Essay Coursework (Psychology)

This essay needs to be in APA Style
Imagine that you attend a seminar on the topic of determinants of purposeful behaviour. The presenter says: “Attitudes always predict behaviours”. Discuss this statement with reference to relevant theories and literature related to material covered in lectures.”
The maximum length of answers is 2000 words (excluding title page and reference list). Your answer should include at least 5 references (you do not need to provide summaries of 5 studies however, it is expected that you summarise any key studies you include). There must be a clear introduction and conclusion in your essay. 
Specific Guidance
The essay title asks you to judge the relationship between attitudes and behaviours in humans. In answering this question, you should draw on examples of attitude and behaviour relationship, and attitude change theories and provide an argument in response to this statement.
Whatever argument you choose (e.g. attitudes always predict behaviours, attitudes do not always predict behaviours, attitudes can predict behaviours in some cases), be sure to support your claims with evidence from research.
Refer to specific examples of research (not anecdote) to support your argument. It is not appropriate to refer to Lectures, magazines, websites, or Wikipedia at University. We expect you to use original primary sources (e.g., peer-reviewed journal articles) or reputable secondary sources (e.g., monographs, textbooks, literature reviews).
Give concise summaries of any key studies you mention and consider the strengths/limitations of the studies you discuss.
Academic essays should be written in a formal style of writing, so avoid contractions (for instance, I’m, it’s, or aren’t) and colloquialisms (for example, ‘awesome’, ‘cool’, ‘pretty good’). Use full sentences and check your essays for spelling and grammar errors. Be sure that you have punctuated your essay appropriately (e.g., correct use of apostrophes). Do not use ampersands (‘&’) in the text body. Ampersands should only be used in parentheses when referencing.
The American Psychological Association (APA) Style guidelines (2020) state that the use of the pronoun ‘I’ is more appropriate than ‘we’ when writing by yourself (without co-authors). Editorial ‘we’ (used to refer to ‘people in general’ rather than a group of authors) should be avoided. There is nothing inherently ‘unscientific’ about using the pronoun ‘I’. Sentences containing ‘I’ are only ‘unscientific’ when they contain personal opinions (which are subjective) (e.g., ‘I believe’, ‘I think’). Personal opinions (unsupported by evidence) have no place in scientific writing. Saying what you are doing or did (an objective fact) is not ‘unscientific’ (e.g., “In this essay I have described a series of studies…”) and is completely appropriate in scientific writing.
Paragraphs should be self-contained in that the reader should be able to understand each paragraph in isolation. Paragraphs should have a clear and identifiable focus, which should be obvious from the first sentence of the paragraph. Paragraphs should contain evidence and/or arguments to substantiate the point that is being presented. Paragraphs should end with a summary sentence that does not claim anything beyond what has been presented in the paragraph.
Presentation Requirements
Essays come in all shapes and sizes, but there are a few things that good academic essays usually have in common: an introduction; a main argument or series of arguments, backed up with appropriate examples and references to other researchers; a conclusion. Your essay should also include a title page and a Reference List. The title page and Reference List are not included in the word count.
Please include a cover sheet with the following details:
Your student ID (please do not add your name to the document)
Your course
Assessment title
Word count
Please number each page in your document. The files should be saved with the letters IP2 followed by your student ID number. For example: IP2_12345678. Files should be submitted as word documents.
Assessment Criteria
You will receive written feedback on Canvas alongside an overall mark. Essays are marked as a coherent piece of work. Marks are not assigned for specific points made. An essay that meets the brief will:
Include a clear introduction paragraph. This should give an overview of the topics/themes/points/arguments that will be made in the essay. It should be obvious from the introduction what the essay will be about and the major points that you will make (such that the reader will not be surprised when reading the rest of the essay).
Demonstrate good coverage and include clear summaries of relevant evidence. You must support each key point you make in your essay with evidence from research. An essay with good coverage includes key studies that support the claims made. For example, to demonstrate a developmental or causal relation between variables, you might include relevant evidence from longitudinal and intervention studies. When citing evidence be sure to include a brief summary of the study you are writing about. Effective summaries include crucial information about key methodological features of the study in question (e.g., the age of the sample, how the dependent variable was measured, whether the approach was qualitative or quantitative, the results) and not just the conclusion drawn by the authors.
Be structured clearly. Your essay should be logically organized with clear paragraphs. You should use each paragraph to make a point in your overall argument.
Include a conclusion paragraph. Your final paragraph should draw conclusions from the evidence you have presented. Good conclusions will suggest specific future directions for research.
Adhere to formal academic writing style guidelines. Your essay should be formatted using American Psychological Association (APA) guidelines. Check your grammar and punctuation.
Your essay will receive a numerical mark based on the School of Psychology marking criteria for essays:
Recommended Resources
The University Library Academic Skills Gateway provides additional support and training in academic writing.
Full details about how to format check your essay is written in APA style can be found in: American Psychological Association (2020). Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (7th Edition). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
If you wish to improve your writing style, one useful and accessible resource is: Pinker, S. (2014). The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person’s Guide to Writing in the 21st Century. London: Penguin
Marking criteria for Foundation Psychology Essays Assessment criteria Essays will be marked against the following criteria: 1. The essay demonstrates evidence of sound knowledge of the topic and makes accurate use of the appropriate terminology. 2. The essay provides evidence of your ability to analyse the subject using psychological principles and ideas. There is evidence of critical thinking providing explanations for why issues raised are of interest/concern. 3. In the essay relevant reading has been used and sources are referenced accurately using APA style. 4. The essay is structured so as to make the argument and discussion clear and coherent. 5. Use of language: the essay is written to a good standard of English with few grammatical errors or spelling mistakes, and it is written in an academic style. The assessor will make an evaluation of the essay along the following criteria. Each class band includes a description of the quality for each criterion; however, the essay will be marked holistically, with one overall grade assigned. Mark 0-39 40-49 50-59 60-69 70-100 Verbal Label No submission Wholly inadequate Inadequate Inadequate with some adequate elements Barely adequate Adequate Adequate with some satisfactory elements Contains many satisfactory elements Satisfactory Satisfactory with some good elements Contains many good elements Good Good with some excellent elements Very good Outstanding Exceptional Virtually perfect Equivalent Degree Class Fail 3rd 2.ii 2.i 1st 1 2.i 2.ii 3 Fail Knowledge and understanding (30%) Shows thorough, up-to-date knowledge and understanding of the topic with evidence of reading beyond the key texts [For 80-100%: As above plus demonstrates exceptional comprehension of topic] Shows evidence of relevant and sound knowledge and understanding of the topic. Shows relevant knowledge of the topic. Shows basic knowledge of the topic. Shows inadequate knowledge of the topic to meet learning outcomes. Analysis (20%) Essay shows a resourceful and imaginative analysis using ideas and principles beyond those introduced in the module. Shows synthesis of ideas from diverse sources. Shows evidence of supported and considered critical Shows evidence of analysis using ideas and principles introduced in the module. Shows evidence of some synthesis of ideas. Shows evidence of critical evaluation; this is specific and clearly explained and (partially) supported. The essay is largely descriptive with some discussion using ideas and principles introduced in the module. Shows limited evidence of critical evaluation; this may be generic (e.g. points like ‘correlations is not causation’). The essay is limited to description and includes frequent unsupported facts and opinions. Critical evaluation, where present, is generic and is not explained. Essay is descriptive and uncritical. Some discussion is irrelevant to the title.
evaluation. Shows independence of thought. [For 80-100%: As above plus sophistication in analysis] Reading and Referencing (20%) Clear evidence of wide and relevant reading. Accurate and consistent use of APA referencing style in text and reference section. [For 80-100%: As above plus essay fully supported by references and relevant up-to-date material.] Essay well informed by reading which goes beyond the key texts. Accurate use of APA style; there may be minor lapses in attention to detail. Effective use of key reading. Accurate use of APA style, there may be lapses in attention to detail.. Appropriate use made of a limited range of reading. Largely accurate use of APA style. There are lapses in attention to detail. Some claims may be in sufficiently supported by evidence. Poor use of reading. Poor or incorrect use of APA style. Essay structure (15%) Clear structure which enhances the argument and discussion. Logical and easy to follow. Introduces the aim of the essay in the opening paragraph. Comes to a justified conclusion with addresses the essay title. [For 80-100%: As above plus particularly enriching structure of arguments.] Structure is clear and supports coherent discussion and argument. Is basically logical, but could be more persuasive in places. Introduces the aim of the essay, but this may be done in a perfunctory manner. Comes of a conclusion which follows from the main points of the essay, but may not be fully justified or may not fully address the essay title. Structure supports the discussion and argument. Is not always logical or clear. The introduction to the essay does not include a clear statement of the aim of the essay. May be ‘formulaic (e.g. ‘Conscientiousness is defined as…’). Comes to a conclusion, but not all aspects of the essay are considered. May introduce new ideas in the conclusion. Links to the essay title may be implicit rather than stated in full. Evidence of structure relevant to the title. Introduction is formulaic and aim of essay is not address. Conclusion is generic or too brief; does not address essay title. Little evidence of planning the essay. Key issues may be omitted. Some repetition. Introduction is missing or not relevant. Conclusion is missing or not relevant. Use of language (15%) Essay displays an excellent use of standard written English. Essay displays a very good standard of written English with all statements clearly expressed. Essay displays a good use of standard written English with few grammatical errors. Written in an appropriately academic style. The work is written to an acceptable standard of English. There may be grammatical errors which affect the comprehensibility of the essay and the piece may need more careful editing. Poor standard of written English, making it difficult to understand the essay. Inappropriate register.

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