Media Review Paper

This assignment provides an opportunity to apply psychological theory in the exploration of a book or film. Choose a film or book of special interest to you. Make sure the book or film has content that can be meaningfully explored through application of psychological theory and research. You might want to look ahead at some of the later chapters in your text that deal with emotion, motivation, personality, the development of the individual over the life span, health and stress, and psychological disorders and treatment, so that you have a more complete idea of the different concepts that might apply.

For example, you might pick a movie or book in which the main character suffers from some psychological disorder, or perhaps is merely trying to cope with the everyday stressors of life. You might discuss the kinds of defense mechanisms this person uses, or perhaps refer to developmental stages in the person’s life that might have been important, or discuss the effects of abuse, alcoholism and addiction, etc. You can approach the subject matter from different perspectives—psychoanalytical, biological, behavioral, cognitive, and/or sociocultural. You could discuss the role emotion, memory, or motivation plays in the character’s development, or the importance of the environment, and such influences as racism and sexism.

This is a research-based paper. The film or book provides only the backdrop for your research on some psychological topic. Be sure to use at least one psychological, peer-reviewed reference in addition to your textbook. You will receive more information later in the course about how to find references and the type of references you should use.

As a guide, your paper should be 1,200 to 1,500 words. This is approximately 5 double-spaced-pages. Below you will find the grading rubric and criteria that will be used to grade your paper.
Additional Criteria for Grading Your Paper

Accuracy. Are your facts or ideas correct?
Clarity. Are your answers clear and easy to follow? It helps to read your answer aloud to yourself. Using this method, you can catch incomplete sentences or lapses in your thought.
Depth. Are the issues and implications thought out and explored?
Originality. Are your own views present and well-articulated? Use your own words. Do not copy material directly from your text or other sources. If you want to use the author’s exact words, put them in quotation marks and cite the page number from your text or other source material. But don’t forget to express your own opinion or interpretation.
Supporting Evidence. Support your ideas with empirical evidence. This is a crucial part of any well-written research essay. You may support your answer with statistical information, case studies, or research you encounter from the text, readings, or other references. You may also use your personal experience as supporting evidence when appropriate.
References. Did you use appropriate references to support the main points of your paper? You may look in the textbook and find references listed in the bibliography that might support your writing. Be sure you have these references—the complete articles—on hand if you use them. Make sure your references relate to the point you are making, or support your inferences.
Form, composition, spelling, etc. Try to make your paper neat and error free. It helps to run your spell checker before submitting your work, or have a colleague or friend read over your paper.
APA Style. We will follow the formatting rules of the American Psychological Association. The school Guide to Writing and Research will provide you with some basic APA guidelines, and you can access this information by visiting UMUC’s library web page.

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