356 Term Paper Transparent Assignment Rationale
Purpose and Skills to be Developed:
The purpose of the term paper is to provide you with an opportunity to
1. Observe the tremendous variety of scientific lines of inquiry currently in the field of the psychology of human sexuality.
2. Explore one of these lines of inquiry more deeply, based upon your own interests, not mine. Any topic related to any of our semester subjects will be acceptable. You can choose any topic you’re curious about in human sexuality including the thoughts, feelings, and behavior of the sexuality, reproduction or another aspect of our humanity, the methodology of sexology, gender, anatomy, physiology, arousal and response, love, and communication, behavior patterns, sexual orientations, LGBTQI+ matters, contraception, conception and childbirth, sexual development across the lifespan, sexual difficulties and solutions, sexually transmitted diseases, atypical sexual behavior, kink and kink culture, sexual coercion, and pornography and prostitution rape and sexual coercion, human trafficking, cultural or international issues, sexuality human rights and dignity, current events/issues, historical issues, technology, and sex, etc. Nearly anything you can think of will be relatable to one of these areas of human experience.
3. Gain first-hand exposure to the wide variety of science related to sexuality.
4. Deep dive into a topic you are curious about, that we only skim over in class.
5. Approach our 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Learning Outcomes for this class:
a. Students will be able to appraise the various thoughts, feelings and behaviors that may lead to responsible and intelligent choices based on personal needs, desires, and values rather than on elements like guilt, fear, pressure, or ignorance. Depending on the topic you choose, you may find the opportunity here to be profoundly influential in your own life, or in how you interact with the world around you. Science is the standard. Using science to explore sexuality can make us more confident, better informed and more responsible citizens when it comes to sexuality, morality and community.
b. Students will be able to discuss the implications of sexual, emotional and relational wellbeing versus sexual, emotional and relational risk-taking. Your term paper may have the opportunity to evaluate risk-taking versus wellbeing, in any one of a number of topics having to do with personal, physical, cultural, behavioral or relational topics.
c. Students will be able to judge for themselves their desired values related to their own sexuality, emotional connections/relationships and behaviors. Your learning from the current research in sexuality will help you make better-informed decisions not only related to your own life, but in what you stand for (or don’t), and how you interact with others, participate in society and engage in human relationships (not just romantic relationships, but ALL relationships).
6. You will gain exposure to peer-reviewed literature (a foundation of ANY science), and practice reading and applying it to something that interests you. Disciplines/fields that use peer-reviewed literature include (and this is just a sampling!): agriculture, food and natural resources, arts, media and entertainment, automotive, construction and design, business and computer science, English and language studies, health and human services, sciences, math and engineering, and all social and behavioral sciences. For each of the peer-reviewed journal articles you find for your topic, you will:
d. Widen your understanding of the psychology of sexuality and related science
e. Understand more and more of the academic papers you read. The first time you read one you’ll understand probably 10-15%, the second time, 15-20%, third time, 30-40%, etc. You probably will not get to the point where you understand peer-reviewed journal articles 100% until late graduate school or your Doctorate program. THIS IS NORMAL!
f. Learn more of the language and terminology in sexology.
g. Appreciate that nearly everything you are curious about has a scientific line of inquiry to inform you and that most lines of inquiry need more study. Hopefully some day you will contribute to the body of knowledge in psychology. This paper has the potential to be a gateway into your later scientific inquiries.
1. Read all of the documents I have provided on the Assignment page in Canvas.
2. Make a library-research appointment if this is one of your first “research” type assignments.
3. Look through your textbook, the chapters, subheadings, and critical thinking questions in the margins, find one or more of them that strike your fancy.
4. Develop your topic more fully by considering how you want to narrow it.
a. The best way to do this is to name your primary topic, for the sake of argument, let’s say our first thought about a topic is “masturbation.”
b. Next, doing some research and reading, define a couple of other dimensions, additions or facets to this topic you are also curious about. Let’s say, “gender” and “benefits.”
c. This is how they would overlay for this particular paper:
d. YOUR thesis is the very center, dark orange area. This is where you connect what you’ve learned from your research together into one conclusion. The rest of your paper will be in showcasing your research on the three topics under review. Read 2-3 journal articles for each circle. Where they overlap is what you will write about in your conclusion. You will put all of them in your reference section and should have a minimum of 5 if you follow these guidelines well, in addition to other sources like Wikipedia, and all the other sources you use to learn about the topic.
5. Select 2-3 journal articles on “masturbation,” 2-3 on “gender and masturbation,” and 2-3 on “benefits of masturbation.” Each article you look at needs to appear in your References section. The library website makes this very easy: click “cite” and cut and paste the APA citation into your Reference page. Do this as you conduct your research, do not wait to do all your citations at the end!
6. In an introduction paragraph, explain what your paper is about. Write this last, even after you’ve written your conclusion.
7. In 1-2 pages, report on your “masturbation” topic, another 1-2 pages on your “gender” findings, and 1-2 pages on your “benefits” findings.
a. Focusing on the abstract, method, findings or discussion sections, discover what the authors say about their findings.
b. In one to two pages for each individual topic (for a total of 3-6 pages), explain those findings and share your critical thoughts about the topic, the findings in the article and ideas about other things to consider. This will be the body of your paper.
8. In about 1 page or less, write your conclusion. This conclusion should introduce your own synthesis of the three subjects you covered in your research. What have you noticed about how these areas relate to one another? Your own conclusion could be a novel idea, or one you encountered in your research
9. Write your introduction paragraph.
10. All of this work to this point should equal somewhere between 5 and 7 written pages.
11. Add your title page and ensure all your references are accounted for, in APA style, and every idea you got from a source has an in-text citation.
12. Avoid using more than one quotation per page. Show that you understand what you’ve read by synthesizing your research into your own words. Use direct quotations only when the author said something you simply cannot say better in your own way. ALL ideas you gained from your research, whether “quoted” or not, should have a citation (Dobson, 2022).
a. Excellent work: 5-7 written pages thoroughly cover 2 or 3 related dimensions of the topic/s under study and each topic references 1-3 scholarly sources, in addition to whatever basic resources you used to understand the topics, such as Wikipedia, your textbook, etc. Sources are peer-reviewed, scholarly work and are cited consistently throughout the paper. Direct quotations from sources appear fewer than one per page. There is a robust introduction paragraph, clear organization and a thorough conclusion that synthesizes the research presented in the paper.
b. Adequate work: Two or three overlapping topics are presented with some scholarly research, with a heavy reliance on the textbook alone and other basic resources. An introduction and conclusion are present.
c. Poor work: Fewer than 4 pages are used to touch on some related topics and only one or two scholarly, peer-reviewed resources are presented. Or the scholarly resources were inaccurately used or there is an over-reliance on quotations from other sources.
13. Invite a peer to “grade” your paper using the Scoring Rubric.
a. Excellent work: 1 – 2 peers “grade” the paper using the attached Scoring Rubric. Student visits Research Librarian, tutoring lab, or writing lab if their American English is developing, or they have not written many research papers.
b. Adequate work: student proof-reads their own paper.
c. Poor work: student writes a paper in one sitting, “proofreads” by scanning looking for egregious errors, or does not proofread the paper at all. The student starts this process too late and hurries through leaving little time to grow from the feedback.
14. Revise your paper based on peer and professional feedback
15. Upload your paper to the Canvas assignment page.
Criteria for Success:
An “A” paper will
1. Be 5-7 pages of text and not more than 9.
a. Have 1-2 pages presenting two or three related subjects each and a introduction and conclusion.
b. The scholarly journal articles used are listed in the References page in APA style and are properly cited in the text.
2. Direct quotations from any source, including journal articles are used very sparingly or not at all, and all ideas from any source are properly cited in the text. For example (Dobson, 2021).
3. There is no plagiarism and all ideas are sourced accurately. A TurnItIn similarity score is under 15%. You can run this report yourself when you submit the paper on the assignment page. You may remove older versions of your paper and upload newer versions as many times as you like before the due date if you are unsatisfied with your similarity score. Any paper with over 50% similarity score will likely receive a failing grade and any plagiarism will be reported to the college academic standards committee.
4. Have 1-inch margins, use 12-point Times New Roman font, double spaced, and NO additional formatting.
5. Have a title page, formatted in APA style with title, student name, semester, professor, class, and college centered horizontally and vertically and double spaced.
6. Use good grammar, spelling, punctuation, sentence construction and paragraphing. Student will have used an academic tone of voice.