Topic : The relation between social judgment and aggressive behavior in children
Purpose:
The goal of having an argumentative paper is to provide you with (a) practice searching the literature for interesting and relevant research; (b) experience communicating science to a non-expert audience; and (c) the opportunity to engage more deeply with topics of specific interest that may not be covered in the planned text or lecture topics.
What you will do:
Each person in the course will create a final argumentative paper with the following criteria:
1000 – 1250 words (about 4-5 pages double spaced)
Use 4 empirical journal articles to support your claims
Topics are chosen based on your own interest in infant and child development (children from 0 – 10 years of age)
Use APA formatted in-text and reference citations
Content of the paper:
An argumentative paper is one that focuses on facts and evidence to support the claims of the author. Thus, you should take a stand on an issue in development, and support this position using evidence from academic research articles.
Topic selection:
Choose a topic related to development. This can be from topics we have examined in class, or perhaps something that you are more interested in. Examples of topics include (but are not limited to):
Should parents teach infants sign language?
At what age should a child attend school?
What is the impact of social media on children? (please note that we are not talking about teenagers in this course! So, do not write a paper on adolescents).
Examples of argumentative papers:
The Conversation (https://theconversation.com/us) is a great place to read papers about a variety of topics by experts in the field. They demonstrate the use of evidence (with handy links),
bout the right length of paper, and taking a more conversational / general audience tone. Here are two that have a developmental focus:
Laing, C. E. (2016, November 10). Here’s why “baby talk” is good for your baby. The Conversation.
Willis, K. (2019, September 13). The womb isn’t sterile – healthy babies are born with bacteria and fungi in their guts. The Conversation.
Using empirical journal articles
You will need to use empirical journal articles as the foundation (not class notes or textbooks). When using a journal article, you should indicate the key results as well as how the study was done in your own words (i.e., avoid quotes and be sure to avoid plagiarizing). Be sure to provide sufficient detail (more than you can simply get from the Abstract) so that someone unfamiliar with the study understands what was done in the study and what they found.
Helpful tips for finding research articles:
Tips for finding academic research articles at CSUSM
Places to potentially get the full articles (if you’re having trouble finding good ones through the library)
Unpaywall – free, and legal way to get full texts. This is a google chrome extension.
Audience:
As this is for a general audience, that means they may NOT have the background knowledge that you do. Some tips for writing for a general audience:
Avoid jargon, or words that we only use in psychology. For example, we will learn the term “habituation” in class, but it may mean nothing to someone who doesn’t know about psychology. So, you should define what habituation is for them.
Avoid terms like “prove” or “proven”. One study cannot prove anything!
Keep it readable. Keep your word usage lower than a 12th grade level on the Fleish-Kincaid grade score.
Test your readability here, or here
Helpful tips on writing an argumentative paper:
https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/general_writing/academic_writing/essay_writing/argumentative_essays.html
https://blog.prepscholar.com/argumentative-essay-examples

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