ESSAYADVICE - ADVICE FROM PREVIOUS EXAMS 1. AVOID...

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ADVICE FROM PREVIOUS EXAMS 1. AVOID OVERSTATEMENTS (soften!!) 2. DON’T GET MIXED UP 3. WATCH OUT FOR ATTENTIONAL ERRORS 4. ANSWER THE QUESTION 5. USE PRECISE LANGUAGE (terminology) 6. USE EXAMPLES 7. AMPLY DEMONSTRATE YOUR UNDERSTANDING 8. WRITE SUCCINCTLY WITH DENSE CONTENT 1. AVOID OVERSTATEMENTS (soften!!) Lots of questions pertinent to abnormal psychology remain unanswered. Our knowledge base, while increasing every day, is tiny and messy. Research findings range from absent to imperfect. We haven’t figured out how to ask some of the most important questions, and even the best of our knowledge will someday seem unsophisticated. At the most basic level, “No one knows” is the only definitive answer to a lot of questions in abnormal psychology. Luckily, we are not confined to definitive answers. Indeed, we must make tentative answers, and revise those answers as we learn more. This is the way science incrementally builds knowledge. We know much more now than we used to, and we learned a lot of our current knowledge by figuring out what was wrong with what was, at the time, our current knowledge. We will learn the knowledge of the future by discovering what is wrong with our knowledge now. This is why humility is a key aspect of scientific thinking. When dealing with issues of mental health, tentative answers are better than no answers at all. But it is important to remember that our answers are tentative; indeed, they are expected to undergo substantial revision in the future. Factually incorrect statements result in lost points on essays, and many of the factually incorrect statements made this semester have been in the form of overstatements of some kind. For example, “ the cause ” is a phrase that always catches my eye – so hard to make a correct statement with this phrase in abnormal psychology. Of course, you can feel safe using “the cause” if it’s embedded in something like “ No one factor could be considered the cause of paranoid schizophrenia, as it is a complex biobehavioral illness with multiple determinants likely to include genetic and environmental components .” Otherwise, beware.
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Even really easy-to-avoid examples of this were pretty common in Exam 2 essays. Many students still included words like always ” and “ never ” and “ only ” – these categorical words tend to catch my eye, and not in a good way. It is very difficult to think up examples of correct statements about clinical psychology that include these words. Children with Oppositional Defiant Disorder have parents who
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ESSAYADVICE - ADVICE FROM PREVIOUS EXAMS 1. AVOID...

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