There will be three analytical papers due during the course of the semester. In accordance with a schedule presented below, you should prepare concise (maximum 3 double-spaced typed pages, standard margins and 12-point font size) papers which include four key elements: 1) summary and analysis (e.g., strengths & weaknesses) of a primary-source empirical article related to personality psychology, 2) tie-in between the article you selected and a concept from the assigned reading, 3) relationship between the article and a recent news story (attach a newspaper clipping to your paper), and 4) some connection to your own life and personal interests.
Basically, these papers require you to select and digest a study related to personality psychology and to connect it to the assigned reading, to current events, and to something about yourself. Feel free to be creative about how you meet these objectives. I expect these papers to be highly varied, colorful, thoughtful and well written. Make sure to have fun with these papers.
Empirical, primary-source articles are basically original reports of research studies that are published in scholarly journals, such as the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. Secondary (second-hand) reviews of original research articles, such as those found in newspapers, news magazines, and psychology-related magazines (e.g., Psychology Today and the APA Monitor on Psychology) are not appropriate. It is your responsibility to make sure that your article is appropriate. If you are unsure about an article you are considering for one of your papers, it is your responsibility to check with me or with Jennifer. Occasionally, you may find a non-empirical, primary source article, such as a theoretical piece or a scholarly review of an area of research. If you would like special permission to use a non-empirical article for one of your papers, or if you have a question about whether a particular article is appropriate, please contact Jennifer or myself at least a week in advance of the paper due date (make sure to include documentation with your paper).
Your grades for these papers will be on a 10-point basis: up to two points for each of the four elements, and up to two points for writing (e.g., grammar, flow). These papers are to be no longer than three double-spaced typed pages of text (12-point font, standard margins). Be aware that you will be penalized if you exceed the three-page text limit (or effectively exceed it by using less than double spacing, reducing margin size or text size, etc.), or if the research article that you select is not appropriate. Papers longer than three pages will receive a 50% grade reduction. Papers will be graded on a 5-point basis, details to be discussed in class. Late papers will degrade by 20% for each late day (submissions after class time are considered 1 day late).
Submitted by Marc W. Patry, Saint Mary's University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.