Thought Paper Instructions
Submit a thought paper on any topic from the textbook. It can be a topic that we have not covered yet in
the term, or one that is covered in PSYC 101. The thought paper will be worth 20% of your final grade in
You must submit a thought paper on the first due date. If you are unhappy with your grade, you have
the option to submit a second assignment and each assignment will be worth 10% of your final grade. The
format of the assignment will be the same, but your two thought papers must be on substantially different
topics, from two different textbook chapters. If you do not submit a thought paper by the first due date,
you will receive a grade of zero on the first one, but you can still submit a second thought paper and each
will be worth 10% of your final grade.
Choose one specific topic from the textbook that is personally relevant or interesting to you. Provide a
brief description of the topic from the information provided in the textbook. You must include information
from the textbook, and include an in-text citation for the textbook in APA style. You may also wish to
include information about the topic from another reliable source, if the textbook does not have very much
information about it, or if there is specific information you want to include that is not in the textbook.
This section should be a maximum of 200 words (about half a page, double spaced) and must be written
in your own words. Paraphrase the information from the textbook.
Personal and Real Life Applications (1-2 pages)
Discuss the topic from a personal and/or real life perspective. You can write about anything you want, as
long as it shows evidence of creativity and/or critical thinking, and it demonstrates that you understand
the topic you are writing about. For example, you can write about how the topic applies in your own life
or the life of someone you know, how the topic is applicable to some social issue or problem, how the
topic might apply to your future career, how the topic applies to another field of study, whether you agree
or disagree with the author’s interpretation or explanation (and why), how your own personal or cultural
experience compares to what is presented in the textbook, and/or how the topic is approached/presented in
a movie, TV show, song, book, poem, news story, or social media. You could also analyze yourself, or
someone you know, using one of the models or theories described in the textbook. This section should
include 3 different personal or real-life applications of the topic. Organize the section in to 3 distinct
paragraphs, each of which focuses on one particular idea.
Important: This section should NOT simply include factual information from the textbook or another
source. You can briefly refer to factual information, if it would help you to explain your ideas, but this
section should mainly or completely consist of your own thoughts, interpretations, analyses, and/or
experiences. Factual information should mostly be limited to the topic section. References are not
required in this section, unless you choose to include information taken from another source (e.g., a book
or news story), in which case you should provide references in APA style.
Come up with one research question that is directly related to the main topic described in the first section.
The question should include one independent variable, one dependent variable, and one population. The
research question must be in the following format (see examples below).
Using this formula, insert your chosen IV, DV, and population to form your own question:
What is the effect of [independent variable] on [dependent variable] among [population]?
Your research question should be one that can be answered using an experimental or quasi-experimental
research design, in which two or more groups are compared. Remember, the independent variable is the
one that is manipulated (the researcher divides the participants in to two or more groups that represent
different levels of the IV), and the dependent variable is the one that is measured. Research questions
Page !1 of !2
often ask about the effect of some life experience on a particular outcome. So, it may be useful to think
about the research question like this:
What is the effect of [a life experience or therapy] on [outcome] among [population]?
Examples of research questions:
• What are the effects of school-based interventions on mental health stigma among adolescents?
• What is the effect of physical activity on the risk of injury among adults over 65 years of age?
• What is the effect of body weight on the risk of bullying among children?
Identify an academic journal article that describes the results of a study that answers your research
question. The article must describe a primary research study in which the authors recruited their own
sample of participants and made their own measurements or observations (NOT a review or metaanalysis).
It is recommended that you use the PsycINFO database to search for relevant research. Use
your IV and DV as search terms.
The research results section should include the following information from the journal article:
- the purpose of the study (as stated by the authors)
- a description of the participants
- sample size (number of participants)
- age (range, mean or median, standard deviation)
- gender distribution (percentage of participants who were male/female)
- other important participant characteristics that are relevant to the research question
- a description of the results that answer your research question
This section should consist of a single paragraph. It should be brief, approximately 3-5 sentences. You do
not need to summarize the entire article. You only have to include the information specified above.
Include a reference list in APA style. Include an in-text citation for the textbook (and other sources of
information, if you choose to include them) in the Topic section and for the journal article in the Research
Results section. You are not required to include references in the Personal and Real Life Applications
section, but if you do, make sure to properly cite any information that you take from another source, that
are not your own thoughts or ideas. Even if you have knowledge of a topic or fact from a previous course
or life experience, you must provide references for any factual information. You do not need to use APA
style references to refer to movies, TV shows, or personal posts on social media.
DO NOT USE DIRECT QUOTATIONS from any source. Use of quotations will result in a loss of marks.
Paraphrase: write using your own words. The only exception to this is that you may use quotations is if
you wish to cite and interpret specific lines or lyrics from a song or poem. APA style references should be
included if direct quotations are used for this purpose.
Include a cover page that includes your name and student number, Capilano University, the course code
(PSYC100), and a title for your assignment (all this information should be centred on the page). Page
numbers should appear in the top right corner of each page. Use 1 inch (2.54cm) margins. Organize your
assignment using the headings provided in these instructions. All components of the assignment should be
double spaced in 12-point font (including the title page, headings, and the reference list). Assignments
must be submitted electronically through Moodle in Microsoft Word or PDF format (I will not be able to
provide feedback on PDFs). Assignments must be submitted as attached documents. Do NOT provide a
link to Google Drive or some other online storage system.