The following are seven principles of effective writing. The information
below may be helpful for learning how to write a college essay or paper (e.g.,
a psychology paper).
SEVEN PRINCIPLES OF EFFECTIVE WRITING
Use precise and unambiguous language to convey ideas.
Use short and simple sentences.
Provide examples for abstract ideas. Anecdotes and hypothetical situations
can be helpful.
The ideas in the paper should be presented in a logical manner.
Each sentence in a paragraph should be connected to the previous sentence.
Use appropriate headings for sections in the paper.
Use transitions for connecting paragraphs in a section.
Strive to use as few words as possible to convey ideas.
Don't use more examples than is necessary to clarify ideas.
Avoid redundant information.
Check the accuracy of citations and descriptions of research findings.
Describe research findings precisely.
Provide detailed explanations.
Use interesting and detailed examples.
Provide a plausible rationale for ideas.
Present sufficient evidence for ideas.
Provide the best evidence. Experimental research findings are better than
findings from correlational and case studies because experiments allow us to
make conclusions about cause and effect.
The conclusions in the paper are consistent with the evidence.
The paper has an original, well-developed thesis with several elements.
Describe ideas in detail.
Describe how variables are causally related.
Describe limitations of ideas and findings.
Describe how ideas and findings can be applied to important situations.
The conclusion section has general insights based on the integration of the
ideas in the paper.