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The Science and Art of Writing in Psychology Experiences and thoughts Lynn Reynolds lyr014@londonmet.ac.uk
How do I write like a psychologist? <ul><li>Write as yourself! </li></ul><ul><li>Writing in your discipline is not a singl...
<ul><li>In science one tries to tell people, in such a way as to be understood by everyone, something that no-one ever kne...
Not only true of science, Prof Dirac!  Some must-haves in academic writing <ul><li>Based on appeal to reason; presents log...
Discipline-specific considerations <ul><li>Terminology </li></ul><ul><li>Level of account </li></ul><ul><li>‘Burden of pro...
Where writing mentors can add most value <ul><li>Good academic writing, whatever its discipline, should engage and illumin...
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The Science and Art of Writing in Psychology

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Psychology is a broad disipline; because of this, writing in psychology is at the same time an exercise in disciplinary and cross-curricular writing. These slides present some of my responses to the perennial undergraduate question, "how can I write like a psychologist?"

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The Science and Art of Writing in Psychology

  1. 1. The Science and Art of Writing in Psychology Experiences and thoughts Lynn Reynolds lyr014@londonmet.ac.uk
  2. 2. How do I write like a psychologist? <ul><li>Write as yourself! </li></ul><ul><li>Writing in your discipline is not a single skill which can be acquired definitively; each assignment has its own requirements and should be approached as a fresh opportunity to write </li></ul><ul><li>House style in journals and the existence of particular formats for experimental write-up can cloud the issue for students </li></ul>
  3. 3. <ul><li>In science one tries to tell people, in such a way as to be understood by everyone, something that no-one ever knew before. But in poetry, it’s the exact opposite. </li></ul><ul><li>Paul Dirac </li></ul>
  4. 4. Not only true of science, Prof Dirac! Some must-haves in academic writing <ul><li>Based on appeal to reason; presents logical argument supported by evidence </li></ul><ul><li>Conclusion should also be reasonable </li></ul><ul><li>Illustrative examples should contribute to rather than distract from argumentative flow </li></ul><ul><li>Clear, precise language </li></ul><ul><li>Critical engagement </li></ul><ul><li>Answer the question </li></ul>
  5. 5. Discipline-specific considerations <ul><li>Terminology </li></ul><ul><li>Level of account </li></ul><ul><li>‘Burden of proof’ and type of evidence </li></ul><ul><li>Deductive or inductive reasoning </li></ul>
  6. 6. Where writing mentors can add most value <ul><li>Good academic writing, whatever its discipline, should engage and illuminate the reader </li></ul><ul><li>Lastly, it should also satisfy and educate the writer </li></ul>

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