Writing in psychology

We collate articles and interviews from the archive with advice and tips for writing in psychology.

Telling psychology’s stories of change
In this evolving collaborative online document, Jon Sutton shares what he has learnt about writing in his 20 years as Editor of The Psychologist – and seeks input from readers

'Trying to sound clever is a good way of sounding stupid'
An extract from 'The Psychology of Effective Studying: How to Succeed in Your Degree' by Paul Penn

'I realised I knew nothing about writing a book…'
In an evolving reflection on book writing, Emily Hutchinson tells us how it all started

‘I wanted to write something that put the psychology at the heart of the drama’
Bev Thomas on her novel ‘A Good Enough Mother’

‘The psychological will always be there… it’s like my skeleton’
Hussain Manawer on writing poetry and mental health

‘We seek to liberate people’
Tony Page on how writing changes you

‘One day a week I’d sit in a café and write – it was a total pleasure’
Lucy Maddox on her book ‘Blueprint: How Our Childhood Makes Us Who We Are’

‘I don’t want people to experience what I experienced'
Alexandra Stein on creative writing and activism

‘It’s about editing our lives so that they make sense again’
Matt Haig on his approach to writing and mental health

Living a dual life
Philippa East on her combination of clinical psychology and writing

Psychologists and the media – opportunities and challenges
We hear from psychologists, journalists and broadcasters, with practical tips based on their experiences, including Funke Baffour, David Pilgrim, Essi Viding, Tom Chivers, Hamira Riaz, Chris Chambers, Dean Burnett, Tanya Byron, Claudia Hammond and more

'Behind the mask of science is the art of narrative'
Gina Perry on the writing of her book 'The Lost Boys: Inside Muzafer Sherif's Robbers Cave Experiments’

'I did something difficult and courageous in writing the book'
Sathnam Sanghera on his book ‘The Boy With The Topknot’

From journalism to psychology – writing my story
Rupert Cornford on combining a career in the media with a deeper passion for understanding people

'You're a writer already'
Charles Fernyhough on fiction and non-fiction writing

Writing for impact
Regular contributors reflect on the benefits of engaging a wide audience through writing – hear from Steve Reicher, Alex Haslam, Catherine Loveday, Uta Frith, Sophie Scott, Tom Stafford, and Elizabeth Stokoe

Schreber the plaything
Novelist Alex Pheby on why Daniel Paul Schreber's Memoirs are important and useful 

Relating to the most complex thing in the universe
Dean Burnett ponders how he writes about psychology and neuroscience for a wide audience

Welcome to ‘blogademia’
Daniel Jolley, Fleur-Michelle Coiffait, and Emma L. Davies on purpose, positives and pitfalls of blogging, with some tips to get you going

‘As with fairy tales, you used to ask me to tell you the famous studies over and over’
Melanthe Grand interviews her mother, Chartered Psychologist and novelist Voula Grand

In search of an authorial identity
James Elander looks beyond plagiarism

Words and sorcery
Simon Oxenham and Jon Sutton consider the causes and consequences of bad writing in psychology

Eye on fiction: Heavenly and hellish - writers on hallucinogens
Dirk Hanson takes a trip from Lewis Carroll to the modern day, via Huxley, Burroughs and others

A student of life
Writer, philosopher, television presenter and entrepreneur Alain de Botton on his self-help books

‘I’ve just followed what interested me at the time’
Mick Billig on writing, including his book ‘Bad Writing and the Social Sciences: Big Words in Small Circles’

Marie Jahoda – the ultimate example
Mick Billig again, on historical studies of writing psychology to argue for 'more examples, less theory'

Check out the relevant studies we’ve covered on the Research Digest
To boost your self-esteem, write about chapters of your life – Christian Jarrett
Psychologists show it’s possible to fix misleading press releases – without harming their news value – Jesse Singal
Can a brain scan tell us anything about the art of creative writing? – Alex Fradera
The bloggers behind the blogs – advice for aspiring bloggers from Jacy Young, Mo Costandi, Neuroskeptic and more

Finally, watch ‘Why you should blog about your psychology research’ from Christian Jarrett.

If you’re inspired and would like to write for The Psychologist, have a look at our information page on contributing.

If you’re new to writing, consider taking part in our latest Voices in Psychology programme. This time we are asking ‘What Very Important thing have you lost or found on your Psychology journey?’ Deadline 20 November 2020. Find out more here.

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