Written Report Guidelines
Social Psychology Written Report
You are to write a paper (approximately 5-6 pages double spaced) analyzing a current event using social psychological theories that illustrate the concepts learned in class.
The goal of the written report is to help you learn the course concepts and apply them to everyday life. This assignment will encourage students to pay attention to examples of social psychology in the media and to think critically about the theories we are discussing in class.
In the paper you will have to review the findings from 3 journal articles that are relevant to the social psychological theories and concepts being illustrated by the current event that you are analyzing. In the paper you will be required to use at least 2 theories or concepts discussed in class. Written reports are due 4/22.
Here is an example of a topic for the written report:
The shooting death of Trayvon Martin.
Trayvon Martin was killed on February 26, 2012. Martin was described by news outlets as a 17-year old Black male walking in a gated community. Martin was unarmed and wearing a gray hoodie. George Zimmerman was acting as a neighborhood watch captain that evening. Zimmerman called 911 and told the dispatcher that Trayvon “looks like he’s up to no good” (www.CNN.com). The CNN report indicates that Zimmerman was instructed not to get out of his SUV and approach the person. However, Zimmerman ignores the 911 operator. Zimmerman pursues Trayvon and an altercation ensues. Zimmerman admits to shooting Martin, claiming that his behavior was in self-defense.
If this were my example, I would:
· Define at least 2 theories or concepts discussed in class that relate to the shooting death of Trayvon Martin. For example:
· Automatic processing of stereotypes (e.g., negative stereotypes about Black people and violence may be automatically activated and bias behavior)
· Weapon Bias (e.g., race stereotypes lead people to see a weapon where there is none)
· Review 3 research articles on automatic activation of stereotypes and weapon bias. In my review of the research, I would be sure clearly summarize the methodology and major findings of each research study. I would explicitly state how the results of each study are related to the current event
· NOTE: 3 articles total—not 3 on each theory.
· Use APA style when citing the articles and make sure to include a Reference list with the articles proper APA style citation.
Paraphrase other people’s research – don’t just copy what they have said. If you use more that 3-4 consecutive words from a source you are plagiarizing.
DO NOT use direct quotes. Put other people’s research in your own words!!
Citing Research Studies (In-Text and Reference Page)
Please see visit the Purdue OWL website for an excellent guide on APA citations:
Written Report Grading:
Content (40 points)
· Relevant current event (5 points).
· Definition and application of at least 2 theories or concepts discussed in class (5 points each, 10 points total)
· Description of 3 pertinent journal articles (5 points each; 15 points total)
· Clear and insightful analysis of the link between the current event, class theories/concepts, and journal article results through a social psychological lens (10 points)
Writing (10 points)
APA style in-text citations (3 points)
APA style reference list (2 points)
Writing Style and overall clarity of paper (5 points)
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