I’m working on a social science writing question and need support to help me learn.
Students will complete a short paper of at least 3 pages in length and not longer than 5 pages based on an interview with a person old enough to remember the decades of the 70s, 80s, and 90s. The paper should describe the individuals most memorable 1) personal event, AND 2) one cultural/social/political event during EACH of the three decades. Next, the paper should discuss how these events helped shape the individuals psychosocial and/or cognitive development.
The purpose of the developmental paper is to apply developmental conceptual material to a real life individual. The paper will emphasize the influence of social structures expressed as risk or protective factors and any traumatic experiences that have shaped the developmental experiences and outcomes of an individual.
Developmental Paper outline:
a. Number of pages for each section is an estimate.
b. Each section provided in bold (below) should correspond to a subheading in the paper. These are the only subheadings that you need in the paper.
1. Introduction (about a paragraph The purpose of this paper is )
2. Summary of relevant biographical information (2-3 pages)
a. Include factual information from birth to the current situation.
b. Include information on key life events and/or turning points relevant to understanding the individuals trajectory.
c. Include information that provides a backdrop for subsequent discussion of two key developmental experiences (discussed further under Developmental Concepts, presented in sections 3 and 4)
d. Include information that provides evidence for the identification of narrative theme(s) (summarized from a transcript of the interview provided in section 5).
3. Developmental Concept #1 (3-4 pages)
a. Presentation of the concept
i. Define and explain the concept consistent with the textbook definition/explanation.
ii. Include information about the concepts relevance to its corresponding developmental stage.
iii. Include a discussion of the concepts relevance to other concepts – information.
iv. Include significance of concept to developmental outcomes.
b. Presentation of developmental experience
i. Describe the developmental experience and clarify age/stage when the experience occurred.
ii. Include other information about experience relevant to subsequent analysis (e.g., cultural/contextual information).
iii. Include how experience is indicative of continuity or change in an individuals life course. (Or, could do this in part c)
c. Analysis: Linkage of developmental experience with the concept
i. Include information about what aspects of experience illustrate dimensions of the concept presented in Section 3 part a.
ii. Include an explanation of how/why the story and conceptual information provide insight and increased understanding of individual change within a developmental framework.
4. Developmental concept #2 (3-4 pages)
This is structured exactly like section 3 but with a different concept and experience or story shared during the interview.
5. Summarize the individuals narrative using developmental information included in sections 3 and 4 as evidence to support observations and conclusions. (1-3 pages)
a. Include identification/discussion of narrative identity based on information presented (e.g., As can be seen in the previous discussion, my aunt is the kind of person who .)
b. Include information about how an individuals experience of a relevant issue/concept contributed to the individuals understanding of self.
c. Include information about how a students assessment or understanding of a persons narrative as illustrated, in part, by a discussion of two developmental issues is similar to or different from an individuals perception, and why.
6. Conclusion (one paragraph)
Some additional information that may be helpful:
For more information on narrative psychology, you may want to look at the following article, available online through our library:
Singer, J. A. (2004). Narrative identity and meaning-making across the adult lifespan: An introduction. Journal of Personality, 72(3), 437-468.
The following are a few quotes from Singer (2004) that may be useful:
To do research in narrative identity is to embrace a lifespan developmental perspective on personality. Biological and cognitive changes, role demands of particular life stages, historical and cohort influences all conspire to make an individuals narrative a fluid and evolving work in progress (p. 445).
Their personal narratives, their narrative identity, situates them meaningfully in their culture, providing unity to their past, present, and anticipated future (pp. 445-446).