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PSYCH 101 Introductory Psychology

tag 0 Download 6 Pages / 1,486 Words tag 01-06-2021
  • Course Code: PSYCH101
  • University: University Of Waterloo
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  • Country: Canada


The position paper is a selective empirical literature review focusing on a specific topic within the field of adolescent development theory and research.

Your task is to clearly take a position on one side of an argument and present supporting research for that side.  It is imperative to be specific on your topic and what side you are researching.  Reference to other opposing view is important in the discussion, but should not outweigh the research for your position.  You are not presenting both sides, merely making reference to the opposing viewpoint. 

Start this paper with a clear road map of where you are going, what your topic is (in one clear sentence), why you are choosing this topic (you may include the infamous “I” statement here), and the breadth of the selective review.

A literature search is usually carried out and a literature review written to determine the extent of support for a particular position.  Be sure to continually make reference to how this research is supporting your position.

After your roadmap, define your position clearly and specifically.  This usually means narrowing down a broad interest to one clear statement accompanied be definitions of key terms.  Reading encyclopedia entries and review papers, on your topic in a few well-chosen secondary sources, may help you to state your problem, secure definitions, and locate relevant references.  Then chase down the most relevant primary sources.

  Read critically, and pull out the long threads or major subtopics that relate to your problem.  Once you have planned thoroughly, you will be ready to write.  This will be a selective, rather than an exhaustive, review of the literature.  Literature reviews usually contain the following sections; They begin with an Introduction which contains the roadmap, statement of your position, definitions of terms, the relevance of the topic, and scope of the review. 

Usually, there are sections titled according to the aspects of the literature or subtopics that are reviewed in each section.  Within each section, major studies are described with emphasis on the aspects that make the studies relevant to the current argument.  You may describe the purpose, participants, and methods as well as the results briefly from the perspective of how it relates to supporting your position.

Provide short descriptions of minor studies within each section.  You can often state how they are similar to or different from, the major studies and state their findings in a sentence or two.  DO NOT USE quotations. 

Your conclusion pulls together all the findings and limitations and gives the reader a systemic composite of the state of knowledge.  Your conclusion should include concluding statements and recommendations for future courses of action –research and practice- that follow from the literature reviewed in your paper.  Again, be sure to explain how the presented research supports your position.

Be critical of the literature you are reviewing, rather than accepting.  Write the paper in APA style; use the APA manual as a style guide.  Put references in APA style and include in the reference list only sources cited in the paper.  Lastly, I always recommend doing a lot of thinking and just a little writing.  The paper should have at least 6 primary sources dated after 2009.  Older articles are welcomed but will NOT count towards the total of 6 resources. 

The paper must follow APA formatting (doubled space, 1-inch margins) and be submitted in person, at the beginning of class of the date due.  At any time you are welcome to speak to me about this process and their paper.  Papers or any components of the paper may NOT be submitted electronically.  You are not required to submit the primary resources, but they must be presented if requested by me. 

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