Good research topic ideas and tips for writing a psychology term paper

How to research psychology

How to research psychology (Photo credit: JohnConnell)

Writing a term paper forces you to bring together many skills that you are learning in your classes. First you will need to research topic ideas and then narrow your focus to one main idea. When writing a psychology term paper, there are so many possible topics from which to choose that it would be easy to get stalled at the beginning of your project. Here are a few tips and resources to help keep your project on track!

Keywords for research topic ideas

A good place to start is at the Questia online research library where you can read millions of full-text books and articles on all kinds of subjects from art to zoology. Type the term “psychology” into Questia’s search feature and you can start to narrow your focus with 135 topics such as:

Keep working your way through the search results and you can go as narrow and focused as you like. Try these topics on for size:

  • Psychology of color
  • Gender roles
  • Psychology and advertising

As you can see, just about any way you want to go with your research, Questia.com can get you there. You’ll love the Questia research tools. They will help with planning your paper, citing your sources, and taking notes.

Search the Web

Now that you’ve seen hundreds of keyword search ideas on Questia, it’s time to try them out in other search tools. With the entire web at your fingertips you’re going to want to use a browser such as Google or Bing. Just type in your search terms and away you go. But not all sources are appropriate for a term paper. Here again, Questia can help with it tutorial on how to evaluate sources.

There are many good sources for psychology term papers on the web, here are just a few:

  • Psychology Today: You’ve seen the magazine, now you can read it online with articles written by professionals in the field of psychology.
  • American Psychological Association (APA): Along with articles you’ll find a wealth of information on how to conduct research, find research training and opportunities.
  • ScienceDaily Psychology News: You’ll want to set aside several hours to trek through the many articles, videos, images, and news items on this site.

Psychology blogs

Most web sites will have a blog where you can find regular posts on timely topics. When it comes to researching the psychology term paper, you’ll want to check out the blog at PsychCentral.com. You’ll get expert information written in a friendly, approachable style. For example, on August 8, 2013, Deanna James, director of media relations at Monarch Cove Treatment Center, explained factors contributing to a rise in the incidence of eating disorders.

In her post titled, “The Psychology of Eating Disorders,” James explained, “Several factors can cause the onset of an eating disorder, or turn negative eating habits into a full-blown condition. These causes can include certain personality traits and psychological factors, high-stress events, abuse, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and difficult family life.”

Other psychology blogs worth a look are:

  • Scientific American’s MIND Blog
  • Discover Magazine
  • Oxford Study Courses (OSC)
  • PsyBlog

In fact you’ll find a whole list of psychology blogs written by researchers and academics at MastersofPsychology.org.

Psychology research sites

Want to know about the latest research in psychology? Ever have an urge to be part of a psychology experiment or research study? Here are a few sites to whet your appetite.

  • Social Psychology Network: You’ll find links to 251 web-based experiments, surveys, and other social psychology studies.
  • Dept. of Psychology at Harvard: You can participate in an online study being conducted by the university.
  • Online Psychology Laboratory (OPL): You’ll find classic studies that you can participate in and then analyze data from the experiences.

Ready to get started on your term paper? Check out the tools at Questia with a free trial and let us know what you think.

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