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Learning Assignment

Psychology 101

Jacquelyn Rinaldi, Ph.D.

Spring 2021

The course requires submission of a learning assignment, worth 150 points toward your final grade. No late projects will be graded unless prior arrangements have been made.

Turning it in: Please submit your assignment on Canvas to me by or before 11:59 pm on the due date for your class section. My email address [email protected] Be sure to include your section number on your final project.

APA Style: All writing portions should be written in APA style. Do not include an abstract. Please watch the videos below to give you an understanding of what APA style means. The writing portion will be graded for grammar and spelling, please double check your work.

Professionalism: Your presentation should reflect a sense of professionalism. Think about the package you are presenting. If you are doing a video, consider you background, practice your presentation so it is delivered professionally.

References: You will need three sources no matter which format you choose. Your sources need to be research based, scholarly sources, please ask me if you are unsure about your sources. We have access to many peer-review journals which will give us articles with the latest research from psychology. Here is the link to the APA journal article search. You do not need to pay for any articles. You most likely have access to these articles by using your CSN email address. If you are not able to gain free access to the articles from your CSN email, find the articles you want to use, email me the link, and then I will download them and email them to you.


Choose one of the following three options for your assignment:

1. Research paper: You may research any topic related to psychology that is meaningful for you. You will find a list of topic ideas in a separate word doc. This paper is not an opinion paper or a rant paper. I want to know what you think because of the data you collected or the research you are thinking critically about. Tell me what the experts say and why you agree or disagree.

Final project 4 – 5 pages double spaced, written in APA style. You do not need an abstract.

Page 1 – Title page

Page 2 – Body of paper (Do not do an abstract)

Page 3 – Body of paper (2 body of paper pages is the minimum; you may write more)

Page 4 – Reference Page (at least 3 sources)

2. Conduct and experiment: What question do you have about psychology or behavior? Give a survey and write about your findings (you will need at least 25 survey respondents). Conduct and experiment looking at behavior or conditioning with a pet or a child (case study). You will turn in a report with your Theory (the problem you are going to solve), Hypothesis (what you believe will happen as a result of your experiment), research findings (your research and your method—how you collected the data. How you safeguarded against biases), and your conclusion.

The final project should be 3 – 5 pages double spaced, written in APA style. You do not need an abstract. You may work in groups of two, each group of two will turn in one paper. Please make clear in your report how the workload was equally distributed between both students. (contact me if you would like to work in a group but don’t have an opportunity to find a partner because we do everything on-line. I’ll help you find a person).

Page 1 – Title page

Page 2 – 3 or 4: (it is ok if it’s longer) Use a heading for each section:

Theory: The problem you are going to solve. Looking at significant changes in life since Covid and how that effects people.

Hypothesis: The prediction of what will happen stated as a question. “Why are people becoming more depressed and anxious as we continue with Covid life?” We believe depression and anxiety is on the rise due to ____, _____, and _____.

Research methods: We intent to test this hypothesis by using ______ method to further understand depression and anxiety today. We will ask 25 people to self-report their feelings of depression and anxiety currently against feelings of anxiety and depression pre-covid.

Findings (present your data): We found ____ and ____ to be true. 20 out of 25 people said ____. 15 people said ____. Etc…

Conclusion: From this research we have found _____ to be true.

Include your survey questions or whatever it was you used to collect your data.

3. Video project: You can create a how-to video, an informative video, or a report of current research (educational). You can format it like a short TedTalk, a lecture, or a demonstration of how to do yoga or meditation to reduce stress. I want you to include research in your talk or demonstration. This is important because of _____, as stated by _____ expert.


· How to reduce stress through meditation.

· Why yoga is good for you mind and body.

· The latest findings of hallucinogens to alleviate depression.

· How addiction effects family and loved ones.

You will turn in a written portion that summarizes your findings. The summary must at least one full page, double spaced, APA style. You will also need at least 3 sources. Submit your video by texting it, emailing it, use google drive or similar, or you may upload your video to YouTube and put the you tube link in your summary.

Page 1 – Title page

Page 2 – Summary: What are you teaching us? Your summary should clearly show how the research has brought you to teach the audience what you are teaching. Why is this thing you are teaching us important?

Page 3 – Reference Page (at least 3 sources)

Videos to help you with the American Psychological Association (APA) style.

A thesis statement is very helpful in keeping your paper on a clear researchable track. Please watch this video to further understand what a thesis statement is:

Title Page Sample, no running header needed

Title is Written in Bold

Your Name

College of Southern Nevada

Psychology 101-your section number

Dr. Jacquelyn Rinaldi

Date paper is due


Use at least 3 different sources that either substantiate or oppose your point of view or argument. They can be books, articles, websites, interviews, movies, or documentaries.

You will cite your sources on your Reference page as well as in the body of the paper. In the body of the paper you will use parenthesis after the quote with the authors last name and year their work was published. Your works cited page should also follow the APA format.

Example on citation in the body of your paper: Dr. Rinaldi explains, “Gritt is one of the key factors for becoming a genius” (Rinaldi, 2019, p. 187).

Watch these videos for more detailed instructions on citing sources in APA style:

Page Numbers: Include page numbers in APA style. Start page numbers on the title page and put in the upper right-hand corner of each page.

Running Header: Do not include a running header.

Abstract: Do not include or submit an abstract.

Grading Criteria – You will be graded on the following areas:

Total Points Possible = 150

Focus (score 1-20): The focus is the thesis or main point of your writing. Is it clear? Is the whole project working toward communicating the focus?

Development and Integration of Sources (score 1-20): Development refers to the support you give your focus. Are there enough quotes, paraphrases, examples, inferences, reasoning, opinions, forecasts? Has the writer given a reasonable number of sources to be comprehensive on this subject for this assignment? The assignment calls for 3 references are there 3? How well has the writer paraphrased and quoted?

Background Information (score 1-20): Has the writer from the beginning of the paper introduced the research and cited appropriately (i.e. full name, year of book/article, general goals of research, context for research)?

Do any definitions or histories need to be given before the body of the paper begins?

Audience Adaptation and Quality of Writing (score 1-20): Is the text written for a college-level audience with appropriate vocabulary and length of explanations? Are appropriate materials explained well?

Argument or Presentation of Data/Information (score 1-20): If the writer presents an argument, is it a full one? Does it lack any information? Does the argument follow through to a conclusion? Does it include a rebuttal? Is the rebuttal a fair one? Has the writer respectfully treated the views of all sides?

Organization (score 1-20): Has the writer organized or structured the paper in the way that the discipline suggests? That is if it is a lab report, does it adhere to the proper structure? If an argumentative essay, is it organized to present an argument? Can the reader follow the storyboard?

Mechanics (score 1-15): Mechanics refer to punctuation, spelling, and grammar.

APA Style (score 1-15):

Has the writer followed the APA style guide to reference sources appropriately and format the paper correctly?

The writing center and tools for clarity:

A very useful and helpful resource for you is the writing center, they are here to support you. It is always helpful to have someone else read your paper before you publish it or submitting it for a grade. A fresh and outside perspective offers suggestions for clarity and organization.

You may also choose to ask a friend to read over your paper before you turn it in to look for clarity and grammar errors.

I can also be helpful to read your paper out loud to yourself; you hear errors that are easily missed when we just read it in our heads.

The Writing Center (I am not sure how they are doing things with Covid—you may choose to check that out)


(702) 651-5732

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