PSY101 – Fundamentals of Psychology

PSY101 – Fundamentals of Psychology
You are required to complete one course paper during the 8-week module; it will be due at the end of Unit 7.
The requirements for your course paper are as follows:
• Written in the format of the most current (6th) edition of the APA manual.
• This type of research paper is similar to a literature review in that you will be discussing what information is currently known about your topic.
• Include a discussion of psychological theory AND key research findings relevant to your chosen topic (below). Your incorporation of theory and research should
come from the information you find through your reading of scholarly sources and journal articles (from your course paper resources assignment due in UNIT 3).
• Include specific examples that support theory and research.
• Please note that this is NOT an opinion essay.
• The body of the paper must be five full pages in length, not including APA style title page and References page.
• Each paper must be a Word document, double spaced with size 12 Times New Roman font and 1 inch margins on all sides.
• Please use complete sentences, appropriate grammar, spelling, and a minimum of
• 4 SCHOLARLY references (you may use your textbook as one reference). Please be sure to avoid using Internet sources such as Wikipedia or other web-based
resources that do not have strong academic backing.
• You will also be required to use in-text references in your work in accordance with APA style to avoid plagiarism. Plagiarism detection software will be used
to scan each paper.
Refer to the rubric below for a guideline as to how your paper will be graded. Students are strongly encouraged to use the writing center ( for
assistance with all assignments.
Each paper must be submitted via Blackboard; emailed copies will not be accepted. Policies in regard to turning work in late also apply to these assignments.
Course Paper Topic: Define reinforcement and punishment. Why do psychologists prefer negative reinforcement to punishment as a way to shape behavior? Be sure to share
at least 4 scholarly research examples in your discussion of the concepts.
Refer to the grading rubric on the next page for grading criteria.
Students: Be sure to read the criteria, by which your paper/project will be evaluated, before you write, and again after you write.
Evaluation Rubric for Course Paper Assignment
CRITERIA Deficient Development Needed Proficient Exemplary
0 – 35 points 36- 47 points 48 – 53 points 54 – 60 points
Content Subject matter is minimally addressed. Opinions are offered but arguments lack scholarly backing. Subject matter is adequately addressed. Arguments are
partially supported by scholarly research. Subject matter is fairly well addressed. Arguments are supported by scholarly research but could be further elaborated
with specific details. Subject matter is thoroughly addressed. Arguments are well elaborated and fully supported with scholarly research and specific examples.
0 – 8 points 9 – 11 points 12 – 13 points 14 – 15 points
Scholarly Sources One or no scholarly sources are used. Two to three scholarly sources are included but are not well represented within the paper. Four
scholarly sources are included but content discussion is not well represented within the paper. Four scholarly sources are included. Scholarly source content is well
represented within the paper.
0 – 8 points 9 – 11 points 12 – 13 points 14 – 15 points
Structure and Flow Flow is poor. Paragraphing is inappropriate. Transitions are minimal or absent. Significant redundancy is evident. Flow is adequate.
Paragraphs may be too long or too short. Transitions are minimal and redundancy is evident. Flow is good. Paragraphing is mostly appropriate. Transitions are
present and redundancies are minimal. Flow is excellent. Paragraphing is clear and transitions are smooth and consistent. Inappropriate redundancies are absent.
0 – 5 points 6 – 7 points 8 points 9 – 10 points
Clear and professional writing and format Errors impede professional presentation; guidelines not followed. Numerous errors somewhat interfere with
professional presentation. Few errors that do not impede professional presentation. Writing and format is clear, professional, APA compliant, and error