Percentage of Final Grade: 19%
Please read this instruction carefully. You need all the information that is mentioned in
this instruction if you want to get a good mark in this assignment.
Goal: The purpose of this assignment is to develop your analytical skills and the ability to think critically.
Choosing a topic
- You will choose a contemporary social issue and write a 7-8 pages (excluding title page and reference list) paper using concepts, theories and models you have learned in class, supplemented by your own outside research.
- The most important point about choosing a topic is that you can use some of the social psychology concepts and theories that you have learnt about them in the course, in your paper. Remember that this is an analytical paper. o Examples of social issues could be gender equality, LGBT rights, political issues, on-campus issues, civil rights, environmental issues, politics, etc. You may choose any of the above broad topics and focus on one aspect of them that you like or any other topic of your own.
- Note that the above examples are general topics, your essay subject must be more detailed. It is important to choose a detailed topic, do not choose topics that are too general and very broad.
- Try to pick an issue you care about, it will make writing the paper a more enjoyable task and improve the quality of your work.
- Your essay will ultimately answer the following questions regarding your chosen topic:
o What is the social issue you’ve chosen?
o Why is it important to you?
o What are the reasons the issue exists? What are its background and
historical/social context? o What is the solution?
Resources for writing your paper
- In academia, any well-written essay will rely heavily on the use of scholarly sources. Mainly peer-reviewed journal articles. Because of this, you need to use and properly cite scholarly sources in this assignment.
- Scholarly sources can be found by searching the university library database: http://www.smu.ca/academics/the-patrick-power-libr…
- You should use at least 3 peer-reviewed articles that are published in academic journals during 2010-2019. This is minimum requirements for your paper, using more academic resources improves the quality of your paper and you will get a better mark.
- Please note that website articles, magazines, and books are not peer-reviewed journal articles. You can use other resources such as academic books in addition to above-mentioned journal articles but try to avoid non-academic sources such as blogs, Wikipedia, and magazines.
- If you had difficulties finding journal articles or you are not sure if your chosen articles are peer-reviewed or not, you can go to the library research help desk and get some help and instruction about it.
Writing Your Paper:
Step 1: preparing your materials
- Once you have chosen a social issue, it is important that you research your chosen topic before starting to write about it.
o Your research should help you answer the questions listed above. ▪ Find more about the background of the issue
▪ Find concepts, methodologies and theories from the textbook that apply to it.
▪ Search online and at the library for articles, books, etc. that expand your knowledge.
- Next, you will want to develop an outline. An outline doesn’t have to be handed in, but it will help make writing your essay a less tedious task. Having an outline will help you plan how you want to present the information you’ve uncovered in your research.
o When outlining your paper you will want to make note of what you want to include in the body of your essay and where.
o Writing your ideas in bullet-point form can make organizing your thoughts much easier.
o Make note of any quotes, statistics, ideas from the sources you’ve read that you think will back up what you are trying to say.
▪ These are the pieces of information you will end up citing in your essay.
Step 2: Writing the essay
• When you have all the information you need and know what you want to say you
can begin to write. Your paper should include at least three main parts. Your paper should include at least three main parts. An introduction, body and the conclusion. You can add other parts to your paper as you see fit (such as discussion, limitations, etc.)
- ▪ Introduce your topic. This is where you will describe the social issue you have chosen and why you have chosen it.
- ▪ Provide general background information on the issue that will help readers understand the topic more.
- ▪ It is recommended to write your introduction after you finished your paper. It is better to start with the discussion and conclusion first. o Body:
- ▪ This is the “meat” of your essay, where you use the research you have done to your chosen topic
- ▪ Use critical thinking to describe how your topic relates to social psychology concepts, methodologies, or theories that have been discussed in class or that you have found in your research.
- This is how you will explain why the issue exists.
▪ Propose any possible solutions to the issue you have thought of
throughout your research.
- ▪ Never introduce new ideas in your conclusion.
- ▪ Summarize your discussion in a few succinct sentences and review the main points you have made.
- This is a formal paper. It should be written in complete sentences and paragraphs
with a formal language.
- Your paper should be done in APA format, a guide to which can be found here:
Check the link above to learn how to
- Create a title page
- Write a running head for the title page and a running head for the rest of the paper
- Font, Font size, general page format, line and paragraph spacing, when to align the paragraphs and when not to, when to use space before starting a new paragraph
- In-text citation (a. for one author, b. for two authors, c. for 3-5 authors, d. for more than 5 authors, e. for repeated citation of each of the above and the difference between first time citation and next recurring citations, f. for citation in parentheses at the end of the sentence or for citation at the beginning of the sentence, out of parentheses.
- Difference between In-text citation for a direct quote and for a paraphrased sentence.
- How to format the reference list
- Reference list for different sources (journal articles, books, edited books, and other resources)
- 20% of your grade would be for exact APA formatting.
- Your paper should be no longer than 10 pages (not including a cover page and reference list).
- Your paper should be double-spaced and written in 12-point Times New Roman font with 1-inch margins.
- Include a title page. (check the APA OWL website to learn how to make a title page)
- Include a list of references at the end of your paper (APA format). Citations:
- It is imperative that you CITE ALL OF YOUR SOURCES, including the textbook.
- All citations and your reference list should be formatted in the APA Style, a guide for which can be found here: o https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/a… g_and_style_guide/in_text_citations_the_basics.html
- Even are you paraphrasing an idea (not quoting it directly), a citation must be included.
o If you are unsure about whether or not a citation needs to be included, just cite it anyway. Marks are never lost for over-citation and you will never be accused of plagiarism for citing too much.
- Remember, you must include a list of references at the end of the paper.
TIP: The Saint Mary’s Writing Centre is a great resource for developing your essay writing skills. Their website features handouts on how to structure papers, as well as the option to book an appointment on campus with a tutor for free: http://www.smu.ca/academics/writing-centre-student…
Handing in the paper:
Save your paper in word format (docx) and upload it in the related dropbox folder on the Brightspace. Please do not upload any other format.
Name your file as this: First name Last name
Don’t forget to write your name on the first page of your paper (in the title page) Do not send your paper via email please, it will not be accepted.
Late submission policy:
You are expected to submit your final paper on or before the assigned due date (11:30 pm, Sunday, Nov 17th, 2019 via Brightspace).
Papers submitted in the first 24 hours after the due date will receive a 15% grade deduction.
Papers submitted in the second 24 hours after the due date will receive a 50% grade deduction.
Papers submitted after 48 hours will receive no grade.
APA style 20%
Citations (using high quality peer-reviewed articles effectively) 20% Writing (formal language, grammar and punctuation, clear writing) 12% Content 40%
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