The theory paper will serve as
an open-book take-home midterm covering the theoretical perspectives discussed
during the first section of class (the material covered prior to spring
break). However, it is unlike an exam in that it will be necessary to do
some library work (i.e., literature searches, reading articles), and will
require original thought in the synthesis of information (rather than simply
recalling and re-hashing information presented in class and your texts).
The paper asks students to (1)
describe evolutionary, attachment, and interdependence theories, (2)
explain the key differences between these theories, (3) find similarities
in these perspectives and build a case to show how these theories can
be integrated into a "macrotheory" of relationships. This third component
of the paper is the most important, and will require students to think
integratively and along broad psychological themes (e.g., [un]conscious
motivations; temporal orientation; the importance of emotions; goals and
needs; cognition in relationships, etc.). Basically-- this is the question
you'll be addressing: "We've been discussing Evolutionary, Attachment,
and Interdependence perspectives as distinct theories in this class so
far. How can they be integrated into a unified "Theory of Relationship
Processes", rather than being viewed separately?"
From this description it should be
apparent that this is a massive undertaking-- this is not a paper that
can be "whipped out" in one evening or "all-nighter." It will take time
for the ideas to germinate, and a thoughtful and well organized analysis
addressing all of the relevant points will most likely require, at minimum,
15 or more (double spaced) pages of text (plus references).
>> Due October 27th <<
(bring your paper to class that day; those papers not handed in during class that day will be considered late)
Some hints about structuring your
Although I don't like to put page
limits/requirements on papers, below are some rough guidelines to help
you think about organizing your paper. These guidelines are very flexible--
a paper deviating from this format may still be excellent, and simply
adhering to this structure does not insure a paper will be satisfactory:
- Introductory section-- ~1-2 pages.
- In section 1 (describe each theory),
spend ~2-3 pages on your description of each theory (~6-9 pages
Section 2 (differences between these
theories) will probably be ~2-4 pages.
- The integrative section of the paper (section
3) should probably be ~5-7 pages. This section is the most important
portion of the paper
- Concluding section-- ~1-2 pages.
Use headings/section breaks liberally
to organize your text.
- Throughout the text of your paper,
you will be citing other sources (in APA style).
You may cite any of the readings for
this class that are appropriate.
- In addition, you will be citing
outside sources that you find relevant. At minimum, find, read, and
include 8 outside sources other than class readings (although it is very likely you will
include more than eight). This means that you have to include some additional
information from other papers you gather. You'll likely have to use
(click here to go to PsycInfo) to do a search for additional materials.
In addition, papers that have been cited in your class readings may
make appropriate outside sources.
Outside sources will most likely consist
of empirical journal articles, review articles, or chapters from books.
The TriCo library system should have
a lot of the material you need, but it is possible that you may choose
to use interlibrary loan (ILL) to get papers that are not in the TriCo
holdings. Plan ahead and request ILL items early.
In addition, there's a chance I may
have some of the papers you're looking for. Let me know if you're having
a difficult time tracking something down, and I'll see what I can do.
Be sure to include a references
section at the end of your paper. This is a listing of all the papers or
chapters you cite throughout the text of your paper. Your references
should be in APA style-- see the APA Style manual or see me if you have questions about APA style.
Remember to spell and/or grammar check
your text, and proofread your paper. Readability and writing style will
be considered in grading.
Please feel free to ask questions. Although
I won't look over drafts of your paper or give specific comments or feedback
on your work, you can talk to me about the general approach you're taking
to make sure you're on the right track.
This is not a collaborative paper. Please
do your own literature searches, and make sure your work is your own.