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ESSAY: Write a 10- to 12-page essay. Select a topic that
intrigues you from the following list:
social norms
individualism vs. collectivism
social exchange
how salience and accessibility influence information
how cognitive heuristics influence social judgment
cognitive reappraisal
looking-glass self
social comparison
the principle of attitude consistency
sleeper effect
cognitive dissonance
impression formation
attribution bias
culture and conformity
informational social influence versus normative
social influence
social power (French and Raven)
communal and exchange relationships
attachment style
the social psychological variables that influence
helping behavior
emotional vs. instrumental aggression
how the social situation influences aggression
social identity and group influences
social loafing
group polarization and individual decision making
social categorization
reducing discrimination
strategies for producing cooperation
The structure of the essay is of your choosing. You may
present an argumentative, comparative (compare/contrast), persuasive,
reflective, or research easy. This is an upper-division
course. This flexibility affords you the opportunity to explore newly
acquired concepts and write a paper meaningful to you (e.g., career
interests, personal connections).
Leverage the writing of the essay to showcase effective
communication of social psychological principles and applications relevant
to your selected topic.
Support discussions (topics and logic) with sound
research, evident through the integration of properly applied and cited
theory and facts collected from a minimum of five (5) peer-reviewed
journal articles. Peer-reviewed
articles are vetted for quality and adherence to editorial standards and
published in scholarly journals (such as the Journal of Personality and Social
Psychology). This link to the UMGC library provides excellent instruction, support and resources
addressing scholarly articles. Use the UMGC library database to find peer-reviewed articles. The five (5)
peer-reviewed articles must meet the following criteria:
Scholarly – Articles should address an original research study,
meta-analyses, summary, editorial or theory.
– Articles must come from peer-reviewed journals found in the UMGC
Social Psychology Connections – Articles must be relevant to social psychology.
Recent –
Articles must have been published within the last 10 years.
For example, the following would be
a relevant peer-reviewed journal article for investigating the influence of
emotional intelligence on academic performance:
MacCann, C., Jiang, Y., Brown, L.
E., Double, K. S., Bucich, M., & Minbashian, A. (2020). Emotional
intelligence predicts academic performance: A meta-analysis. Psychological
Bulletin, 146, 150–186.
The peer-reviewed minimum is just
that, a minimum. You are encouraged to explore and to use more than
five peer-reviewed resources. This is because your use of
scholarly works:
expands your exploration of relevant concepts,
theories, empirical findings and historical trends
invites you to implement critical and creative thinking
inspires skeptical inquiry as you approach your topic
with the goal of developed information literacy
empowers the development, organization, and expression
of your understanding of your selected topic
These benefits occur because the
peer-reviewed articles will enable you to analyze and discuss your topic from a
point of insight and understanding that comes from quality research that
represents current knowledge in the field.
How quality, appropriately applied peer-reviewed articles
support your writing within this assignment…
of quality, appropriate peer-reviewed articles The points below assume the
articles selected and incorporated are relevant and appropriate for the
topic discussed within the 10 to 12-page essay.
Incorporating and appropriately
applying sound empirical support enables the expression of critical, careful
thought. Well placed evidence from a variety of scholarly articles will
amplify your ability to provide vivid and specific examples.
A – B+
The depth the assignment invites
is why five peer-reviewed articles has been set as a minimum. Five
foundational, scholarly articles can support central idea development, and
the presentation of relevant examples, when the five articles are
strategically applied to express critical thought and analysis. 4
When fewer than five relevant
articles are leveraged, it can become difficult to authentically develop the
paper’s central idea. This is because the scope of the paper becomes
comes constrained by the lacking variety of evidence and examples to draw
upon. This in turn can potentially result in lacking support for points
discussed, or excessive reliance on the four articles to carry the discussion
forward. 3 or less
When the number of peer-reviewed
articles leveraged to support this assignment drops below three, it becomes
more challenging to fully develop the discussion. Central ideas may
remain underdeveloped due to lacking examples or presentation of relevant
evidence. In turn, the limited number of scholarly resources make it
challenging to establish a critical analysis of the topic covered.
In addition to the five
peer-reviewed articles, you may also use sources from the Web, your textbook or
other books. Magazines and newspapers are generally not acceptable. For
instance, Psychology Today would not be a preferred scholarly choice.
If you are not sure, ask your instructor.
FORMATTING: Structure your paper utilizing APA style (7th Edition) appropriate for student papers; this includes
double-spacing, appropriately sized sans serif or serif fonts
(e.g., 12 Times Roman), one-inch margins (left, right, top, and bottom), page numbering,
and logical flow from topic to topic. Include a title page and references
page(s). The page count requirement excludes the title page and
references. Information and/or quotes from
selected sources should be relevant and thoughtfully placed. Consult the Publication
Manual of the American Psychological Association, Seventh Edition,
for proper form of in-text citations and references.
EVALUATION CRITERIA: The following criteria will be considered in the evaluation
of your paper. Please review the Applied Final Project Rubric that accompanies
the instructions in Assignments for point allocations.
your stated facts or ideas correct?
your essay clear and easy to follow? You may want to read your essay out
loud to yourself. This will help you catch incomplete sentences or lapses
in logic.
the issues and implications well thought out and explored?
is your thesis (the main point of your essay)? Have you stated your own
views and articulated them well? Use your own words. Do not copy material
directly from your text or other sources without quotation marks. If you
want to use the author’s exact words, put them in quotation marks and cite
the page number from your text or other source material. Don’t forget to
express your own opinion.
Supporting evidence—Are
your ideas supported with empirical evidence? This is a crucial part of
any well-written essay. You may support your ideas with theories,
previously conducted research, or other information you encounter in the
text and other sources (journal articles and so forth). You may also use
personal experiences as supporting evidence when appropriate.
you use appropriate references to support the main points of your paper?
Be sure you have these references—that is, that you have the articles on
hand if you used them, and make sure that your references relate to the
point you are making or support your inferences.
Form, composition, spelling, and so forth—Is your paper neat and error-free? It helps to run
spellcheck before submitting your work and to have a colleague or friend
read over your work.
RUBRIC: Clarity & Supporting Evidence: All topics were discussed
in clear detail. Central idea is well developed, and clarity of purpose is
exhibited throughout the paper; abundant evidence of critical, careful thought
and analysis and/or insight; evidence and examples are vivid and specific while
focus remains tight.
Accuracy: Assertions supported correctly. Defensible and
complex assertions
provide distinct support for the thesis of the paper;
sequence of assertions is intentional and
logically advances arguments; assertions are clarified when necessary.
Depth: Ideas were interrelated coherently and logically. Overall,
ideas/content are interrelated coherently and logically, revealing insightful and
sophisticated depth of understanding
and analysis.
Originality: An introduction previews main points of
reflection, body of paper develops and elaborates main ideas, conclusion
summarizes main points. Paper is masterfully organized; easily followed;
effective, smooth, with compelling, logical transitions.
Paper free of mechanical errors (e.g., misspellings, typos,
etc.) and paper is grammatically sound (proper sentence structure). Uses
graceful language that skillfully communicates meaning with clarity and fluency
and is virtually error-free.
References: Citations and references in proper APA style. Flawless
use of APA style (title page, structure, headings, subheadings, references,
General Paper characteristics:
q Length of paper: 10-12 pages of written content [the title page
and the reference pages do not count]
q Format: Double-space, 1-inch margins all sides, 12-point Times New
Roman font, left justified, appropriate indenting, centering, etc. Make sure
not to have extra spacing (in Word, under ‘page layout’ and spacing, make sure
left, right, top, bottom are set to zero).
q Do NOT intentionally include additional spaces between
paragraphs or on the top of the page.
q Remember: citing and reference pages need to be in APA style
so make sure all the basic information is included.
q VERY important to watch out for plagiarism and keep in mind
that it doesn’t just refer to cut-and-pasting but also to using too much of
someone else’s words in your writing.
q Include a title page which has the title of the
paper, your name, course title, my name and term or date. Do not include an
‘abstract’ or any figures or tables for this paper. Start writing your paper
right away on page 2 (don’t put your name or add additional wasted lines). Use
APA style subheadings as needed and make sure you have logical flow from topic
to topic. Conclude your document with reference page(s) at the end
(title the page “References” and alphabetically list your references in APA
style). Again, keep in mind that the title page and the references do not count
toward the 10–12-page limit for content.
q SUBMIT ONE DOCUMENT. Only acceptable format is a .doc or .docx file. Do *not* password
protect & do not submit .pdf or other formats.
Finally, “write an essay”
is a broad undertaking so please consider carefully that this a psychology
class and that you should be thinking about making this a research paper of
some sort, not conducting a research study but most likely reviewing literature
on a topic, come up with some interesting hypotheses, include some application
to yourself or real life etc. As stated earlier, the style of the essay can
take many forms: argumentative,
comparative (compare and contrast), persuasive, reflective etc. Importantly,
you want to make sure to have good research backing for your ideas and provide
your own unique analysis and stamp to the essay. Always work on providing a
good BALANCE between your ideas and supporting scientific ideas and keep in
mind that you want this to be appropriate to an upper-level social psychology

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