Basic Philosophical Controversies

Guidelines- Spring 2021Basics:You will complete one required paper this semester.Each paper is a research paper that is no less than ten full pages typed, double spaced, Times New Roman 12 point font (no others will be accepted), with no more than 1 inch margins and no extra lines between paragraphs. Any other attempts to artificially increase the length of the paper will be rejected and the paper will be considered short. It should be no more than 15 pages long.There should be a title page and references but these are not included in the length of the paper. An abstract is optional but it is not included in the length of the paper either.This paper STRICTLY should follow APA guidelines and standard rules of spelling and grammar. Mistakes in these areas will add up quickly and be costly in the end.The paper should be well organized, well researched, and written in a clear and concise manner. This paper should be planned, smooth and full of FACTS (e.g., summaries of theories, interesting/famous/important ideas).I expect at least 7 references. Links or copies of the actual references must be turned in with the papers. Only three of the seven can exclusively internet sources.All topics must be approved by me by email.Only 50 words total are allowed in quotes throughout the entire paperAt least five pages of appropriate (on topic) content (not counting title page, references, or abstract) is mandatory- students will receive an “F” in the course if this content is not submitted.TopicsALL TOPICS MUST BE APPROVED; ONLY ONE PERSON WILL BE ALLOWED TO WRITE ABOUT EACH TOPICYou may write an in-depth paper on a person important in the history and systems of psychology. This must be a person that you have not been extensively exposed to. The focus of the paper should be his or her ideas with some life background. You should put that person’s psychological/philosophical/scientific work into the context of the society of the time, and the science of the time. You will want to analyze their ideas and their impact on the course of psychological/philosophical/scientific development.You may write about any of the basic philosophical controversies from your text (this is only a starting point; you must go well beyond the text).You may write about any of the philosophies of sciencYou may compare and contrast two people or two philosophiesYou may focus on a period of time in history, you should look at what was going on in science/philosophy/psychology then, what were the concerns and attitudes of the thinkers, and how their work was enhanced or limited by the tools at their disposal. You should also explore the interaction of individuals as they exchanged ideas and criticized eachother’s work.GuidelinesEntire paper must be in APA styleTitle pageReference pagePage formattingIn text citationsLanguage should be formal not familiar- this is a research paper. It is not a magazine article, a persuasive article, a speech…Don’t use “I” or “we” or “you”Don’t tell personal storiesDon’t give personal opinionsDon’t useemotional languageMake your points with rational evidence, logic, expert supportIn text citationsAny claims of fact that you make must be supported with a citation in the textAny references to other people’s ideas must be credited with a citation in textOrganization, flow and clarityOrganizationPut ideas on the same topic togetherOnly write things onceDo not include irrelevant material- stay on topic!-Always ask yourself—how does this relate to my topic and how does this relate to psychologyTell me what you are going to say and then say itFlow and clarityGive me transitions between paragraphs and sections in the paperTell me, in general, what you are going to say and then say itRe-read your paper for clarity- if you don’t understand it neither does your readerIt may take time to rework a sentence until it is clear and says what it should sayClearly connect the ideas you write to your topic, tell me why it isrelevant or what it meansONLY 50 WORDS IN QUOTESIn the entire paper only 50 words total can be in quotesMake sure quotes are formatted in APA stylePaper is TEN pages longNo extra spaces between paragraphsWatch for plagiarism!Watch out for sexist and racist languageImportant Points:I am expecting that these papers will show scholarliness and maturity of thinking that is appropriate for upper-division students. Any of the following aspects would increase the quality of your papers.Research and investigate. Seek out obscure and hard-to-find material, and unify it into a clear presentation.Synthesize. Draw together diverse things to show patterns andrelations.Organize. Give logical continuity and structure to diverse materials.Analyze. Provide critical analysis in which arguments are examined for evidence, validity, logic, and flaws.Clarify. Make evidence and arguments clearer to the reader. Elucidate difficult material.Examine in a broader context. Show how a specific subject fits into a broader context, relates to another field, or relates to historic precedents.Select and distill. Weed out fluff and irrelevancies to get at the main issues of a complex subject.Adopt a point of view. Show how the preponderance of evidence and reason favors one side in a controversial issue.Recommended ProcessBefore sitting down to write you must have ideas, a plan in mind and genuine understanding to communicate. That comes from reading everything you can get your hands on related to your subject.Don’t forget to include relevant and important material from the broader context. This can include historical and cultural context.Don’t forget to focus on the depth of a topic, this is not a summary of a broad topic it is an intense investigation of a specific topicOnce you have in your mind (or an outline) the basics of what you want to say, begin to write whole sentences and paragraphs. Do this without your source references at hand. Do it from memory. Then, when the form and substance look good, consult your references again for details, facts, figures, specific references, etc.Citations and ReferencesEverything that is not your own MUST have in text citations and a linked reference on the reference pageAll referencing should be done in APA stylThings to Keep in Mind While Writing:Don’t write anything you don’t understand. Don’t fake it and don’t force it. Understand first—then write.Make the focus and organization of your paper clear to the reader. Don’t ramble from one thing to another aimlessly.If you copy anything word-for-word from a source, set it in quotes (if short) or in an indented paragraph (if longer), and always reference it. You may only have 50 words in direct quotes.Be sure you stick to the subject of the class. Your paper should consistently relate in an important way to the history and systems of psychology.Make the structure and organization of the paper appropriate to the subject and clear to the reader.Discuss issues and themes. Don’t merely recount facts and events.DO NOT PLAGIARISE – Any plagiarism will result in a grade of “F” for the classMechanics and StyleProof-read your paper carefully for correct spelling and grammar.Read it critically for form and content. Imagine yourself as the instructor, reading the paper to find its deficiencies, and to suggest ways it could be improved.Look especially for `stumble points’, those places where the reader is forced to stop and re-read something to make sense of it. Fix any you find.Make sure it really says what you intend.

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