Drugs/Disorders Paper Assignment

PSY 101: Disorders or Drugs Writing Assignment

Choose a disorder or a drug to research and write a paper about.

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If you are writing about a disorder, your paper should focus on what the symptoms of the disorder are. You should also try to explain WHY the symptoms you discuss occur. Discussing the causes of the disorder and possible treatments for the disorder are good things to include as well. Make sure you fully explain why the treatments work (or why they think they work). Give details in your paper. For example, don’t just say that the disorder is caused by brain injury, but discuss which brain areas need to be injured and what those areas do.

If you are writing about a drug, your paper should focus on the effects of the drug on the user. You should try to explain WHY these things occur. Odds are, you will need to discuss neurotransmitters and areas of the brain, because most drugs work via a biological process. Make sure you give details in your paper. For example, don’t just say that the drug messes with dopamine levels, but instead how does it change them (increase or decrease) and what behaviors are linked to that change?

Requirements for the Paper:

3-5 pages of text (references page does not count)
5 sources minimum
At least 1 source must be scholarly (journal article or book (textbooks, encyclopedias, and dictionaries are not acceptable)). The other 4 sources can be websites (no wikipedia though).
APA format for citations (internal and references page)
12 pt, times new roman font
Double spaced (BUT don’t put extra spaces between paragraphs!)
No title page
At top of paper, just put your name and the name of what you are writing about

Me: I will review rough drafts and provide feedback via email. You can send me rough drafts anytime up to one week before the paper is due. It will usually take me a few days to respond though, so please be patient.

APA style:

For your references, please use this format:

Journal Article:

Author, A. A., Author, B. B., Author, C. C. & Author, D. D. (Year published). Title of article. Title of Periodical, volume(issue), first-last page numbers. doi when available


Brown, W. H., Pfeiffer, K. A., McIver, K. L., Dowda, M., Addy, C. L., & Pate, R. R. (2009). Social and environmental factors associated with preschoolers’ nonsedentary physical activity. Child Development, 80, 45-58. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8624.2008.01245.x

Jackson, D. (2010). How personal trainers can use self-efficacy theory to enhance exercise behavior in beginning exercisers. Strength and Conditioning Journal, 32(3), 67-71. doi: 10.1519/SSC.0b013e3181d81c10

NSCA Professional Standards & Guidelines Task Force (2009). National Strength and Conditioning Association: Strength and conditioning professional standards and guidelines. Strength and Conditioning Journal, 31(5), 14-38.

Stewart, G. L., Dustin, S. L., Barrick, M. R., & Darnold, T. C. (2008). Exploring the handshake in employment interviews. Journal of Applied Psychology, 93, 1139-1146. doi: 10.1037/0022-9010.93.5.1139

If you accessed it online, AND if the article has no DOI:

After the article page numbers, add URL of its home page <no period>; alternatively,

add the database name <period>.

Note: When citing from an electronic database, use “Retrieved from name of database” for a database that is freely available to anyone. Use “Available from name of database” if the database is by subscription only.

Halfon, N., Mendonca, A., & Berkowitz, G. (1995). Health status of children in foster care:

The experience of the Center for the Vulnerable Child. Archives of Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine, 149, 386-392. Retrieved from http://archpedi.ama- assn.org/cgi/reprint/149/4/386?ijkey=033c55ef53a3a3727524dcaa84b3e9144e71814c

Riewald, S. (2009). Exercise for improved cognitive function in the elderly. Strength and Conditioning Journal, 31(5), 89-90. Available from ProQuest.


Author, A.A. (Year published). Title of Page. Retrieved from URL.

Benaroch, R. (2015). Common sleep disorders in teens. Retrieved from http://teens.webmd.com/common-sleep-disorders-teens?page=3

Tone of Writing and Internal Citations:

This is a research paper, so it should be written with formal language. Don’t use the words I, you, we, our, my, let’s, us or anything else like this. Do not ask questions of your reader. Just present the facts that you have found in a formal way providing your own explanations throughout. Furthermore, in scientific writing, we do not quote information. We paraphrase the information and explain it in our own words. That is what you should do here. I don’t want to see a single quote in your paper. What do you need citations for then? You will cite the information (but not the words). So, after you discuss information from one of your sources, you will put your citation. Format for internal citations should be (author’s last name, year of publication)

If you are citing websites, you might not be able to find specific author’s. So, just cite the website domain and the year it was published. For example: (webmd,2015).

You do not need to cite every sentence. If multiple sentences in a row use information from the same source, just cite the source at the end of that block of sentences. If you use information from different sources throughout a paragraph, you should cite each source as you use that information. The key is that I should be able to figure out which source your information came from as I read the paper.

Options for your “non-website” scholarly source:

Use Google Scholar to find a source. Just type google scholar into a google search and it will come up. Google scholar has a ton of resources out there, way more than any one library. However, only 1/4 articles that you find on Google Scholar will be available completely free. Some of them will only have abstracts available for free and the articles will cost a decent amount. My recommendation is that you do NOT pay for any articles, as there will be enough for free to write a good paper.
NOTE: Having too many articles can be an issue as well. I recommend that you narrow down your search with multiple keywords. So, don’t just search for your topic, but add in something specific about your topic that you wish to search for. This will get you fewer and better results.
Use ProQuest, EBSCO, CINAHL, or PsycArticles from the RHC library. You can access the database through your AccessRIO portal. You won’t have as many articles available in a search through these database compared to Google Scholar, but every article that is there is available for free. Make sure you limit your searches to only include journal articles. No newspapers or magazine articles.
Use a book. Books should be specific to your source. For example a book about schizophrenia is a good source. A book about disorders in general that has a page or a chapter on schizophrenia is not a good source. No encyclopedias, dictionaries, or textbooks are allowed.
Please watch the video that goes along with this assignment as well (link at the bottom of the page). It will give similar information as this document but with added explanation and more details about what kinds of sources you will want to have.

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