Controversies in Abnormal Psychology
Length: 1500-2000 words (not including title page or references). Papers will not be read
beyond 2000 words.
References: 5-7 references including 4 scholarly articles (2008 or later) and 1-3 additional
QUALITY references (these will likely be news articles or other reputable readings NOT
Style: APA 6th Edition (formatting of paper and references, including title page, no abstract).
Marks will be deducted for APA formatting errors.
This paper will help us understand some of the controversies in the study of psychopathology.
This assignment will focus on a critical analysis of the issues, using research articles and
commentary from professionals and popular media.
For the paper, you will start with a statement (small first paragraph) introducing the controversy
you are going to address. Then you will spend about a third to half of your paper outlining the
controversy, making sure to discuss the relevant issues (including basic summary of any
data/facts) presented by those in favor of and those opposed to the issue at hand. This is
essentially a summary of the arguments.
Then, you will need to take a stance on the issue in at least one paragraph. Were you persuaded
by the facts/research/stories of either side? What were the persuasive elements? Why is the
other side not persuasive? Basically, you are giving your position and the reasons why you chose
that position. The final step is to provide a brief summary/conclusion paragraph.
The writing should show evidence of scholarly thought/research, and it should make its
point(s) clearly and concisely. It will be graded by taking into account of the credibility and
quality of content and resources, the formatting of the paper (APA!), the quality of the
writing (grammar, awkward/unclear writing, etc.), and fulfilling the above-stated
Controversies (CHOOSE ONLY ONE):
1) Should psychologists have prescribing privileges?
2) Should psychiatric patients be hospitalized against their will?
3) Should electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) be used to treat patients with depression?
(* CHOOSE ONE THAT YOU THINK IS BEST)
1. What do I need to do in this assignment?
• • _Write 1500-2000 words on double-spaced pages for your response (12 point, Times
New Roman font, 1 inch margins). Also include a title page and a reference page(s). Do not
exceed the page limit or adjust the font size and/or margins.
• • _Use APA 6 style for the paper.
• • _Appropriately cite all references used using APA 6 format.
• _You must have at least 4 scholarly references (i.e., scholarly articles and scientific
papers published in academic journals). Note that Wikipedia, magazine, newspaper and other
web sites are not acceptable for these 4 sources. You are to retrieve articles from sources such
as google scholar, psycinfo, or pubmed. You are encouraged to prioritize current articles (2008
and later), although the availability of articles will differ depending on your topic. o It must be
evident from your response to the assignment question that you have read the sources in full
and not simply cited the abstract.
• _You must have 1-3 additional QUALITY references (these will likely be news articles or
other reputable readings NOT Wikipedia.)
2. Which format should I use?
• Your response to the assignment question should be 1500-2000 words, double-spaced,
12 point Times New Roman font, with 1 inch margins all around.
• • _You must use APA 6 format within the paper and for referencing. This is a psychology
course, and thus you are expected to use the conventions for editorial style as specified by the
American Psychological Association (APA) for this writing assignment. Some elements of APA
• Numbering your pages in the upper right-hand corner
• Including a reference page. In APA style, the title on the reference page is “ references” ,
not “work cited” format your reference section according to APA style.
• Use proper within text citation.
3. Can I use quotes?
• _Using a few quotes to show support for your ideas is acceptable, but using too
many quotes in combination with too few of your own thoughts does not make for a
well-balanced, intelligent paper. Excessive or inappropriate use of quotes is not
acceptable – _you must demonstrate the ability to understand the material by putting it
in your own words.
• You MUST acknowledge all sources in the paper using correct referencing.
• A small first paragraph introducing the controversy
• • _Clearly articulate what the controversy is
• • _Try to capture the readers’ _interest
Research/Summary of the Arguments
• Should be 1/3 to 1/2 of paper
• • _Outline the controversy (i.e., giving info on both sides)
• • _Discuss relevant issues (basic summary of any data/facts)
• • _Research selected is relevant to the topic – _credible and quality research sources
• • _Central empirical findings are presented accurately and thoroughly
• • _5-7 articles are appropriate and of high quality; at least 4 are scholarly articles
Taking a Stance paragraph
• Writers’ _stance is clearly stated and connections to the research and context are clear
and relevant (_i_t_’s_ _possible to be undecided, but you must demonstrate and argue
• Indicate the persuasive elements in the research
• Demonstrated thoughtfulness about why the research has swayed your opinion on the
topic, if applicable
• Include a summary/conclusion paragraph
• Summarize the controversy and your stance
• Paper is coherently organized and logic is easy to follow
• There should not be spelling/grammar errors
• Adherence to APA 6 guidelines (e.g., title page, in-text references, reference list)