distinguishing their thinking about their ownthoughts

Essay Writing and Assignment
Preparation
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The Essay
 Due date: August 30, 2021
 Weight: 30%
 Length: 2000 words maximum, including an
abstract of 200 words. The word count does
not include the reference list.
 Submit as a Word document
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Essay Question: Topic 1
 During adolescence, researchers have suggested that adolescents
may have difficulty distinguishing their thinking about their own
thoughts from their thinking about the thoughts of others,
resulting in a distinct kind of egocentrism. This adolescent
egocentrism has two main aspects – the imaginary audience and
the personal fable. The personal fable can contribute to risky
behaviour by some adolescents, leading to the illusion of
invulnerability (the belief that adolescents perceive themselves as
uniquely invulnerable to negative outcomes and thus protected
from anything bad happening). While adolescence does seem to be
a heightened time of risky behaviour, and some risks do seem
higher among adolescents than other groups, the invulnerability
hypothesis has received mixed support in research.
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Essay Question: Topic 1 (Cont’d)
 Your task, therefore, is to critically consider the
following:
a) Do adolescents actually display an illusion of
invulnerability? That is, do adolescents underestimate
their risk relative to objective indices of risk? (Consider
some of the types of behaviour that adolescents often
engage in.); and
b) Are adolescents unique in their perceptions of
invulnerability? That is, do adolescents rate themselves
as less at risk for negative events than children or
adults?
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Essay Question: Topic 2
 “With age comes wisdom”, so says the adage. Your
task is to analyse this statement by considering
theoretical approaches to wisdom, critically
commenting on how the construct is measured and
evaluating empirical evidence. Consider also the
arguments for and against the claim that intelligence
more generally tends to decline during adulthood.
(Hint: consider how intelligence is also measured.)
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Starter Readings
 Topic 1:
 Greenwald, H.D., Somers, C.L., & Mangus, L.
(2021). The role of social and cognitive variables
in adolescent risk-taking. Current Psychology,
40, 485-496. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12144-
0189951-2
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Starter Readings
 Topic 2:
 Grossman, I., Weststrate, N.M., Ardelt, M.,
Brienza, J.P., Dong, M., Ferrari, M., Fournier,
M.A., Hu, C.S., Nusbaum, H.C., & Vervaeke, J.
(2020). The science of wisdom in a polarized
world: Knowns and unknowns. Psychological
Inquiry, 31, 103-133.
https://doi.org/10.1080/1047840X.2020.1750917
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Be Critical!
 When critically analysing these topics, you must
base your discussion on factual information, not just
opinion
 To achieve this, you are required to look for
research studies (empirical journal articles which
provide some correlational or experimental data)
 You will need to cite a minimum of SIX journal
articles in total
 The one provided plus another five
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Structure of the Essay
Your paper should include:
 A title page that provides your name, the
title of your essay, your student number, and
total word count
 An abstract (200 words maximum)
 An introduction
 A body
 A concluding summary paragraph
 A list of references
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 Your essay MUST consistently follow the
APA 7 format style and all references must
be properly cited in-text and in the reference
list at the end of your essay
 The essay assignment is due on August 30,
2021
 All students must submit by e-submission
and must ensure their assignment is received
at UNE by 11:59pm on this date
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Marking Criteria
 Abstract (5%)
 Introduction (15%)
 Body/Review of the Literature (30%)
 Conclusion (5%)
 Quality of Critical Thinking (15%)
 Clarity of Expression (15%)
 Adherence to APA Style (15%)
 In-text citations and reference list (10%)
 Overall adherence to APA (5%)
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TurnItIn
 All files uploaded will be submitted to
TurnItIn for originality checking. This service
compares text from your assignment against
a database of Internet sources, publications,
and previously-submitted assignments from
UNE and other institutions.
 You should submit your assignment as a
Word document
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Reading for Your Essay
 An essay is an extended answer to a specific topic
 You will first need to develop a deep
understanding of your topic by reviewing and
analysing relevant literature
 From this understanding you will propose an
argument
 An argument is a brief, clear statement of what
you will show is true about the topic
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Essay Writing Technique
See:
Publication Manual of the American
Psychological Association (7th ed.)
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What Your Marker Will Be
Looking For…
 The relevance of the essay to the topic, so
stay focused!
 The organisation and effectiveness of the
argument: The ideas that you state need to
be substantiated, organised, and integrated
 Originality and insight: novel, careful and
critical thought
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What Your Marker Will Be
Looking for…
 Use of supporting material: Your essay
should show the depth and breadth of your
reading
 Clarity and accuracy of expression: Your
writing needs to be clear and concise; check
grammar, spelling, and punctuation
 APA style
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Steps in Preparing to Write
the Essay
 Analyse the topic: What is the question
asking you to do (e.g., identify and describe,
critically discuss, describe, review)?
 Gather your information: See the textbook
and search the library and databases for
journal articles; avoid using Wikipedia or nonacademic webpages
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Steps in Preparing to Write the
Essay
 Decide on your position: As you read and
develop an understanding of the topic, decide on
your position
 Write an essay plan: Note each paragraph’s topic
and form a plan of the structure of your essay
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The Title
 A brief description of the essay topic or
argument
 Can be creative…or descriptive
 Omit redundant phrases: “An essay about…”
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Abstract
 Maximum of 200 words
 Write AFTER you have written the essay
 Do not indent
 Avoid citations
 Provide a concise sentence for each:
 General topic area
 Your position
 Summary of arguments that led to your conclusion
 Conclusion
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Introduction Overview
 First paragraph of the essay
 First sentence introduces the general topic – why
is this being evaluated?
 The rationale
 Then briefly describe/outline relevant
theoretical/empirical support for your position
 Define any crucial key terms
 The introduction sets up a framework – tells the
reader what you are reviewing, why, and how you
will proceed
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Introduction
 Summarise the argument: e.g., “Research
indicates that adolescents do engage in greater
risky behaviour compared to adults” (Smith,
2010)
 Common error: Implying the argument of the
essay is an established fact:
 E.g., “Research has proven that intelligence
declines in adulthood” (Brown, 2008)
 ….The rest of the essay then becomes irrelevant
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Body
 Should fulfil the promises made in the introduction
 Develop and validate your position
 Describe appropriate theories and/or data
 Integrate the ideas you found
 Describe for and against (acknowledge opposing
ideas)
 Look for patterns in the literature
 Be concise AND precise
 Work systematically towards a conclusion
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Body: Organise Your Material
 Organise the points you want to make into a
logical order: This builds a rational
argument
 Organise the material on the basis of ideas
and not authors
 Each paragraph should have a topic sentence
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Body: Be Concise and Precise
 Describe only relevant details
 For empirical studies (e.g., experiments, surveys)
give enough information to show the reader what
happened (aim, method) and the main result
 Write simply: Use short simple sentences, rather
than long complex ones
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Body
 Base your argument on academic literature,
not your opinion!
 Support what you say with reference to the
literature
 You need to demonstrate to markers that you
understand the literature and can use it to form
an argument
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Citing the Literature
 Always reference source(s) if you are using
sentences, ideas, or concepts that are not
your own
 Paraphrasing without a citation is still
plagiarism, so if in doubt, always reference
 Use correct APA style citations
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References vs. Citations
 References refer to the list of all articles,
books or websites that you cite in the body of
your essay
 The reference list goes at the end of the
essay and only lists the sources that you
actually cite in your work (NOT a
bibliography)
 Citations refer to in-text sources:
 e.g., Jones (2001) claims….
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Writing Style
 Write formally and respectfully
 Write simply
 Avoid colloquialisms (e.g., The research is up the
creek)
 Avoid clichés (e.g., At the end of the day…)
 Explain all abbreviations in brackets the first time you
use them
 Avoid passive voice (e.g., “It has been shown that X
leads to Y”)
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Conclusion
 The last paragraph of the essay
 An overall summary/integration of main points
 Reaffirm and restate your position
 Re-justify your position (succinctly)
 Do not introduce new ideas or citations
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Conclusion
 Summarise:
 The main points/arguments and draw
conclusions from those key points
 Evidence that supports these arguments
 Describe answers to the research problem set and
then discuss what the findings mean
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References
 Begin the reference list on a new page
 Write the title – References – centred on the
first line of the page
 List references in alphabetical order, based
on the first author’s surname
 Only sources that you actually cited are listed
in references
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To Reiterate and Additional Hints
 AVOID use of personal pronouns (e.g., I, we, etc.)
 AVOID contractions: “Don’t”, “can’t”, “wasn’t” etc.
are not acceptable in formal academic writing.
 Additionally, e.g. and i.e. are only acceptable in
parentheses; do NOT use them in the body of your
work
 USE active voice
 Set your computer spell check to Australian
English and set your grammar check to formal
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To Reiterate and Additional Hints
 NEVER submit your first draft
 Get someone else to read your work before
submitting and if this isn’t possible, try reading
out loud
 Follow correct APA 7 style
 Ensure punctuation and grammar are correct
 Use appropriate language and avoid colloquialisms
and jargon
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Helpful Links
 The UNE Academic Skills Office offers many helpful factsheets:
 Essays: https://aso-resources.une.edu.au/assignmenttypes/essays/
 Academic writing: https://asoresources.une.edu.au/academic-writing/
 Critical thinking: https://aso-resources.une.edu.au/studyskills/critical-thinking/
 Referencing and plagiarism: https://asoresources.une.edu.au/referencing_plagiarism/introduction/
 APA 7th ed: https://asoresources.une.edu.au/referencing_plagiarism/referencing/apa/
 Plagiarism: https://asoresources.une.edu.au/referencing_plagiarism/plagiarism/
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Questions?
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