reading based on your lecture notes. At this stage it's not crucial to have a robust understanding of key theories or studies, but you should at least have a general 'gist' of the literature.
It is possible your lecturer will give you some advice - pay attention to this as it will help you plan your answer.
Next conduct preliminary reading based on your lecture notes. After reading, plan a response to the task. This plan could be in the form of a mind map, a summary table, or by writing a core statement which encompass the entire argument of your essay in just a few sentences. After writing your plan conduct supplementary reading and refine your plan and make it more detailed.
It is tempting to skip these preliminary steps and just write the first draft while reading at the same time. However, reading and planning will make the essay writing process easier, quicker, and ensure a higher quality essay is produced.
Now let us look at what constitutes a good essay in psychology. There are a number of important features.
A Global Structure - structure the material in a way that allows for a logical sequence of ideas. The introduction, main body and conclusion should all be linked. Each paragraph should comprise a main theme which are illustrated and developed through a number of points supported by evidence.
Knowledge and Understanding - recognise, recall and show understanding on a range of scientific material that accurately reflects the main theoretical perspectives. Evidence of independent thinking, insight and evaluation of the evidence. Quality of Written Communication - writing clearly and succinctly with appropriate use of paragraphs, spelling and grammar.
All sources referenced accurately and in line with APA guidelines. In the main body of the essay every paragraph should demonstrate both knowledge and critical evaluation.
There should also be an appropriate balance between these two essay components. Most students make the mistake of writing too much knowledge and not enough evaluation which is the difficult bit. It is best to structure your essay according to key themes.
Themes are illustrated and developed through a number of points supported by evidence. Choose relevant points only, ones that most reveal the theme or help to make a convincing and interesting argument.
You need to be concise, and clearly articulate your argument. A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences.
Be clear why each point is is relevant to the argument. It would be useful at the beginning of each paragraph if you explicitly outlined the theme being discussed. Try not to overuse quotations in your essays.
It is more appropriate to use original content to demonstrate your understanding. Psychology is a science so you must support your ideas with evidence not your own personal opinion. If you are discussing a theory or research study make sure you cite the source of the information.
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Analyze the essay question and choose your topic. Research your topic thoroughly and find studies that support your ideas. Take 5/5(5). Certainly, psychology is one of the most interesting branches of science out there.
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