“Blindsight” as the topic for behaivoral and /or mental phenomenon and “brain trauma” as the topic for the biologicial strategy that is investigated to understand it.

The class project for this course is a written report that addresses the biological study of a specific behavioral or mental phenomenon (normal or pathological) covered in the readings and videos. Please begin by selecting a behavioral or mental phenomenon that interests you, such as language or schizophrenia, and then select a biological strategy for investigating it, such as hormonal or genetic mechanisms, neurotransmitters, drug treatments, or localization of brain processes by imaging. The project will be worth a maximum of 100 points.

Please note that the final exam and final paper together comprise more than 50% of your final grade in this class! It is important to devote an appropriate amount of planning, time, and energy to prepare for these due dates!


To ensure that your topic meets the above requirements before you begin your work, you will submit your proposed paper topic for approval by the end of Week 2. Please see the Paper Topic assignment in Week 2 for some hints and guidelines on how to construct your topic. You should NOT begin working on your paper until your topic has been approved!


Your paper should summarize fundamental issues, questions, and controversies and provide a general overview of your chosen psychological construct focusing on the biological line of investigation you chose. To accomplish this, you will need to use research articles (at least 2 of which should have been published within the last 5 years) to illustrate relevant points. You may use any of a number of electronic databases to find research articles that deal with your topic, including the library and the Internet. Additionally, at least two of your sources must have appeared in a peer-reviewed scientific journal. If you’re not sure, you may wish to consult with me or the library staff to confirm whether a particular journal is peer-reviewed. There is no minimum requirement for the total number of sources used, but a good guideline for a paper of this type would be at least 5 sources. Your paper should be submitted via the assignment folder by the end of Week 7.

While there is no set requirement for similarity scores, you should shoot for a score of less than 40%, as scores above this limit will prompt me to follow up with you to ensure that you have not plagiarized your sources (even inadvertently).
You may revise/submit to the assignment folder multiple times in an effort to improve your similarity score. I will only review/evaluate your last submission.
Other important guidelines for your paper:

In most cases, websites are not acceptable sources. There are a few exceptions, but any website references must be specifically approved by Dr. Wetzell in advance. If you feel that a website source might be such an exception, please email me and we will decide together if it’s truly appropriate. Newspaper or magazine articles are NOT peer-reviewed sources but, along with websites, they can be useful in leading you to the peer-reviewed research article that was their source.
You should avoid simply repeating your sources in summary form, but rather use them within the text of your paper to illustrate important points using your own words.
The main text of your paper should be at least 1,600 words (or about 6 to 8 pages) in length, excluding title page, abstract, and references sections. Please use the word count function of your word processor as a guide. You will not be penalized for going over the word/page count, but please try to avoid lengths of greater than 10 or 11 pages.
The paper must be typed, double-spaced with one-inch margins and 12-point font, and fully formatted/referenced in APA format (see the UMGC Library’s guide to APA formatting or http://www.apa.org for further information). Since this is a literature review assignment, you should treat your paper as if it were only the “Introduction” section of an APA-formatted paper.
Per APA format guidelines, the main text of your paper should be preceded by an abstract (about 100 words) that summarizes the key points in the paper.
You are highly encouraged to submit a draft of your complete or near complete paper to the Effective Writing Center (EWC at http://www.umgc.edu/writingcenter/writingresources/faq.cfm ) for review and comment, prior to the due date of the paper. This should be submitted well in advance of the due date, in order for the EWC to respond and for you to make the necessary corrections. Once you receive feedback from the EWC, you can copy and paste it into a Word Document, then post it in your assignment folder with your project paper by the due date, for your instructor to view as necessary. The EWC can help address questions regarding format, structure, writing style, and appropriateness of references. Traditionally, the students who take advantage of this valuable resource earn the highest grades on this assignment!