WRITING IN PSYCHOLOGY
MWF | 11:30-12:20 | CMU B006
Course Instructor: Meri Bauer, MA, MPA
Office: Padelford B-12
Office Hours: Mondays/Fridays 10:30-11:20 am or by appointment
Writing Link: Psychology 101F | M-F 12:30-1:20 | KNE 120 | Dr. Jacqueline E. Pickrell
Welcome to English 198, a writing course loosely linked to Psychology 101. Linked writing courses offer a writing-intensive, peer-oriented environment in which to begin reading and writing within the disciplines represented by large lecture courses. In this particular link, we’ll focus on understanding psychology as an academic discipline while also practicing the skills needed for successful writing at the university.
You are the primary “link” with the lecture course, and our writing assignments and discussions will presume that you are keeping up with the psychology readings and lectures. The writing link is not designed to reinforce the broad range of information introduced in your psychology lecture. Instead, its purpose is to give you a sense of how knowledge in the field of psychology is advanced by means of written exchanges in scholarly journals (e.g. research articles) and to give you some practice writing in, and about, the context of the discipline. Writing well, in college and beyond, requires the ability to “read” a context and use discernment to figure out and follow the tacit rules of that context. To help you develop your ability to read the context of psychology, you will complete three writing assignment sequences in the course. These sequences are designed with these broad goals in mind:
- To prompt you to consider audience, context, and purpose each time you begin a writing task;
- To familiarize you with the conventions of writing for psychology; to shed light on how writing in the discipline of psychology is different both from popular writing about psychology and from writing in other disciplines;
- To help you develop critical reading skills; to give you practice reading and re-reading research articles in order to understand them well enough to write clearly and persuasively about them; and
- To give you practice with the type of writing you will be asked to do in future psychology or other science-oriented classes, as well as the university in general.
Details regarding our three assignment sequences will be discussed as the class progresses.
- All course materials for your Psychology 101 lecture course.
- Course readings for ENG 198 (available via Canvas).
- Diana Hacker’s A Pocket Style Manual, available at the University Bookstore.
- Approximately $25 for photocopies and printing. (This figure is only a rough estimate.)
Course Methods and Theme:
English 198 uses a workshop model emphasizing both independent work and close collaboration with instructors and peers at every stage in the processes of reading and writing. The goal is the development of your critical reading practices and written analysis of psychology-related texts. You will engage in peer review throughout the quarter, providing thoughtful and specific feedback on each others’ works-in-progress. We will also hold conferences for each major writing assignment to discuss your drafts and strategies for revision. This collaborative work is crucial to this course and to your capacity to reflect on and improve your writing. I will not accept any major paper that has not been peer reviewed, conferenced, and mindfully revised.
As the backdrop for this method, this course will focus on the thematic topic of the autism spectrum, a hot-button subject in contemporary psychology in both popular and scientific writing. This topic will provide the basis for our reading and writing assignments and the entry point for exploring the realm of psychology. Through our in-depth study of the autism spectrum we will seek to understand current modes of thought and research in the discipline, and learn how to develop and begin to answer questions that matter in real life.