Instructions: Choose 1 paper option. The paper is to be completed before the Final Exam in this course. Each paper is to be 5 full pages long, in paragraph form, all double-spaced. Full-sentences are expected, as are opening and closing paragraphs. Be sure to answer the question prompts fully.
Grading information: Each paper is worth 100 points. The paper may be completed any time before the Final Exam. The grading turnaround for papers is one week (that is, you should expect to have a submitted paper graded by one week from the date of submission).
The point distribution for the papers is as follows:
- 20 points: Writing. Criteria: appropriate grammar, appropriately edited for syntax and phrasing, complete sentences, structured in paragraph and essay form, meets page length requirements. Please use 12-pt font, Times New Roman.
- 20 points: Follows the prompt: all portions of the paper are complete. Answers fully address the questions in the prompt and address them in a sufficiently detailed way.
- 20 points: Evidence. In each paper, you are required to support evidence for your written points, whether the evidence is specific detail from the internet, the modules, or your observations (and, in all cases, the evidence needs to be stated in your own words and not plagiarized). These sources should be appropriately cited. For example: (Scott, 2010) or (www.sciencedaily.com, “What is Keeping Your Kids Up At Night,” para. 2). Sufficient referencing and integration (without plagiarism) of other sources is necessary to achieve full points in this area. A reference page is also needed.
- 20 points: Evaluation. In each paper, you are to include your own thoughts and evaluations, whether it involves thinking about module content and evaluating the meaning, deciding on nature/nurture, or evaluating observations. Your thoughts need to be described in sufficient detail and identified as your thoughts, compared to information that you may obtain elsewhere. Sufficient explanation is necessary to achieve full points in this area.
- 20: Content. Accuracy of your written positions and appropriateness of content given the question prompts are necessary to achieve full points in this area. This is the heart of the papers---answering the questions correctly, accurately, and appropriately. In the cases of providing your opinions, these should still be grounded correctly in the theory or module topic that you are addressing.
Paper Option #1 Nature/Nurture
Developmental science focuses on the various contributions to development, and whether they lean toward the genetic side of things (nature) or environmental (nurture). Choose from one of the following topics discussed in the modules:
- Child obesity
- Eating disorders
- Adolescent depression
For this paper, review the module material on your specific topic. Then, write a paper describing in detail the “nature” (primarily genetic, inherited) contributions to this condition as well as the “nurture” contributions. You will need to conduct internet research and cite the sources to obtain additional information on your topic. For example, explaining the inherited reasons for a child to be obese will require that you visit, read, summarize, and cite medical sites on the internet. It is crucial that you rephrase material in your own words and cite it or put phrases from the sources in quotation marks and cite it. No more than a few sentences should be directly quoted, however, in order for you to receive credit for writing this paper (in other words, no credit is given for a paper that is a string of other people’s quotes). As a general rule of thumb, at least 1.5 pages should focus on "Nature" contributions to the issue at hand and at least 1.5 pages should focus on "Nurture" contributions.
Your research must include at least 2 journal articles or books. That is, websites can be very helpful and informative, but your final paper must include full, published research articles or books on the topic. Sources should be reputable and consistent with what you learned in the module as well as other sources. GoogleScholar and PDF articles from the internet can be helpful resources. Make sure you use good search terms when trying to find articles. You may want to start broad (for example, “Bystander effect”) and then narrow to your particular area. This paper requirement means that you need to include at least two primary sources in your paper; articles from the internet can be included, but they would be in addition to the two minimum primary sources. Primary sources are firsthand accounts; thus, they involve the author writing about his or her own work.
It is recommended that you spend at least a page and a half discussing “nature” for this topic and a page and at least a half discussing “nurture.” Finally, conclude the paper by indicating which side (nature, nurture) gives the strongest contribution to this condition, or whether they are both needed. For example, for child obesity, is genetics alone a sufficient cause for a child to be obese, or are poor eating habits necessary to along with a genetic predisposition? The paper should follow the following format:
I. Introduction. Introduce your topic.
II. Description and research on “nature” components
III. Description and research on “nurture” components
IV. Evaluation: which side (nature, nurture) most strongly contributes?
Paper Option #2 An Opportunity for Observations
Choose one of Erik Erikson’s psychosocial stages that run between early childhood and early adulthood:
- Initiative vs guilt
- Industry vs Inferiority
- Identity vs Identity Confusion
- Intimacy vs Isolation
Read module and, if needed, internet descriptions of your selected stage so that you have a good understanding of it. Over the period of one week, observe one or more individuals who are in the age range pertaining to that stage. Take daily notes on the behaviors and focus specifically on behaviors have to do with your selected stage. Does it seem like the behaviors align well with the theory?
For your paper, first give an overview description of the stage. You should cite at least two external sources when presenting this content. Be sure to write using your own words, but identify where you obtained your information on Erikson's stages.
Then, organize your observations into a descriptive account of how and to what extent your observations match the theory. Give specific and detailed examples of behaviors that illustrate your points. Be sure to avoid using any person’s names in the paper; if needed, assign a pseudonym.
Conclude with summary statements in which you reflect the helpfulness of this stage in describing human interactions and behavior. That is, do you think that Erikson’s stage helps us to better understand this age group? Why or why not?
The paper should follow the following format:
I. Introduction. Introduce your topic and the chosen stage
II. Description of stage
III. Description of observations and how they exemplify the stage
IV. Evaluation: how well does this stage describe human interactions and behavior? Does it help us to better understand this age group?