How to write an introduction for a report psychology

Saul McLeodpublished Conducting a piece of research is a requirement for most psychology degree courses. Of course, before you write up the report you have to research human behavior, and collect some data.

How to write an introduction for a report psychology

Theses, Lab Reports, and Journal Articles This post discusses how to write an effective introduction in a psychological empirical report, including lab reports, theses, and journal articles.

This formula links to the aims of the introduction to: Introduce the research context; Identify a gap in existing knowledge; State why resolving the gap is important; Set out how the proposed study helps to close the gap. The Gap Disagreement in the literature is one way to identify a gap.

Lab Report Format

Some common types of gaps include: Disagreement between a theory and empirical findings Disagreement between two theories, models, schools of thoughts, or authors Methodological flaws in existing empirical research The absence of research on a particular topic e.

There are several reasons why this can be challenging. First, the articles that make up the literature may express different views. Second, articles may not directly comment on your issue.

how to write an introduction for a report psychology

Several strategies for dealing with this challenge exist. First, the writing in recent and influential articles represents important evidence of the position of the literature on a topic.

That said, if researchers have expressed differing views, these need to be characterised. In other situations you may wish to define a gap based on an absence of research on a topic.

How to Write a Lab Report | Simply Psychology

This is also challenging, especially if the topic is cross-disciplinary. The usual strategies of searching the literature can help to reassure you that such research does not exist.

Checking reviews and the references of important recent articles in the area is a further check. Forward citation strategies available in some databases are also useful.

Depending on the topic, it may be appropriate to state that "to the best of my knowledge, no research has looked at this". Beyond showing that there is a gap in current knowledge, it is useful to show why filling the gap is important.

Importance can be justified in many ways. First, it can be justified in terms of the societal benefits. Societal benefit of this sort are particularly easy to justify if you are doing clearly applied research.

For example, if you are developing a clinical intervention, an educational program, of an improved selection and recruitment test, the societal benefits that would flow from a successful project are clear. If the research is more pure, other arguments may be used: For example, better understanding of cognitive processes is relevant to a wide range human endeavours from education to human factors to artificial intelligence and more.

Second, the importance of a topics can be justified by showing how many people in the discipline are concerned with the topic.

Background Writing the Introduction to a Research Report The introduction to a research report accomplishes two goals:

This does raise the question of why the discipline is concerned with the topic. Thus, importance can be justified by direct statements about applied benefits or by more general benefits for knowledge.


There is also a distinction between the importance of closing the gap and the importance of the contribution that the proposed study will make to proposing the gap.

For example, recognising the importance of developing better measures of emotional intelligence is useful, but this only creates potential importance. For the investigation to actually be important, it also needs to adopt a plan which offers a reasonable opportunity of actually improving measurement of emotional intelligence.

Some specific strategies for justifying importance include to: Show that influential authors in the discipline have felt the topic was important Show that many authors in the discipline have studied the topic. This can be supplemented with a basic bibliometric count of the number of articles on the topic in recent years.

Present statistics that show something about the scale of the problem:An APA Research Paper Model Thomas Delancy and Adam Solberg wrote the following research paper for a psychology class. As you review their paper, read the side notes and examine the introduction states the topic and the main questions to be explored.

The researchers supply. Dec 11,  · This post discusses how to write an effective introduction in a psychological empirical report, including lab reports, theses, and journal Jeromy Anglim.

Writing in Psychology. Introductions; Method Section; Writing the Introduction to a Research Report. The introduction to a research report accomplishes two goals: • informs the reader by providing information from the research literature necessary to.

5 steps to Writing the Introduction. 1) Establish Topic-- quick, concise. The purpose of an introduction in a psychology paper is to justify the reasons for writing about your topic.

Your goal in this section is to introduce the topic to the reader, provide an overview of previous research on the topic and identify your own hypothesis. Some people work entirely from an outline and then write the introduction as the last part of the process.

This is fine if it works for you.

How to Write the Introduction Section in Psychology: Theses, Lab Reports, and Journal Articles

Once your introduction is complete, you can now think about tackling the rest of the paper. Search over articles on psychology, science, and experiments. Search this site: Leave this field blank.

Dec 11,  · UNSW: Tips on Writing an Introduction; Kendra van Wagner: Suggestions on Writing an Introduction; Offline Materials. Philip C. Kendall, Jennifer S.

Silk, and Brian C. Chu (). Introducing Your Research Report: Writing the Introduction, in Guide to Publishing in Psychology Journals. APA Style Manual: For the 5th Edition, see section Author: Jeromy Anglim.

Writing in Psychology Research Report Introductions