Psych 2313

Writing Assignments (Spring 2016)


In this course, you will complete ONE writing assignment.  For this assignment, you will read ONE of the five articles listed below.  After reading the article, you will write a paper based on that article. In this assignment you will complete three sections, each denoted by a separate heading:


1) Summary: Briefly summarize what you have read.


2) Interpretation: Next, you should interpret what you have read. That is, you should discuss what were the most important ideas and concepts from the article.


3) Original Idea: Last, you should come up with an original idea of you own. For example, what are some other ways of viewing the information that was presented in the article?  Similarly, you could address what are some alternate explanations or what are some flaws in this article (e.g., a critique of the article)?  Lastly, you could discuss whether you have any insights into what was presented?


Again, be sure that you 1) Summarize; 2) Interpret, and; 3) Provide Original Ideas.


If you fail to strike an equal balance between these three criteria, your grade will suffer. Therefore, don’t turn in a paper that consists entirely of summary.


Finding the Article


The articles can be found through the assignment folder in the content page on blackboard.  Please note that these are academic articles in academic journals and therefore may take a little bit of time to read through them.


To Access via Blackboard:


Use the link to the “Writing Assignment” folder on the home page.  Open/download one of the articles listed in this folder.



Article1:         Runyan, W. M.  (2006). Psychobiography and the psychology of science: Understanding relations between the life and work of individual psychologists.  Review of General Psychology, 10, 147-162. DOI: 10.1037/1089-2680.10.2.147


Article 2:        Green, C.  (2009). Darwinian theory, functionalism, and the first American psychological revolution.  American Psychologist, 64(2), 75-83.  DOI: 10.1037/a0013338


Article 3:        Barett, L.F. (2009).  The future of psychology: Connecting mind to brain. A Journal of the Association for Psychological Science, 4(2), 326-339.


Article 4:        Johnston, E., & Johnson, A. (2008).  Searching for the second generation of American women psychologists.  History of Psychology, 11, 40-72.  DOI: 10.1037/1093-4510.11.1.40


Article 5:        Kagan, J. (2009). Historical selection.  Review of General Psychology, 13, 77-88.  DOI: 10.1037/a0014228



To Access via the Library (note you will have to search and find each article using this method but it is good practice):


Step 1: In the “Writing Assignment” folder click on the link to “PSYCARTICLES” or paste

into your browser.


Step 2: This will take you the library page for electronic sources by title.  Scroll down until you see “PsycARTICLES”.  Click on this link. 


Step 3:  The server will determine whether you are on or off campus.  If you are off campus, it will prompt you to enter your name and ECU ID number (if you do not know these please contact the library or the computer help desk).  Once your identification is authenticated, you will be directed to the resource requested.


Step 4:  Once you are on the EBSCOhost page, type in the various words of the desired article until you find the correct article. You can use the information listed above to find, read and/or download a version of this article for your use.


Format Requirements


There are some rigid format requirements for the paper. It is important that you learn to communicate sophisticated ideas in a concise manner.


Length:         Toward that end, I am setting a length requirement of AT LEAST 3 full pages, but NO LONGER than 5 pages per assignment (excluding TITLE and REFERENCE page). This gives you very little room, so you should avoid adding fluff, being too wordy, or going off on irrelevant tangents.


Content:        I will place a lot of emphasis on writing technique & style, as well as your ability to organize your thoughts and accurately cover the above three components.  Your ideas should be clear, concise, & organized; the presentation of the material should be accurate but you should also make sure that you avoid plagiarizing another’s work; with your goal being to discuss “YOUR UNDERSTANDING OF AND THOUGHTS ABOUT” the article.


There is not necessarily one correct interpretation of these articles (although there is an accurate interpretation), meaning that you should provide evidence of your interpretation from the article; I am more interested in your ability to think subjectively about a topic of interest to the History of Psychology.  These should be very good papers. If they are not, you will earn a very low grade. Please have somebody edit your paper before you turn it in.  A paper that is full of grammatical, spelling, or other types of writing errors, regardless of its content, will receive a poor grade. Consider having the folks at the writing center take a look at it.


Specifics:     1) The papers should be double-spaced and written under APA guidelines.


2) They should have 1-inch margins.


3) They should use a standard 12-point font (i.e., Times New Roman or Arial).


4) Your first page should be an APA title page (see example APA paper), in which you give the title of your paper, your name, & affiliation (East Central University).  The body of the paper should begin on the second page, and should include HEADINGS that separate your paper into the three components mentioned above (i.e., Summary, Interpretation, Original Idea).  If your paper does not conform to these formatting requirements, you will lose points. Your last page will be an APA reference page, were you will at the very least cite the article you review, along with any other references you use (other references are not required).


5) No late papers will be accepted, so I suggest that you begin working on them well before the deadlines. Excuses such as, “I couldn’t access Blackboard” or “My computer wouldn’t work” are not acceptable. I’d plan on turning in all assignments at least one day before the deadline in order to avoid such problems. Be sure to note the deadlines for each writing assignment.


6) You will turn in your paper as an attachment under the “ASSIGNMENTS” link of this course.  The paper should be saved as a WORD (.doc) document or in RICH TEXT FORMAT (.rtf).


Deadlines:    The Writing Assignment will be due on April 3rd at midnight.


IMPORTANT:   DO NOT PLAGIARIZE. Plagiarism is presenting somebody else’s work as if it were your own (see the syllabus link on the home page for a formal description of what plagiarism is defined as). Do not paraphrase or copy any work from anybody else. If you do, and I catch you, you will fail the course. BE AWARE, take this seriously as I WILL FAIL YOU IF YOU ARE CAUGHT PLAGIARISING and there will be no excuses considered.


PLEASE NOTE:  All assignments submitted in this course will be scanned into Safe Assign and/or Direct Submit to verify the originality of the work.  The intention of Safe Assign and Direct Submit is to discourage plagiarism by automatically comparing all the papers submitted with each other to search for instances of blatant plagiarism.  ALL Assignments will be kept on file with the university to prevent future plagiarism of your work.

As one department chair states, “if you are copying work, it will encourage you to stop…if you’re being ‘guilted’ into letting people ‘borrow’ your work to help them out, this gives you a good reason to say ‘NO!'”

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