Writing in the Discipline

Department of Psychology

 

Programs involved: 

·        BA in Psychology

·        BS in Chemical Dependency and Addiction Studies (CDAS)

 

Because the discipline of Psychology is a science, the peer-reviewed journal article plays a major role in transmitting advancements in knowledge of human behavior.  The Psychology department currently has two courses in which writing is taught and proposes that they be designated as fulfilling the Writing in the Discipline Courses: 

·        PSYC 221 Research Methods I  (taken by all majors)

·        PSYC 473-477  Research Methods III Labs (students select one from a list)

 

Psychology and CDAS majors will be required to take both courses to fulfill this requirement.  The rationale for both courses is:

 

In PSYC 221 (Research Methods I), students learn the basics of APA formatting style and have writing assignments.  The department does not require a specific writing task in this course; rather the types of assignments are left to the instructor’s discretion.  Examples of assignments include summarizing and critiquing journal articles, describing results of literature searches, or learning how to write hypotheses.  To enhance student learning, it is recommended that the instructor either (a) utilize multiple, brief writing assignments or (b) offer students an opportunity to revise single, longer assignments such as a more traditional term paper.  Either approach will allow students to receive feedback and to improve their writing.

 

PSYC 473-477 (Research Methods III) builds on the prior course by having students plan a study, collect and analyze data, and write a report in the form of a professional journal article using APA style.  These activities are mandatory across all sections of the course.  To enhance student learning, it is recommended that instructors of the course offer students opportunities to revise and resubmit the report based on feedback, although the number of allowable drafts is left to the instructor’s discretion.

 

The department is currently developing an assessment plan that will assess content and writing style, and that can be used across all sections of these courses. 

 

Approved by the Committee on General Education

April 13, 2012