Paper Writing Tips for Grad Students in Counseling and Psychology


In honor of the beginning of Fall semester, I’m re-posting these writing tips. It also goes without saying that some people may not agree with these tips, but thinking about them is likely a good thing nonetheless. Happy Fall semester!

John Sommers-Flanagan

I recently had the honor and privilege of reading the first set of papers submitted to me by graduate students this semester. The papers were generally of good quality, but a few repeating patterns inspired me to provide the following list of basic tips for graduate students seeking to become mental health professionals.

  1. There’s nothing quite like a clear and concise topic sentence in academic writing. The topic (or focus sentence) introduces the content included in the paragraph. When used well, it’s a beautiful organizing force that brings joy and comprehension to the hearts and minds of many a reader.
  2. Although I absolutely hate the saying “More is less” (because, in fact, “more” is always “more” even though “less” can better), it’s a good general rule to make your sentences shorter rather than longer because all too often I find students, like myself in this particular sentence, trying to fit…

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2 thoughts on “Paper Writing Tips for Grad Students in Counseling and Psychology”

  1. Hey, please add that people are always “who” while things are “that”. So many students make that mistake.

    Sent from my iPad

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