Component 1: Essay
The assessment is a 1500 word essay and it represents 50% of your final grade. It is due on December 17th and you will submit it through Turnitin. In this assessment you will be presenting 1 of the three theories we have discussed so far in class. This means your options are all the theories discussed during the term. The purpose of this component is that you demonstrate your knowledge of this theory as well as express some criticism towards your chosen theory.
Structure of the Essay
1. Tittle. Start your essay with a tittle, think of a nice one that makes clear which is the theory you have chosen as well as some of the main points you are going to cover during your essay.
2. Introduction. The first thing you have to do in the intro is to explain the outline of the whole essay. This means mentioning the sections of your essay and briefly describing the content of these sections. Also, use this section to discuss some of the background of your theory, like the historical context in which the theory emerged, or the focus of psychology before the emergence of your theory. Another way to introduce an essay about a theory is if you start commenting on the general focus of your theory before you start talking about the specific concepts within the theory.
3. Main body. The main body of the essay is meant to develop the most relevant concepts of the theory. Try to create a narrative that brings together the different concepts and ideas of the theory in a way that makes sense and articulate the contributions of the theory. For example, if you chose psychoanalysis I would expect you to include an explanation of the three-fold structure of conscious, the psychosexual stages, the defence mechanisms, his ideas about drives and the analytic tools he developed.
4. Critique. Write this section to develop some criticism of your theory. Even if there is a lot of possible critiques, focus on one of them and develop the critique as much as you can. In order to do this, you can think questions like: what aspects of this theory don’t work? Why? What are the limitations of this theory? What would be an alternative way to address this limitations? What could we gain if we do it differently? What have been some of the negative consequences of this theory? What kind of human behaviours of experiences cannot be explained by this theory? Etc.
5. Conclusion. Use this section to close the essay, but do it by focussing on this questions: How your theory looks like in today´s world? Discuss a little bit about how your theory has evolved, what has changed? And why it changed? Are the principle of this theory still useful today? Also make sure you summarize all the elements included in your essay to remind the reader everything they have read.
6. Reference list. Make sure your reference list is in proper APA format. And remember we are expecting a minimum of 4 references where at least one of them should be a book or article written by the main author of your theory (Freud, or Skinner, or Niesser). Remember one of your references could be the text we read before the lecture of your theory.
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