When your undergraduate dissertation rolls around, it's normal to be a little nervous. Your upcoming psychology paper is the culmination of all you've learned in your college career, and it's a very important piece of work. Here are the steps you'll need to take to ensure a great paper.
Of course, psychology is a very broad subject. You paper will need to be far more specific. Work with your professor to determine your subject before you begin. Pick a subject that you know well and one that interests you. In order to create a really powerful paper, it's important that you have a unique perspective and passion about your topic. This helps prevent your paper from sounding like many others on the subject.
Often, in this sort of paper, you're making a case for or against a particular theory or opinion. Before you begin writing, decide the specific point your paper will make. Know which side of the argument you support. Then, you can begin to build your research around it.
Now, it's time to start building your case by doing research. This is often the most time consuming aspect of writing a dissertation. As you research, you will find points that help you make your case, as well as points that refute your theory. Both are useful. Use the research that refutes your idea to plan for arguments and address these in your paper.
Before you begin writing the meat of your paper, create an outline that organizes the content you'll be providing. This step takes only a little bit of time, but will save you lots of time in the long run. Having a clear outline ensures that your paper is well organized and that you move from point to point seamlessly.
Using your outline, begin filling in the meat of your document. Many people find that it is easier to work on the middle of the document first, fleshing out each individual point separately and leaving the introduction and closing until the very end.
Always have someone else read and edit your document. Sometimes it's a good idea to have two editors: one who is well versed in psychology, and another who is a good writer with good grammar and punctuation skills.
Several drafts are required to get an important paper just right. Keep fine-tuning until you and your mentor or professor are satisfied that you have clearly made your point. Remember that papers like these often take months to complete.
Dissertations can seem overwhelming. However, if you break the project down into manageable pieces, you'll find it helps you to stay on track and cover all your bases. Your psychology paper is well on its way to bringing you a great grade.