To maximize your points for the paper, be sure to read this assignment’s instructions thoroughly and
carefully so that you understand what is expected for the paper. If not sure, it is your responsibility to talk to
the TAs and/or instructor EARLY (not last minute). So plan ahead. We are here to help with your learning!
TIP: As you read through this, make an outline and add what you think the rubric is. This can function as
an outline draft that you can add to as you research for your paper to help with organizing it. In addition
this can act as a checklist. (see section about outlines bottom of page 2)
GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT PAPER ASSIGNMENT:
The paper assignment is designed for you to demonstrate critical thinking skills and thoughtful reflection on the
assigned topic within social and/or personality development field of study.
Be sure to write in your own words. This requires you to review the material and then present the information
in your own words to demonstrate understanding without using quotes or lifting material from your sources.
It is important that you put quality thought into the assignment since this is what is being looked for. You are
not being graded on “opinion”, but rather on how well you support your insights and arguments (pro and con)
with respect to the issues, so be sure to provide evidence (citations) for your positions to show critical thinking.
Papers must be / include:
12-point font (Times or Times New Roman)
Minimum of five pages (not 4 and ¾) but not more than 8 pages for the body of the paper. Title page
and references page are not part of final page count.
Minimum of 2-3 references (primary sources) – first page of each source (with journal, author,
abstract, etc) needs to be submitted with paper.
Correct grammar and punctuation is required so if you need help with writing skills, be sure to contact
the writing skills center on campus for additional help, AGAIN do so EARLY.
In-paper citations and references must be in APA format (see section about references on page 6)
PAPER ASSIGNMENT: EXPLORING CURRENT SOCIAL ISSUES IN RELATION TO SOCIAL AND/OR PERSONALITY
I. The topic that you will explore within the social and/or personality fields involves current social crises
we are seeing involving racial / ethnic protests or conflicts over police behaviors.
This will be challenging topic as there are many stereotypes and misinformation thrown around, especially
on social media. In addition there are some very strong feelings regarding different aspects of this topic.
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As students of social and personality development, the goal is to objectively look at some of the underlying
factors that can help with understanding of how social and/or personality development may have contributed
to the current societal issues.
You will explore possible factors / explanations that may provide some explanation or reasons related to the
course content for the social issues we have today. To give you some ideas and to help you gain some
insights on possible factors, influences and/or explanations, you will review a few videos involving two
classic experiments and a modern day one.
There are different ways to narrow the focus of your paper, some suggestions:
1) How does being exposed to discriminatory / prejudiced behavior affect social and/or personality
• Would age matter regarding this type of exposure?
2) With regards to police brutality, does law enforcement culture and/or training change officers’
interactions with others? Or does law enforcement attract certain individuals (personality) types that
could explain brutality?
• Why is there a debate about “good” vs. “bad” cops? Why isn’t there more of “good” cops
speaking out about brutality?
3) Are certain groups prone to making assumptions about others? Or are all individuals capable of
making stereotypes of others regardless of their own personal characteristics / identities?
• Do these assumptions / stereotypes influence our behaviors and/or social interactions?
Where do these assumptions / stereotypes (or even biases) come from?
So as you can see, there are various ways to approach this paper around the main idea. You may
have other ideas that are stimulated by the videos and applying to the current social issues. So if you
have any questions or want to check on some other ideas of your own to pursue, ask the instructor
To help you be more focused / specific regarding your topic, some additional tips:
• DO NOT pick a broad topic (e.g., racism, prejudice, etc).
• DO narrow the focus on your topic to be more specific (e.g., the effect of racism on social development)
and explore in-depth recent work done in this specific area of your topic.
• Don’t have all of your articles on just one aspects of the topic. Be sure to diversify (pro and con) your
sources to support your paper.
• Sources should be within the last 10 years unless considered classic or seminal research.
II. Getting organized / prepared to write your review paper
- Write and build the outline for your paper (with notes added / references embedded) – Highly
a) Start with making an outline based on the assignment instructions. Make notes of the main
sections needed (e.g. introduction, literature review, etc).
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b) Note the instructions for each of the sections and make notes as sort of a checklist for what you
think the rubric is.
c) Add in headings and subheadings to organize sections, topics and subtopics – add notes into the
relevant area as you review materials for the paper along with the source citations.
Once you have an outline, then focus on writing one section (or sub-section) of the outline at a time
for the final paper. This will help you write a more coherent and organized paper by focusing on
making the point or discussion you are trying to make (and supported by empirical sources).
- Watch the videos
a) Take notes as you watch the videos. Make sure your notes for each video is written in your own
words (i.e., paraphrase), do not quote verbatim or copy from any transcript (if available). When
you are working on the draft and final version of your paper, you should only use the notes you
made of the videos.
Doing so will help you to avoid plagiarizing and/or the temptation to use comments made by
others that are not your thoughts. If you feel you need to quote something that was said because
it is a good example, you must put the quote in italics and provide correct citation of the source
of the comment. Then cite the video (include the videos on references page).
b) When making notes, focus on the key points discussed in the experiments and/or what
conclusions were made. Critically think about these points and how it is or is not supported by
your other sources (primary source) and/or the textbook. It is important that to note any possible
strengths and weaknesses of each experiment (videos) reviewed.
c) Pay attention to any points they bring up that made you think about the topic in a new way. Also
think about what the videos do not address or remains unresolved that comes to mind (this is
critical thinking! ☺)
d) Use these notes and information in the textbook to help you narrow down your topic and
determine key words to help you locate appropriate / useful primary sources. (see page 7
regarding literature searches).
Once you have found appropriate / useful sources for your paper, you should do the following:
- Read your sources carefully
a) Take notes as you read the sources for your topic. Apply the note taking instructions discussed
for videos to your primary sources.
As discussed regarding note taking for videos, taking your own notes will help you avoid
plagiarism and/or the temptation to use direct quotes. Generally the goal of papers is to show
your understanding of the material, and using quotes (especially overusing, or they are long)
does not demonstrate this understanding.
If you feel you need to use a brief quote (not multiples) from a primary / original source it
should be unique and something that can’t be substituted by your own words. In addition, you
must put the quote in italics and provide correct citation of the source. The citation includes the
author, year of publication, and the page number that the direct quote is found (e.g., Smith,
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b) For primary sources, when making notes, you should focus on the main findings of each study
(primary source) as well as important details such as sample, type of method, age of participants,
main findings and conclusions. It is important to pay attention to strengths and weaknesses of
each study reviewed. This does not mean you will discuss all of this in the paper, but the notes
will help you with critical thinking and/or if you need to point out what stood out.
c) Also pay attention to any issue(s) that the studies do not address or remains unresolved that may
be applicable to your topic.
- Organize your notes (regardless of source) by topic or sub topic.
Organize your notes into your outline to help you further refine your paper structure (adding topic
headers / subheaders; to alert you to what sources to look for, some thoughts in reactions to the video
in reflection, etc).
Group the notes (include citations) on related concepts or information (even from different sources),
rather than discussing each source separately.
You want to show you can integrate the information to show similarities or differences the sources
have regarding points you are trying to support or challenge in your paper.
For example, if you have 2 or more articles that agree / support each other on a point, you can
integrate those sources as part of the citation. If you have 2 articles (or more) that disagree, you can
point out one argument (cite that sources), point out the disagreement (and cite that source) as part of
III. Writing your review paper (all sections A – F in APA format). ” Paper DUE: Friday July 17 by 5pm
Note: The abstract is not needed for this assignment.
A. Introduction (use the full title of paper as the header, not “introduction” – see APA template)
This section is generally one or two paragraphs (1/2 to 1 page). In this section you will introduce and
explain what the topic and the social and or personality development issue that is being explored.
Explain why your topic is important. In other words, state the thesis that will guide your review. The
thesis statement outlines your topic and provides a focused direction for your paper.
B. Literature review (main body of paper)
- Using your outline as a guideline, summarize / integrate key points from each of your sources
(videos, textbook, and articles) under headings / subheadings that address a particular aspect of your
overall topic being discussed. More about using APA style for subheadings is presented later in this
assignment instructions and also in the APA word template.
- When summarizing the peer reviewed (primary sources) articles you are using, be sure to note
important / relevant information about the study as related to your topic; such as the research
objectives (i.e., research interest or question, hypotheses), information about the participants
(sample) such as age, demographic breakdown, etc; research design (e.g. longitudinal, crosssectional), how they collected the data, key findings of the studies and conclusions about the
It is important to include a critical evaluation of the sources you used. So each study should be
evaluated regarding strengths and weaknesses of the study that should be part of summarizing the
empirical article. The more you do a critical assessment of the sources you use, the stronger your
paper will be.
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What you do not do is rewrite (copy) your source into your paper, you make note of key information.
You also don’t write about one source at a time, you want to integrate the information from the
relevant different sources. Show your understanding and thinking instead of the sources perspective.
- Be sure to explain how the sources that you reviewed in each of your paper sections is connected to
your thesis statement. You want to remind the reader about how the articles, books, chapters, and/or
videos you reviewed in each section relates back to the thesis you stated in the introduction section
of the paper.
- Often while searching for, evaluating and writing about the sources used in your paper, areas of
conflict (disagreement) or controversy about a topic are encountered. When confronted with such
conflict or controversy, you should objectively and accurately address the different sides of the
issue in separate subsections (or paragraphs) of your paper. It is acceptable to make conclusions
about which side based on your evaluation has stronger supporting evidence. But make sure the
conclusion(s) you make are evidence based and not your opinion or what you personally prefer as a
Basically, avoid presenting bias by only selecting sources to support your views / argument.
Challenge your own position, acknowledge possible weakness of your arguments ! critical
- You must include APA formatted in-paper citations for all of your sources. Per APA guidelines,
all sources must be cited.
a) Only include and cite sources that you actually read / reviewed.
b) If you see a citation in another paper that you think might be useful and you want to include into
your paper, then you should retrieve that source and read it yourself. Once you have read it,
then you can cite the source directly.
c) If you have not read a source in its original form, do not use it as a reference for your
paper even if it was in another article.
d) Unless you actually came up with a new idea on your own, every knowledge, thought or idea
that came from a source needs to be cited.
e) As discussed earlier regarding note taking of sources …. Avoid using direct quotes from sources
as much as possible. It is very difficult for a reader to follow a paper that uses too many quotes,
nor does it reflect your own thinking and processing of the information.
Your paper will be much better written if you paraphrase your sources (and cite) instead of using
quotes. Please see link on course website regarding APA Style on paraphrasing.
f) More information about citing references will be provided later in these instructions.
C. Conclusions / Discussion
- For this last section of your paper, you will give a brief summary of the main points of your review.
- Discuss the conclusions that can be made from your review of the topic and be sure to relate these
conclusions to your thesis statement that was presented in the introduction section.
- Make sure the conclusions you make are accurate and logically made with respect to the sources you
uses. Don’t overstate your conclusions meaning that you should not make assumptions that can not
be adequately supported by the findings of studies you reviewed.
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D. Implications / Directions for future research
- Discuss any important implications that the conclusion you made about the topic may have on
individuals, families, and/or society such as policy decisions, educational / awareness programs,
prevention, intervention, etc.
- Also briefly discuss any unresolved issues that you feel needs to be addressed in future research.
Such as were there any groups that were not studied that should have been? Other research designs
that might be useful? New research questions to consider that could provide information on other
possible explanations of the issues?
E. Thoughtful Reflection (of topic relevant to current social issues)
- Here you will be doing something a little different than typically found in an academic paper.
Because this assignment is focused on a current social issue, and the course is about social and
personality development, here we would like to see what you learned about yourself, the issue(s) and
how your own social / personality development might have been influenced from doing this
assignment. (1/2 to 1 page for this section).
F. References (page in APA format)
- Every information that was used in your paper that came from a source needs to be included in
your references page (at the end of the paper), so readers are able to follow up with the actual source
of information cited if interested.
- See section on APA Formatting about formatting references.
- For how to format video sources – see links on the paper assignment page.
Attach a copy of the first page of all 2-3 (minimum) primary sources (showing journal, abstract, date
etc) that were used. Do not attach entire articles!!
You don’t need to do this if citing your course textbook.
Last but very important, do not hesitate to meet with instructor and/or TA (ASAP) for help on specific
questions. We don’t have enough time to review everyone’s full draft (that is what the writing center can help
with), so please be sure to have specific questions ready about your topic, approach, or areas you are having
Keep in mind that you need to focus on a few main conceptual points. We recognize there will be much more
to any topic. You want to address the main points with good critical thinking and analysis of the articles. So
ask for help to pinpoint your focus on the topic instead of being too general.
Common Errors to avoid:
- Not demonstrating critical thinking by having too broad of a topic ” make your topic more focused /
- One-sided thinking / evaluation
- Finding sources that only support your idea ” should find sources or aspects of sources that challenge your
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- Don’t assume reader knows the definitions of terminology or understands concepts specific to the topic “
you want to educate the reader and demonstrate your understanding / knowledge. So be sure to define terms
/ explain when appropriate and cite the source of the definitions / explanations. This is where you can show
how sources may or may not agree with each other as well, and argue which of the sources makes a valid
argument or not.
- Not using headings / subheadings for sections in the paper to help organize the paper more clearly (as well
as help you to stay on topic).
- Not using appropriate sources
- Not pointing out flaws / weaknesses of some sources regarding ideas, connections, and/or research methods.
- Did not proof read paper for spelling and grammar. Use Grammarly and/or writing center for help. Two
keys to avoid making errors:
a. don’t procrastinate
b. print out and read out loud to yourself the paper to catch mistakes (don’t rely on spell / grammar
- Not formatting paper as instructed
Additional Resources / Information
I. Conducting a literature search of empirically based sources
The hardest part of any paper is getting relevant article(s) together that fit well to the topic you are
A. Number of sources to use: For the final paper assignment, you will need a minimum of 2-3 primary
references and the videos. Include the textbook as another source. Do note that in general, a good
review paper has more (minimum of 10-15 sources). It depends on assignments and instructors.
B. Primary Sources: The most important sources for your review are referred to as primary sources and
these are scholarly journals that have empirical articles. An empirical article presents an original
study (i.e. has to have introduction, methods, results, and discussion sections).
Primary sources are available at the UC Davis library or its website (online databases, see list of
examples below). You will find sources either in print or online that can be downloaded (pdf files).
Another way to locate primary sources is via Google Scholar (scholar.google.com), which often has
links to pdf files of articles.
Google scholar (www.scholar.google.com) is a useful starting tool. You can type in key words (the
textbook and/or lecture can provide some ideas on these) to get a list for your topic. For example, if
interested in social media and how it influences some aspect of social and/or personality development,
then you would use “social media” and something like “bullying”, “moral development”, etc.
Some psychological websites such as The American Psychological Association (www.apa.org) and
Psychology Today (www.psychologytoday.com) are good ones for looking up “hot topics” that have
If you are logged in or using the campus internet service, you will have an easier time accessing
many links. If you are using an off campus internet, you should log into the campus library
system so that links from the library as well as from Google Scholar gives you campus permission for
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access. Be sure to ask the library about how to access the library from off campus (via VPN) if you
don’t know how as well as how to find sources.
Tip: The literature databases and Google Scholar have links to other papers that cited the article you
may be looking at. These are usually labeled “cited by” and will take you to more recent (current)
papers related to your topic.
Some examples (not all) of journals (i.e. primary sources) that involve research related to social and/or
personality development include:
Applied Developmental Science
Attachment and Development
International Journal of Behavioral
Journal of Adolescent Research
Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology
Journal of Applied Social Psychology
Journal of Early Adolescence
Journal of Family Psychology
Journal of Marriage and Family
Journal of Personality
Journal of Personality and Social Psychology
Journal of Research in Personality
Journal of Youth and Adolescence
Merrill-Palmer Quarterly (Journal of
Personality and Individual Differences
Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin
Personality and Social Psychology Review
Social Behavior and Personality: An International
Social Psychological and Personality Science
Science (has articles in these areas)
When looking for articles, be sure it’s an article that is relevant to the assigned topic. Read the article to
see if it is associated to the points you want to address. Both the online campus library and google
scholar have a link that indicates other articles related to the one you are reviewing or was cited by
other papers. You can click on those links to find more articles on your topic.
There are other journals that have research on social and/or personality related topics. If you find other
journals or websites and are not sure if they are acceptable, bring a copy of the article with the journal
name and/or information about the website to review with the instructor and/or TA.
C. Secondary Sources: These are books, edited books, and book chapters from edited books.
These sources often are topic-based reviews of research in the area and are available at UC Davis
libraries but are generally not available online in a digital format.
Examples of secondary sources in the area of social and/or personality development include:
Bjorklund, D. F., & Pellegrini, A. D. (2010). Evolutionary perspectives on social development. In P.
K. Smith & C. H. Hart (Eds.) Wiley-Blackwell handbook of childhood social development
(2nd ed.). Oxford, UK: Wiley-Blackwell.
Killen, M., & Smetana, J. G. (Eds.) (2006). Handbook of moral development. Mahwah, NJ:
Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Publishers.
Lerner, R. M., & Steinberg, L. (Eds.) (2009). Handbook of adolescent psychology, Vol 2: Contextual
influences on adolescent development (3rd ed.). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons Inc.
Rubin, K. H., Bukowski, W. M., & Laursen, B. (Eds.) (2009). Handbook of peer interactions,
relationships, and groups. Social, emotional, and personality development in context. New
York, NY: Guilford Press.
Note: These sources are formatted in APA style for book (secondary source) type of references.
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D. Using databases and search engines to find sources
The UC Davis Library have databases and search engines to help you with finding relevant primary
and secondary sources. You can ask the library staff to help you use the databases or search engines
if you are unfamiliar with how to use them. The library staff are a excellent resource to get to
know as they can help you find other avenues for sources depending on your topic. They can help
you with getting good sources for your topic.
Examples of databases available through UC Davis library:
ProQuest Psychology Journals
Additional search engines include Google Scholar.
E. When the UC Davis Library does not have the source you need
You may find a source that really looks useful to you but is not available at UC Davis Library or online,
so you may have to request an interlibrary loan. Often there will be a link to allow you to enter a request,
and you will need your student ID to do this.
However, you need to be aware that especially for secondary sources, interlibrary loans may take days to
weeks to process. Sometimes getting a pdf file from another campus may take time, but might happen
more quickly. So starting your literature search EARLY is crucial, and this is why the first part of
any paper assignment is to generate an outline with possible sources for topics / subtopics within your
outline too look for will help you be on track to complete your paper by the due date.
F. Inappropriate and insufficient sources:
Many internet sources are inappropriate and insufficient to use, and you need to avoid them especially
blogs, Wikipedia (not always accurate), newspaper articles, etc. They may give you some ideas for
topics to look into, and you can use them in this way. Some newspaper articles from investigative
journalistic sources (e.g. Associated Press, New York Times, etc) can be used as additional sources for
your paper (but not gossip or tabloid types) but they are not primary sources to use for the paper.
To determine difference between scholarly articles and “popular” articles. Here is an useful resource:
Also, it is important to understand, that using just abstracts (online or in print) without actually reading
the full article, chapter or book is an insufficient source.
II. Tips on APA Formatting
These formatting tips are based on Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 6th
Edition. If you are a psychology or human development major, you should plan having your own copy of
the APA publication manual, or refer to each time when writing papers. (see Canvas for resources)
UC Davis library should have a copy of the most recent edition in the references section for library use
only. Generally, it is not available for check out so plan your time well to refer to it before submitting your
final paper. For more information, visit the APA’s web site: http://www.apastyle.org and review The
Basics of APA style section on this website for a useful introduction.
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A. Title Page (partial page)
B. Body of paper
- Basic formatting
a) The entire paper should be double spaced
b) Use 1 inch margins and 12 point font
- The header for your introductory section should be the exact title of your paper. Since it is a level 1
heading, it should be centered, in boldface and using upper and lower case letters.
- All other levels of headings are presented in the table below recreated from the APA publication
manual (6th ed.) for the appropriate format of different levels of headings.
Level of Heading Format
1 Centered, Boldface, Uppercase and Lowercase Headinga
2 Flush left, Boldface, Uppercase and Lowercase Heading
3 Indented, boldface, lowercase paragraph heading
ending with a period.
4 Indented, boldface, italicized, lowercase paragraph
heading ending with a period.
5 Indented, italicized, lowercase paragraph heading
ending with a period. a
This type of capitalization is also referred to as title case. b
In a lowercase paragraph heading, the first
letter of the first word is uppercase and the remaining words are lowercase.
Prison Inmates Learning Empathy Through Training Animals
University of California, Davis
Running head: PRISON INMATES EMPATHY 1
• Every page must include a header in ALL CAPS and the page number.
• The title / cover page is always page number 1.
• The title / cover page is the only page that have the words “Running head:” as indicated here as part
of the header.
• This header should only be 2-3 words from your title and with a left text alignment. The page
number has a right text alignment.
• On the other pages you don’t include the words “Running head:” and only include the header in all
• Use 12pt font
The title of your paper,
your name and
affiliation should have
double spaced, and in
12pt font. If your title
extends to two lines of
text, make sure it is
also double spaced
Affiliation can be your
college / university and/or
the course in which you are
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- Never include the title of the article, chapters, or book you are citing within the body of your
- Within the text of the paper, parentheses containing the authors’ last names and year of publication
indicate cited text. For example: (Doe & Jones, 2000).
- You can also cite a reference / source by opening a sentence with the authors’ names.
For example: In a study conducted by Doe and Jones (2000)….
a) Note: You don’t use the sign for “and” (the ampersand) when using author’s names to open or
within a sentence. When there are more than one authors, you place the word “and” before the
b) If the citation is within parentheses as in #2 above after the sentence, then you use a “&”
(ampersand) before the last author.
- Here are some specific rules about which authors to include in a citation:
a) The first time a reference is cited within the text, all authors need to be included in the citation
with last names separated by commas. For example: (Erickson, Freud, & Watson, 2000).
b) On subsequent citations, if the reference has three or more authors, then you can simply cite the
last name of the first author followed by “et al.” and the year (Erickson et al., 2000).
c) The only exception to this is if a source has six or more authors. In this case you can cite only
the surname of the first author followed by et al. even when citing the source for the first time.
d) If a source only has 2 authors, then you need to include both surnames every time the source is
cited (see Chapter 6 of the APA publication manual on crediting sources).
E. Reference page
- At the end of your paper, start a new page for the reference list on a new page.
- The word References should appear in uppercase and lowercase letters, centered.
- Format references using a hanging indent (i.e., the first line of each reference is flush left and
subsequent lines are indented)
- All references are double-spaced, 12 point font.
- Alphabetize your list of sources based on the surname of the first author of the source. Never
change the order of authors listed on a source to be alphabetical.
- Refer to chapter 7 of the APA publication manual for several reference examples including journal
article, book chapter, and book references. See template as well.
Additional Source Guides to APA style (see Canvas for resources)
Links to two websites to provide further introductions to APA style that may be helpful as you prepare your
paper are included on canvas for The Purdue OWL in APA and the UC Davis writing center