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PSYC 463/563: Sensation & Perception

Research Guide for PSYC 463/563

Writing Your Term Paper

Writing Tips

  • Decide on the research paper's main research question (focus) and main points first
  • Write the body of the research paper first and then write the introduction and conclusion
  • Everything in your research paper should point back to the research question

Research Paper Structure

Research papers should have an introduction, a body, and a conclusion:

1. Introduction: summarizes what you will write and puts it into context

  • Start the introduction with background that contextualizes the paper's main research question
  • End the introduction with your focused research question, then outline how your paper will answer the research question

2. Body: presents the main points of the paper, with each paragraph representing one aspect of the paper's main focus. Each paragraph should include a topic sentence, evidence, analysis, and a transition sentence:

  • The topic sentence summarizes the paragraph's main idea
  • Use evidence from your research sources to support or make the argument for your main ideas
  • Analyze your evidence to show how it links to and answers your research question
  • Include a transition sentence at the end of each paragraph to connect what you discussed in that paragraph with the main idea of the next paragraph

3. Conclusion: summarizes what you wrote and what you learned

  • Restate your research question from the introduction in different words
  • Briefly summarize your main points or arguments and pull them together to make conclusions about your research question
  • End with a strong, final statement that ties the whole paper together and makes it clear the paper has come to an end
  • No new ideas should be introduced in the conclusion, it should only review and analyze the main points from the body of the paper (with the exception of suggestions for further research)

Paper Writing Help

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