For this assignment, students will do the following: (1) develop a thesis and (2) support their
thesis with personality psychology literature.
Part 1 The Thesis
A thesis statement is an argument or a claim. The claim could be an opinion, an evaluation, or a
cause-and-effect statement. To write a strong thesis (i.e., to earn full credit for this part of the
assignment), students must do the following:
Your first paragraph should include a statement of the phenomenon you are interested in.
Next, write a thesis statement in the form of a declarative sentence. The thesis statement
should clearly and concisely state the main point that the student is trying to make. A bit more
on the thesis statement: Make sure that it…
… establishes focus that clearly directs the body of the essay.
… is narrow and refined, and that each point raised can be explored thoroughly in the essay.
There are no exceedingly broad generalizations that confuse the topic at hand.
… is an idea that is both supportable and arguable. It avoids clichés, obvious observations,
and universally recognized truths.
Part 2 The Literature
Next, students will persuade the reader that the thesis statement is true by supporting it with
personality psychology literature. Using PsycINFO, students must use four (4), peerreviewed,
research articles to support their thesis statement. In particular, students’ thesis
statements must have four (4) strong points (i.e., one point per research article) that directly
support their argument or stance. In one (1) paragraph per research article, students must list
the following for each article that they discuss:
01. Describe the researchers’ sample (i.e., Who were the research participants and how many
participants were there? What age, race, and gender were they?).
02. How did the researchers conduct the study (briefly describe the method, materials and
03. What did the researchers find? What were their most important results? Describe this in
basic terms— summarize the results in such a way that your friends and family members
would understand what the researchers found.
04. Indicate how the finding supports the thesis statement. Be sure to write- as clearly as
possible- how the article’s finding supports the thesis statement.
This is very important: Each article must be cited in the body of the text and listed as a
full APA reference in the reference section of your paper.
Part 2 (continued) The Literature
05. At the end of the section, there should be a concluding paragraph that briefly highlights all
of the findings that support your thesis statement and a final, summative point about how
this research supports your thesis statement, taking everything together.
All papers must follow the 6
th edition of APA style. They should be double-spaced and typed in
a normal font (e.g., 12 pt. Times New Roman or 11 pt. Arial) with 1-inch margins. Your papers
should adhere to an essay format (i.e., do not number each item as listed in the instructions—
list them in paragraph form) and should include an introduction and conclusion. All work must
be in your own words – you must not copy or use any quotations from any other sources. The
goals of the paper can usually be accomplished in 5 double-spaced pages (between 1000 –
1500 words) of text, not including the title page and references. Moreover, your paper must be
formal (i.e., no slang) and will also be evaluated on the correct use of spelling, grammar,
punctuation, etc. Please use your computer’s spell-checker, and staple your paper before you
hand it in.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
01. What should my thesis statement be about?
Your thesis statement should be about something that is within the scope of personality
psychology. Therefore, a thesis statement like, “Marijuana is no more harmful than
alcohol” would be inappropriate for this paper because that is not a personality topic. But
a statement like, “Marijuana use (or substance use) is associated with individual
differences in personality” is a personality psychology question that could be examined.
02. How do I go about making a good thesis statement?
Here are a few helpful ways to get started: Browsing among books and journals in the
library, consider something said in lectures, the course textbook or readings that struck
you as worth pursuing further, something from everyday life (you may have a question
arising from some experiences or personal observations), or something from national or
local news headlines (for example, something from www.cnn.com or www.nytimes.com).
03. What journal articles are acceptable for use with this assignment?
Any peer-reviewed article from PsycINFO is fine, as long as they support your thesis and
they deal with personality. I’ve listed a number of personality psychology journals below.
If your articles come from these journals, then they are completely fine:
European Journal of Personality
Journal of Personality
Journal of Personality and Social Psychology
Journal of Personality Assessment
Journal of Personality Disorders
Journal of Research in Personality
Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin
Personality and Social Psychology Review
Social Psychological and Personality Science
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