Writing Assignment Handout.2

Writing Assignment Handout.2 - Psychology 2012 Prof. Agnew...

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Psychology 2012 Prof. Agnew Scientific Writing Assignment (100 Points) Modern science involves a process of asking and answering questions. For researchers, these questions grow out of their research projects and results that do not seem to fit. For students, these questions are the result of things they read outside of the peer-reviewed professional literature. In this writing assignment, you will ask and attempt to answer a biopsychologic question inspired by your reading or experience. This paper should be about four pages long, be about a topic that clearly has a basis in the brain and have at least four references, two of which are peer-reviewed journals. A well-written paper should tell a story and flow well from point to point. Your paper will, hopefully, be well written. This description of the assignment is set up with an introduction, describing the assignment, a conclusion, summarizing the assignment, and several intervening supporting paragraphs, which relate back to the topic. I would suggest your paper have a similar structure, with an introduction that sets forth the question you plan to address, supporting paragraphs that introduce facts you have found to help address the question and a conclusion where you bring all of your research together and attempt to answer the question. Central to your question should be the brain, the nervous system or a behavior that you unambiguously relate to the brain. With that caveat, the choice of topics is wide open. In the following pages, I have included a list of topics from the Society for Neuroscience web site, but the list is by no means exhaustive. Your topic can be from that list or from other reading you have done for this or other classes or from the popular media ( New York Times , Denver Post , U.S. News and World Report , The Economist , etc.). Additional scientific sources can be found by searching PubMed (www.pubmed.gov). This web site indexes all the abstracts from a wide range of medical and neuroscience journals and a subset of psychological journals. If your topic is more psychological in nature, you may want to consult the PsychInfo search engine, available in the library. Full text of many scientific journals can be obtained by connecting to the e-Journals page of the library web site from on campus or through CUConnect off campus. Once you have your topic and sources, the assignment is to write a paper addressing your question. It should be double-spaced with normal margins, font and font size. It will be due in class no later than 17 November 2006. It should be four pages in length, not including your list of references and any figures or tables that you choose to include. Papers longer than six pages of text will lose 10% of the total grade for each page past six. Also, this is a research paper, not an opinion paper. One characteristic of scientific writing is an evaluation of the
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facts, regardless of personal opinion. If you have an opinion about your topic, you may include that, but it should be no more than 1 – 2 paragraphs of the overall paper. Finally, it is
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Writing Assignment Handout.2 - Psychology 2012 Prof. Agnew...

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