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Writing for Psychology

If you are studying psychology and need to write assignments, essays, etc., then these pages can help!

A cross section of the human brain

Fundamentally, psychology is the study of the human brain and people's behaviour, thoughts and interactions. Given its broad scope, psychology is relevant to a wide range of sectors, including education, advertising, health and social services.

To write assignments about psychology, the first thing you need to know is the vocabulary. We've analysed high-scoring student assignments to find the words that are used most often. For exercises about vocabulary related to psychology go to this page:

Psychology Vocabulary

Secondly, and most importantly, you will need to learn how to write certain types of assignments ('genres'). In psychology, you will probably write: 

  • Essays, where you make a coherent argument and employ critical thinking skills 
  • Methodology Recounts, where you practise recording experimental findings by describing your methodology  
  • Research Reports, where you write up your research in the format of a journal article.

Each of these genres has an individual style you will need to learn. If you're short of time, you can go directly to the pages about these genres, but we recommend you start at the beginning of 'Writing for a Purpose' and work through all of it. 

If you read all the materials, you'll be better able to identify what sort of assignment you have to write – your tutor usually won't tell you. Also, not all psychology courses are the same and they might include assignments in different genres from the three typical ones above.