PSYC 301 Biological Basis of Behavior
Paper Due Oct 5
7-10 pages -APA Format (not including title page &
Must include References in APA Format
Must have abstract
The written report should address the biological study of a
specific behavioral or mental phenomenon (normal or pathological) covered in
your readings. You should select a
behavioral or mental phenomenon (e.g., language, schizophrenia) and then select
a biological strategy (e.g., hormones, neurotransmitters, physiology, imaging).
As an example, the theme of your report might be imaging approaches to the
study of schizophrenia. Your paper should summarize fundamental issues,
questions, and controversies and provide a general overview of the topic. It
should also elaborate on your understanding of the brain processes that are
revealed through imaging research in schizophrenia. To accomplish this, you
will have to use research articles to illustrate relevant points. You may use
any of a number of resources to find research articles that deal with your
topic, including the library and the Internet.
This paper is not a “commentary” or
“editorial” style paper, but rather a formal research paper using
scientific references as the basis for your topic. Personal experience, while
sometimes relevant, should not be included for this assignment unless these
experiences are linked to course concepts and the brain. Also, you should avoid
using personal pronouns such as “I” or “myself” in this
type of paper. The requirement for the research articles that you select is
that they must have appeared in a peer-reviewed (i.e., refereed) scientific
journal. (Please contact your instructor to confirm whether a particular
journal is peer-reviewed.) You must use two peer-reviewed
scientific articles and they must be recent, i.e., have appeared in the
literature no earlier than 2006. You might use the online databases
from MEDLINE and PSYCH ABSTRACTS as a source of full-text articles from
refereed journals. Newspaper or magazine articles should not be used as your major reference, but
can be useful if they lead you to the appropriate research article. You should
avoid simply repeating the articles in summary form; rather, use them within
the text of your paper to illustrate important points. To ensure that you are
on the right track, you should discuss with your instructor the topic and the
research articles that you have chosen.
Your paper is to be 7 to 10 pages, or about 1,600 words in length.
It must be typed, double-spaced, with one-inch margins, and fully referenced in
APA format (see http://www.apa.org).
Check the course schedule for your due date. Your instructor will determine a
late paper policy.
The text of your paper should be preceded by an abstract (about
100 words) that summarizes the key points in the paper (i.e., statement of
problem, major findings, conclusion). All abstracts will be posted in a
conference for all students to review. You should respond to these abstracts to
stimulate discussion. Your responses will be evaluated and will constitute part
of your grade for online conference participation.
The paper will be graded on (1) content and understanding, and
(2) how effectively you have communicated your ideas in writing. You will
receive a separate grade for each of these elements, weighted equally. Content
and understanding are evaluated on the basis of whether the paper (a)
identified important issues, questions, and controversies; (b) used recent and
relevant research literature to illustrate the issues; and (c) demonstrated an
understanding of brain processes and how brain research revealed an
understanding of the behavior in question. Effective communication is evaluated
on the basis of (a) organization and structure that help communicate the ideas
(e.g., headings throughout the text), (b) use of your own language and style
(no cutting and pasting), (c) connecting ideas in the text with research
papers, and (d) correct usage of APA format in the text and references.
Your paper is to be submitted in Microsoft Word format (.doc
file) and formatted in APA style (please consult the APA Style Manual, sixth
edition, for proper format). Papers not in .doc file format or APA style will
not be accepted for a grade; in this case, a grade of “zero” will be
assigned for the paper. It is highly advised that you take care to use proper
APA style. If you have technical issues related to Word, please notify the
instructor immediately so that an appropriate solution can be found.
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