PSY 120 - Dr. DeFonso
General Education Assignments/Extra Credit

As part of the General Education Linguistic Foundation requirement, students are expected to do TWO writing assignments from the list at the bottom of this page. Each assignment is worth 4 points, for a total of 8 points.

Note that these are required, not extra credit projects. This means that the 8 points for these projects will be part of the total required points for the course. If you do not do these assignments, it will be like getting a 0 on an 8-point quiz. You may be surprised to find that these 8 points may make a difference in your final grade.

ALSO - you may earn extra credit points (over and above the 8 required points), either by doing extra assignments from the list, or by completing other extra-credit opportunities (you will get more information about these later.) Regardless of what you choose, you can only earn a TOTAL of 16 extra credit points in this course.

For the Gen.Ed. assignments, you do not have to do different types of projects from the list; e.g. you may choose #7 (or any number) for all of the projects. The specific topics, of course, must be different for the 2 required papers and any extra papers you choose to do.

In each case, you should:
  1. briefly summarize the article/ film/ TV show, etc.
  2. tell how the article/ film/ TV show, etc. relates to psychology (just in a general way)
  3. give your reaction, evaluation, or opinion on the article/ show you have chosen

Your papers should be typed, double-spaced, with a 1-inch margin all around. They should be two full pages long. Shorter papers will NOT earn the full 4 points. Also, don't try to pump up your paper by using a huge font size. 12-point Times New Roman is a good choice.

The papers should be in your own words. Please remember that you should give an opinion or reaction, not just summarize what you have read or seen. In other words, I am interested in what you think about what you have seen/ read.

If your paper is not acceptable for any reason, or not worth 4 points, I will give it back to you with instructions on how to fix it so you get your 4 points.


Gen. Ed. #1 - Friday, September 22, 5:00 PM, NF 388 - or bring it to class before this date.

Gen. Ed. #2 - Friday, November 10, 5:00 PM, NF 388 - or bring it to class before this date.

Extra Credit - Friday, December 15, 5:00 PM, NF 388 - or bring it to class before this date.

These due dates are the LAST day I will accept these projects. However, I will certainly accept them early, and in fact I encourage you to hand them in early.

List of General Education/Extra Credit Projects

  1. Attend a lecture related to some aspect of psychology, on or off campus, and write a report on it, including your reaction or opinion on it. The Psychology Club sometimes schedules talks by Psychology professors on their research or other topics.

  2. Watch a TV show or documentary related to some aspect of psychology and write a report on it. Various public television programs, the Learning and Discovery channels, etc. often feature psychological topics. Movies, TV dramas, or even sitcoms featuring some aspect of behavior or other topic relevant to this course are also acceptable. Remember to include your reaction or opinion on the program. You may also use a film or video shown in class for this option.

  3. Bring in an article from a newspaper or magazine on some relevant topic, along with a written summary of the article and your reaction or opinion on it. The article should be at least one page long (i.e. not just a little clipping). NOTE: If the article is a long one, or for some reason you cannot bring in a copy, please tell exactly where you got the article, who wrote it, etc. Internet sources are also acceptable.

  4. You may also do the same thing with a psychology journal article or research report. In this case, you do NOT need to bring a copy of the whole article, but please make a copy of the title page and abstract. Also, give the complete reference (author, name of journal, issue, date, etc.), unless this is already on the title page.

  5. Write a brief summary of some current event, issue, or topic related to psychology, along with your reaction or opinion of it. Indicate clearly how the event or issue relates to psychology (in a general way).

  6. Write up a research proposal on a topic related to psychology, identifying the independent and dependent variable(s), and using operational definitions. Make sure you include a hypothesis.

  7. As you reflect on "What I learned in Intro. Psych. today/ this week," pick a topic that particularly interested you, and tell: why it caught your interest, what you learned, what confused you (if anything), your reaction or opinion, and the importance of this information.

  8. Write about a personal experience that illustrates something you learned in the course.
Remember, doing TWO papers (though not necessarily two different projects listed from above) is a part of the course requirements. You may do more for extra credit.

ALSO, do not confuse these with the required participation in research or alternative research projects, found on the "Research Participation Policy" handout.

Link to Dr. DeFonso's Research Credit Policy.
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