Gender differences in depression of older adults

The purpose of this assignment is to familiarize students with psychological research and theory pertaining to a research area in Adult Development and Aging (Successful Aging, Depression, and/or Socioemotional Selectivity Theory). One topic-relevant peer-reviewed journal article is assigned for all students to read (please refer to required readings). Information in this article will be reviewed in class to provide a basic understanding of the research, theory, issues, and controversies relevant to this research domain. Students can find a list of essay topics and a list of research articles relevant to those topics in Moodle. The topic of the first essay should be related to Successful Aging. The topic of the second essay is depression or socioemotional selectivity. Each essay must thoroughly describe the research and theory related to their topic. In addition, each essay must include a carefully-considered thesis that emerges from the empirical work cited.
Essays awarded the highest grades will reflect a high level of thoughtful consideration and/or critical analysis, with an emphasis on the contributions and strengths of each article. In addition, each essay must be clear, coherent, well-organized, non-superficial, and free of grammatical or spelling errors. More specifically, to be marked as an A or B, essays must demonstrate (1) a mastery of college-level writing mechanics; (2) the ability to comprehend and summarize the relevant theoretical and empirical literature; (3) the ability to critically evaluate this literature and the ability to integrate with other relevant concepts; (4) the ability to engage in written expression that reflects conventions typical in the psychological literature; and (5) the ability to engage in written expression that reflects a level of sophistication expected of university juniors and seniors.
Essays must be saved as a Microsoft Word Document. They must be double-spaced, using Times New Roman 12, and margin settings of 1 inch. Minimum length: 2000 words. Essays that do not meet the minimum word requirement will receive a grade of 0. Instructions for electronic submission will be provided in Moodle and in class. Digital copies only a hard copies are not necessary.
Due Dates for Essays: First Essay: Sunday 5-27 11 PM; and, Second Essay: Sunday 6-17 11 PM
General Information and Guidelines
Basic Requirements. The requirements of this assignment include reading the assigned article (see the required readings), selecting a more specific topic from the list of specific topics provided in Moodle, and preparing a well-focused summary and analysis of the journal articles provided (at least three articles). Students are encouraged to obtain additional empirical and theoretical articles. Essays must include detailed information from at least three empirical articles. Each essay must include summaries of the research presented in the journal articles. Students are strongly discouraged from preparing essays that repeat the limitation sections included in each article. Instead, essays should include longer discussions about the empirical, theoretical, and practical contributions.
Compelling Analyses. The best essays (those awarded As and Bs) will include a compelling and interesting analysis of the research and discuss how it applies to a particular thesis that emerges from the research the student has read. The thesis should be compelling and reasonably specific. You should provide a 6-12 word title that pertains to your thesis. The analyses in these essays should include theoretical perspectives (defined and explained) and empirical results.
Feedback. Students will receive extensive feedback on the first essay so that improvement on the second essay is possible.
PSY 323 Syllabus a Page 6
Specific Recommendations
1. Content
Thesis Statement. Your essay should have a point and MUST maintain focus on this point. For example, on the topic of physician-assisted suicide, a point might be that a?it is important to evaluate terminally ill patients who want to die for depression, treating it when present, in an effort to reduce the desire to die.a? In other words, an author presents their main idea and supports it with various evidence and relevant logic. Essays that include a thesis and supporting evidence are more sophisticated and interesting compared to those that merely summarize a group of studies. Your thesis should be in the first paragraph.
Title. Your title should reflect your thesis. For example: a?Depression and the Desire to Diea? is better than a?Physician-assisted Suicidea?.
Headings. Use headings to organize your essay. Your headings should reflect the various types of empirical support you are presenting in a conceptual manner. For example: (1) Depression in the Terminally Ill Population a a section that presents statistics about how prevalent depression is in that population; and (2) Treatment Effectiveness in the Terminally Ill a which describes studies about the effectiveness of treating depression (i.e., it reduces the desire to die in terminally ill patients) ... and so on. NEVER use the following for headings: the titles of journal articles, Method, Results, and similar non-conceptual headings.
Conclusion. Your conclusion should restate your thesis and summarize the evidence that supports this thesis. Avoid overly poetic endings. Just state your ideas clearly so that the reader can be sure that they understand what youaYve been writing about.
2. Writing Mechanics and Style
Writing Style. Your essay should read like an essay written by a college student. Cute anecdotes, definitions (i.e., Webster defines a¦ etc.), or simplistic and obvious statements should be avoided. You should focus on writing an essay that someone would find compelling; one that presents an idea that would be interesting to readers; and one that presents a well-substantiated conclusion. In other words, your essay should look like it is written by someone who has been in college for a couple of years.
Theoretical, empirical, and academic essays and journal articles written by psychologists use a particular style. We are careful NOT to overstate our points in order to maintain a high level of accuracy. For example, if a treatment for depression is effective in only 40% of the cases, then we do not say it is always effective. Words like a?prove,a? or a?truea? are never used. We also avoid the first person, e.g., a?I believe,a? or In my opinion.a? In most student writings, these phrases can just be eliminated, thereby improving the essay.
APA Format. In short, essays should be double-spaced, using Times New Roman 12. Margins should be 1a?. Do not use full justification (left justification only). Cover pages are NOT required for academic essays. On the first page include your name and a?Psy 323: McGinnisa? in the upper right; double space and put the title in the center; double space and start your text. Page numbers should be in the upper right corner with a running header if you know how to do those. If you donaYt know how to use the header function then donaYt bother because it will cause formatting problems. Students MUST use APA formatting for citations your textbook provides examples. Or purchase an APA manual for the most thorough description of formatting requirements. Essays must include a a?Referencesa? section after the content of your essay: a separate page is not necessary. You can refer to the Concise Rules of APA Style for any question about style or formatting.