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What is a News Reflection Paper?


News Reflection Paper Guidelines General Psychology (PSY 101) Fall 2018 Read and follow these guidelines carefully! See me if you have any questions about this assignment. General Information Your News Reflection Paper (NRP) and your news article are due by the beginning of class time . Both your paper and your news article must be submitted to the News Reflection Paper assignment link in Canvas. If you only have a paper copy of your news article, please submit the article in class. What is a News Reflection Paper? In your paper, you should find a current news article (published since August 2018) and analyze how the news event relates to specific concepts in psychology (covered in your textbook). Write approximately three double-spaced pages in which you do the following:

1) Specify the source information (title, author, newspaper or news magazine, date of publication) for your news article and summarize the content of the article;

2) Specify at least two fields of psychology that your article content falls into and explain why it relates to these fields. In your explanation, be sure to describe the focus of your two selected fields in general and use specific content from the new article to illustrate the connection.

3) Explain in detail how your news event connects to at least THREE distinct course concepts, theories, or research findings (you must use your textbook for these connections). Be sure that you make your connections to specific—rather than more general—course concepts. For example, conditioning is a general concept, operant conditioning is more specific, and negative reinforcement is even more specific. The more specific you make your course concept connections, the better. Also be sure to provide the page number from the text for the course concepts you use in your paper.

4) Explain why the topic you selected is interesting to you and important in general. How you organize this information in your paper is up to you, but keep in mind that this is a more formal writing assignment than the homework. Part of your grade will be based on your writing clarity, grammar, and organization (which was not the case in your homework grades). What is an appropriate news article?

• Your news article should be current (something reported since August 2018). • Your news article should be from a reputable print (or online) news source. By reputable, I mean

sources such as The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, or other major newspapers or news magazines. Popular magazines (like Vogue and Essence) and tabloids (like The National Inquirer) are NOT acceptable sources.

• Your article must be from a news source and NOT from an academic journal (such as The Journal of Psychology or The Journal of Personality and Social Psychology). Also note that popular magazines about psychology (such as Psychology Today) are NOT acceptable sources.

• I strongly recommend that you begin searching for your news article right away and that you show it to me for approval before you turn in your paper. You will lose a significant number of points if you analyze an article that is not appropriate for this assignment.

Searching for Appropriate News Articles In your search for an appropriate news article, you may wish to explore Newspaper Source Plus, an online database that can be accessed via the MU Library website. To access Newspaper Source Plus:

• Go to the MU Library main page (http://www.marymount.edu/Academics/Library-Learning- Services).

• Under Quick Links, select Articles & Databases. • Select the News/Current Events tab and then select Newspaper Source Plus. • If you are off-campus, you will be prompted to login with your MU username and password. • Be sure that the Advanced Search tab is selected. • Enter the psychology search term(s) that interest you (e.g., anxiety, amnesia, gender stereotypes,

aggression, etc.) in the search boxes at the top. • In the Search Options – Limit Your Results – Publication Date section, enter the relevant dates

(August 2018 – present). • Click Search to obtain your results. • Feel free to explore other ways of searching Newspaper Source Plus or other news databases such

as LexisNexis Academic. • See me for help with your searching if you need it.

Other good online sources include:

• Chicago Tribune (https://www.chicagotribune.com) • The Los Angeles Times (http://www.latimes.com) • The New York Times (http://www.nytimes.com/) • The Wall Street Journal (https://www.wsj.com) • The Washington Post (https://www.washingtonpost.com/)

Grading The News Reflection Paper is worth 50 points, to be distributed as follows:

Summary of News Event (+ Source Info) 5 points Connection to Course Concepts 30 points Importance of Topic/Personal Interest 5 points Clarity/Grammar/Organization 10 points Total 50 points

Note that late papers will be accepted within one week of the original due date, but the late penalty will be applied (see syllabus).

Avoiding Plagiarism Pay careful attention to this information—it is important! You must avoid ALL forms of plagiarism in your News Reflection Paper. It is essential that you summarize the information from your news article and textbook without plagiarizing. Even if you are taking definitions from your textbook, it is not OK to use them word-for-word without quotation marks. What is plagiarism? There are many forms of plagiarism, which range from intentionally using someone else’s work as your own to borrowing ideas, wording, and sentence structure from a source without proper attribution. The information here focuses on this latter type of plagiarism. As a general rule, to avoid this type plagiarism, you should never include any exact phrase from your sources that is five or more words in length without quotation marks and you should use your own sentence structure. Examples of this type of plagiarism include: • copying word-for-word without quotation marks. • leaving out occasional words to avoid word-for word copying. • substituting different words in a passage, leaving the sentence structure largely intact. • changing only the voice, tense, person of the original text. • rearranging phrases both within and across sentences (leaving the phrases intact). For information that you are using from your news article and your textbook, either quote it directly (put it in quotation marks) or paraphrase it properly (use your own wording and sentence structure). Quoted material should also be accompanied by a page number (or paragraph number if a page number is not available).


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