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bitesize Offline
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Trying to get my head around History of Psychology essay title... :/ - November 21st 2013, 10:31 PM

Hey, so I'm having a little trouble just getting my head round my History of Psychology essay . This is annoying because essays are usually my forte and I really want to do well in this....

'Critically evaluate the statement that different historical periods have been marked by different psychological understandings.

This is the title and I'm not sure where to start with it or how to lay it out... would I go through the different periods of history and just talk about the different forms of 'psychology' popular at that time...?? or wut... ?? Not even sure how to critically evaluate...
I know obviously I'll need to figure I out myself but if anyone has any experience with college-level Hist Psych or the likes I'd love any tips....!!



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Re: Trying to get my head around History of Psychology essay title... :/ - November 22nd 2013, 03:33 AM

Alright, essay title work! Woot!!

Soz, back to the topic. I'm not an expert on historical psychology, but I have been in tertiary education for *mumblemumblesince2001fullandparttimemumble*.

Alright, let's break this into chunks.

Critically evaluate
There's a really good explanation from here:

Quote:
Give your verdict as to what extent a statement or findings within a piece of research are true, or to what extent you agree with them. Provide evidence taken from a wide range of sources which both agree with and contradict an argument. Come to a final conclusion, basing your decision on what you judge to be the most important factors and justify how you have made your choice.
You can also read a multi-page, rather heavy document on it here.

So that's what critically evaluate means. Let's look at what you are evaluating.

...different historical periods have been marked by different psychological understandings

Ok, so that's the statement that we have to look at. You'll need to find many literature pieces talking about psychological understandings in different 'historical periods' and then do your evaluation.

That's begging the question of what is a psychological understanding and a historical period.

For your essay, I would start by defining the key terms, briefly. Then it's up to you to consider how best to structure, based on your understanding from having read widely across the literature.

The key thing to do as well, is talk to your lecturer/tutor!! They should be more than happy to explain exactly what they want. Look at the criteria for the essay as well, to make sure you will be meeting each criterion.


Feel free to email/PM/VM/whatever me if you want. I'll answer as soon as I can.

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Re: Trying to get my head around History of Psychology essay title... :/ - November 22nd 2013, 10:24 PM

Thanks so so much for taking the time for that reply, I really appreciate it. Still feeling a bit overwhelmed but your response has helped somewhat!!


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Re: Trying to get my head around History of Psychology essay title... :/ - November 23rd 2013, 02:20 AM

Feel free to hit me up for support with finding resources, editing, structuring etc. I won't write it for you :P but I will help you with other stuff.


Feel free to email/PM/VM/whatever me if you want. I'll answer as soon as I can.

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Re: Trying to get my head around History of Psychology essay title... :/ - November 23rd 2013, 04:33 AM

Mahray did a great job of breaking down that essay prompt! =) I never took a course on the history of psychology, but different historical figures were discussed in all of my psychology courses. It might help to start with the big names (I can think of many others off the top of my head, but that's not a bad list to start with) and think about how they influenced their field. When did they make their major contributions? Do you want to write about how they influenced the academic world, or the world as a whole? How many historical periods do you want to talk about? Do you want to focus on a specific issue (ex. how emotional attachment was viewed), or think more generally about psychology/mental health? I second the idea of talking to your professor or TA, as it can be difficult to know how specific or broad they want you to be with that prompt!





   
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Re: Trying to get my head around History of Psychology essay title... :/ - November 23rd 2013, 07:35 PM

Hey there, you should absolutely start with your instructor so they can tell you what they want. A lot of times they will intentionally make a topic broad like this so that people have flexibility to go where they want with it. For me personally, that drove me nuts because I never knew what they wanted! If they give you a rubric definitely look at it. I had a paper once where the directions said " You may use outside sources" and then when I looked at the rubric I realized that she was actually requiring that for full points! Make sure you have enough of the right kinds of sources etc.

When I hear "critically evaluate" I tend to think of it as a question that asks "Do you believe this statement is true, why or why not?" and then provide evidence from sources to defend your view.

I have learned that when you're writing an essay with two possible sides, (either the periods were or were not marked by different psychological understandings), it's best to pick the side you agree with and argue why you think that as opposed to trying to argue both; one reason being page limits, the other being that you want to make a clear point and not argue against yourself. When I did my thesis I was told to only include information that supported my position/thesis question.

I hope that helped, again I would check with your professor before starting so that you know what you're supposed to do.


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