When you write this hypothetical magazine/newsletter article, pay particular attention to the following: focus on just one well-defined topic so that your essay has a clear focus; provide a clear and concise explanation of the phenomenon, finding, or idea of your choice and make clear why it is interesting/important (why your readers should care about it); make sure that your paper does not only read like an actual magazine/newsletter article (i.e., it should not read like a textbook chapter) but also look

Published by Jeannie R. Ferrell

Dec 8, 2022


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In this assignment, you are asked to practice communicating what you have learned in this course to a broad audience in a compelling, scientific manner. Specifically, your task is to pick ONE topic or phenomenon covered in Module 2 or 3 (i.e., the lectures given between 09/20 and 11/15) and write a brief article about it for a hypothetical magazine or newsletter to be read by a general audience not familiar with cognitive psychology (e.g., your parents, your friends). Although it is entirely up to you to decide which specific phenomenon, finding, or idea you focus on, make sure that you pick something you find interesting and/or important (i.e., something you feel like telling your parents/friends about). When you write this hypothetical magazine/newsletter article, pay particular attention to the following: Focus on just ONE well-defined topic so that your essay has a clear focus; Provide a clear and concise explanation of the phenomenon, finding, or idea of your choice AND make clear why it is interesting/important (why your readers should care about it); Make sure that your paper does not only read like an actual magazine/newsletter article (i.e., it should NOT read like a textbook chapter) but also looks like one (e.g., include a picture or two, use proper formatting for your piece); and, At the same time, discuss some relevant scientific evidence to give credibility to your article and help your audience gain new and important scientific knowledge. Format Your article should be between 750 and 900 words in length. To help make the evaluation of your short papers easier, you should use either 11-point or 12-point font with 1-inch margins for all sides. Also, just like an article you actually write, please use SINGLE-SPACING for your magazine or newsletter article. Clarity & Readability (10 points) Your hypothetical magazine/newsletter article is well-written, well-organized/structured, and is highly readable. Your thoughts should be written clearly and concisely, and any technical terms you introduce should be clearly explained (or, better yet, avoid using technical terms as much as possible). Good grammar and spelling. 2. Accuracy & Effective Use of Scientific Evidence (10 points) Although the piece you will be writing should be accessible to a broad audience, the main points you make in the piece should be backed up by relevant scientific evidence. Moreover, your descriiption of some scientific evidence should be not only readable but also accurate. 3. Substance & Depth (10 points) What you say in your article should go beyond a shallow summary of what was covered in the lectures and/or assigned readings and, as a whole, should provide a substantial amount of interesting and important scientific information to the target audience of your article. Your article should have a clear focus with an emphasis on depth; don’t include information or topics that aren’t directly relevant. 4. Originality (10 points) Your hypothetical magazine/newsletter article should be thoughtful and creative. Your article should be unique and say something that stands out from other submissions (this starts with what topic you choose for this assignment). Make your piece as interesting and as engaging as possible (e.g., start the piece by describing a gripping illustrative example of everyday relevance or by posing your target audience a really intriguing question). 5. Appropriateness of the Article Length (5 points) The length of your piece should be at least 750 words and should not exceed the 900-word limit. If it is too long or, more likely, too short, some points will have to be deducted. 6. Looking and Reading Like an Actual Magazine/Newsletter Article (5 points) Your piece should read like an actual magazine or newsletter article (rather than a textbook article or a textbook chapter with many citations and a fair amount of technical jargons and descriiptions). Moreover, your piece is formatted in such a way that it actually looks like a real magazine/newsletter article (e.g., using columns, inserting pictures). AVOID online search: You should be able to complete this paper assignment on the basis of what you have learned from the relevant lectures and the assigned readings (it is also perfectly fine for you to refer to any videos made available on Canvas, however). Avoid any outside (internet) research. This is especially important for this assignment, because, if you rely on internet search for the writing of your piece, then we will NOT be able to properly evaluate the originality and creativity of your piece. No magazine/newsletter articles are double-spaced. Also, avoid putting study author names in parentheses like this (Jacoby, 1983) in your piece (you don’t see such citations in a magazine article). Avoid using technical jargon as much as possible; instead, just explain concepts in simple terms. If you need/want to introduce a technical term (e.g., implicit memory), then make sure to explain what it means in a way that helps readers’ comprehension (e.g., “Implicit memory is a type of memory you might not have heard before, but it has some profound influences on your behavior. It is about some previous experiences of yours affecting your thoughts and behaviors, even though you are not totally aware of having such experiences before. In other words, it is an “unconscious” form of memory.”). Writing a well-crafted introductory paragraph that grabs the reader’s attention and nicely sets up the main theme of your piece (e.g., posing some intriguing question to the reader, describing a gripping news story or real-life event directly relevant to the main topic of your piece).


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