Objectives of this assignment:

Practice and improve basic research skills, including the use of online sources

Learn more about mental health diagnoses

Explain how mental illness can present within an individual

Recognize the concepts of subjective diagnoses, conflicting expert opinions,  and comorbidity of disorders

Appreciate the negative impact of mental illness on an individual, as well as ways in which symptoms can sometimes be channeled constructively

Know how to cite information and sources using APA format

Paper length: AT LEAST 2 FULL PAGES, double-sided, using 11 or 12 font with no greater than 1 inch margins. Three-four pages is better! Do not go over 4 pages; this is a summary. Title page is not necessary, but feel free to add one if you so desire!

Submission method:  Hard copy is preferred, but I will accept an email attachment as well. If you choose to email, however, please be advised that I will send you a confirmation email indicating that I received it. If you do not receive this notice within 1-2 days, check your address spelling and re-submit. Please do NOT assume that I have it! Remember that if it is spinning around in cyberspace, I cannot read it, and I cannot give you a grade! 

Hints: Start early. Do not wait until the last minute, because you very well may have questions for me. Please give me and yourself enough time to answer. Late work is subject to reduced grade via penalty points1 point per day.

DUE DATE:  Monday, November 25, 2018.  Papers can always be turned in early! 

What you will do:

1.  Choose a famous historical or pop culture figure. This person must have been officially diagnosed with a mental health disorder or there must be a generally accepted diagnosis. This disorder will need to be supported by legitimate sources; in other words, you cannot choose someone because you believe him/her to have a disorder.  (For example, Michael Jackson does not count!) The individual you choose must be a public figure in that information is freely available, and this cannot be a fictional character. The person can be currently alive or not, recently famous or an important figure from the past. The subject is your choice, so choose someone in a field in which you are interested. Disorders can include any we discussed in class (and are described in chapter 12), as well as substance abuse, other addictions, eating disorders, post-partum depression and psychosis, traumatic brain injuries, and personality disorders (psychopaths would fall into this category). More often than not, a person may have 2 or more disorders. The diagnosis should be of a mental health disorder, not a strictly physical disorder, although there are overlaps and gray areas. If you are unclear, ask me!

2. Research your topic. Find information about the person and the history of his/her disorder, along with descriptions of the disorder itself and explanations about how this disorder may have affected his/her life, judgment, and decisions. You will need to find AT LEAST 3 different sources, not including your textbook. These may include books, journal or magazine articles, videos, or reputable websites. If your person has 2 or more disorders, you may focus on one.

3. Write your paper! 

In the first part, name your person and his/her disorder(s). Briefly describe the disorder. What are the symptoms? What are some possible causes of the disorder? What are the currently available and recommended treatments?

In the second part of your paper, describe what your persons life was like and why it is generally accepted that the person has/had the disorder. What symptoms did he/she exhibit? What do the experts think might have contributed, or even caused, the disorder? What treatments, if any, did the person receive? Were they effective?

In the third part of your paper, give your opinion as to how the persons disorder affected his/her life. How would his/her life have been different if the disorder had not been present? Do you think he/she would still have been famous or successful if he/she had not presented with this disorder? Why or why not? State your reasons CLEARLY and THOROUGHLY.

4. Cite your sources. When you discuss information that you have obtained from a source, even if you have rephrased it using your own wordsWHICH YOU MUST DO, BY THE WAY!you MUST cite the source from which the information came. Psychology, and all scientific fields, use APA format to do this. APA format involves many policies and procedures for a wide variety of uses, but for this paper you only need to be concerned about citations. Footnotes are not used for citations in APA format; acknowledging a source is done in-text via parentheses after the end of a sentence, section, or paragraph. At the end of the paper, a more thorough works cited section is included. Examples are shown below:


A current study has shown that students who take psychology courses at MCCC are well-adjusted and do well in other classes (Lawrence, 2010) [THIS IS A BOOK OR JOURNAL ARTICLE WITH AUTHORS NAME AND YEAR OF PUBLICATION]. They are independent thinkers and use logic and analytic thinking skills in other classroom settings. They are also very interested in topics such as serial killers, political debates, and the TV show The Bachelor. Although many students report symptoms of anxiety such as high heart rates, headaches, and lack of appetite, they seem to be adjusting reasonably well. (Anxiety, 2014). [THIS IS A WEBSITE ENTRY WITH NO AUTHOR] They tend to be active participants in school and other community projects, and testing has indicated that most will attain their career goals and do so successfully. Research has also shown that their instructor is responsible for their high achievement, especially their interest in reality shows (Lawrence, 2010). [THIS IS CITING THE FIRST SOURCE AGAIN.]



BOOK:  authors last name, first name, year of publication in parentheses, title of book in italics, place of publication/colon/publishers name.  Include DOI if this is an ebook.

Lawrence, Susan. (2018). How Rock and Roll Makes You a Better Student. Pottstown, PA: Montco Press.

MAGAZINE OR JOURNAL ARTICLE:  authors last name, first name, year of publication in parentheses, article title with only first letter capitalized (not including acronyms and formal names), journal/magazine title in italics, volume number in italics, edition number in parentheses, page number(s). If you are accessing this online, include either the DOI or Retrieved from website address.

Lawrence, Susan. (2018). Effect of research papers on students adjustment to school and how music can mitigate any negative effects. Journal of Insignificant Research Results 8 (23), 111-177.

WEBSITE ENTRY:    authors last and first name if any, OR entry title/heading, date (year and month) if any, Ret. from and name of website (http and url). If no date is listed, write n.d.).

Rock in the Psych Classroom. (2018, December 11). Ret. from htpps://www.professorsuelawrence.com.       

Papers will be graded on the following criteria:

50 points Coverage of the three main topic areas listed above. Information should be thorough (cover all pertinent information) and from quality sources (NOT Wikipedia). This info is meant to be a summary; the paper is relatively short. However, all relevant information should be mentioned. In the third part, your analysis should demonstrate critical thinking, and explanations should be clearly presented for your points. Remember PEE!(see below)

25 points Appropriate citations of material and correct use of APA format. This includes in-text citations (which should be prevalent in the first two sections) and the works cited page at the end of the paper.

25 points College-level writing quality. Please use spell and grammar check. For most of the paper, if not all, try to write in the third person. Do not use slang or colloquial phrases. Imagine that you are writing this for a huge group of Albert Einsteins and Stephen Hawkings; use formal, intelligent language. I will not grade this aspect too strictly; I understand that some students are new to writing papers and not everyone can be William Shakespeare. However, with the convenience of grammar and spelling software, there should not be a plethora of obvious mistakes! 

All of these points are easily obtainable objectivesfor everyone! This project requires effort, not innate ability. This paper should look as if you spent time on it! Think of this as good practice in honing your writing skills. Try your best, but do not stress. Research and writing can be fun, honest! The trick is to find a topic that interests you, so choice your person wisely!

If you have any questions or need guidance, please ASK me. I am here to help. No question is dumb or silly. I want everyone to be successful in writing this paper! 

Image result for dog fire hydrant cartoonCritical Thinking and Writing Good Analytical Answers

Remember my PEE technique!

Make your POINT     


Provide an EXAMPLE


Image result for sad emojiTopic question:  Is eyewitness testimony accurate? Why or why not?


Eyewitness testimony is accurate because most people have good memories.

Eyewitness testimony is not accurate because people cannot remember as well as they think they can.

Eyewitness testimony is not accurate because people do not pay attention.

Eyewitness testimony is accurate because sometimes people are emotional.

Eyewitness testimony is inaccurate because we often forget details.

Eyewitness testimony is accurate because they seem to make sense.

Eyewitness testimony is accurate about 50% of the time.

Eyewitness testimony is always accurate and should be used to put people away.

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Eyewitness testimony is often not reliable. Many factors can influence the accuracy of memory. For example, strong emotions, such as fear and anxiety, are known to interfere with memory processing, primarily in the limbic system of the brain. Since eyewitness testimony usually involves some type of stressful situation, the spectators fear response in the amygdala may limit memory retention in the hippocampus. In addition, in order to remember something accurately, we need to first encode it accurately. Often times we are not paying equal attention to all details of an event, so only some of those details may be stored in memory. For example, a person who drives by an accident may be paying most attention to whether someone is injured, not to the color of the car. In some cases, we may not even be paying attention at all, such as when the eyewitness to the accident was texting instead of looking. Another reason for the inaccuracies of an eyewitnesss memory is the fact that time has elapsed. If a memory is not exercised, it may decay over the passage of time. What further complicates the process of accurate recall is the brains tendency to reconstruct memory. Regardless of why a memory may be incomplete in the first place, the brain may add, subtract, and alter details in order to fill-in the story. For example, if an eyewitness was really not paying close attention to the age of a robber, he might just assume that the person was male, and that assumption can potentially become part of the memory as the brain struggles to tell a cohesive story.


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