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Conduct a literature review (see Bem, 2016).  You will review and summarize relevant theory and research in order to defend a particular position (your thesis).  The topic of your literature review might come from the following list, or you may identify a different area of interest.  However, if you choose something other than the options below, you must obtain permission from your instructor prior to writing/submitting the paper.  It is up to the instructor’s discretion to allow/disallow alternative topics.  Here are some ideas you might choose to explore:

  • Accuracy of Proverbs
    • Example:  “Don’t judge a book by its cover” or “Beauty is a good letter of introduction”?  In other words, what can one conclude based on appearance alone?
    • Example:  “Absence makes the heart grow fonder” or “Out of sight, out of mind”?  In other words, do long distances or extended amounts of time strengthen relationship ties, or weaken them?
    • Example:  “Birds of a feather flock together” or “Opposites attract”?  In other words, are people attracted to similar or dissimilar others?
  • Impact of Titles/Labels
    • Example:  How do team mascots (such as the Redskins or Braves) impact Native Americans (self-esteem, stereotype threat, etc.)?
    • Example:  How do labels (such as smart/stupid, crazy or criminal, etc.) impact people’s mental processes and behaviors?
  • Altruism
    • Example:  Does true altruism exist?  What motivates people to help?
  • Explanatory Style
    • Example:  Do optimists experience better life outcomes than pessimists? 
  • Persuasive Appeals
    • Example:  How do political campaigns utilize various techniques?
  • Self-esteem
    •  Example:  Is there a dark side? Can one be too confident?
  • School Size
    • Example:  Do students fare better in big schools or small schools?  Why?
  • Reactance
    • Example:  What is the theory behind “reverse psychology”?
  • Gender Differences
    • Example:  in aggression, sex, etc.
  • A Form of Prejudice
    • Example:  fat prejudice, racial prejudice, etc.
  • Psychology and the Law
    • Example:  jury behavior, etc.
  • Other:  Must be approved by your instructor in advance!

The Final Paper

  • Must be at least 5 to 10 double-spaced pages in length (not including title and references pages) and formatted according to APA style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center.
  • Must include a separate title page with the following:
    • A header
    • Title of paper
    • Student’s name
    • Course name and number
    • Instructor’s name
    • Date submitted
  • Must begin with an introductory paragraph that has a succinct thesis statement.
  • Must utilize academic voice.
  • Must address the topic with critical thought.
  • Must end with a conclusion that reaffirms the thesis.
  • Must use at least five peer-reviewed scholarly sources.  Additional scholarly sources are encouraged.
    • Be sure to integrate your research smoothly rather than simply inserting it.
    • In general, paraphrase material rather than using direct quotes.
    • The Scholarly, Peer Reviewed, and Other Credible Sources table offers additional guidance on appropriate source types.  If you have questions about whether a specific source is appropriate for this assignment, please contact your instructor.  Your instructor has the final say about the appropriateness of a specific source for a particular assignment.
  • Must document all sources in APA style as outlined here and here.
  • Must include a separate reference page that is formatted according to APA style.
  • Must be submitted to Grammarly for review and correction prior to submitting.

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