WHAT IS AN EXPOSITORY ESSAY? In an expository essay you try to explain something to your audience.
You begin by reading what your text has to say about a particular topic and then study the available
literature related to that topic. Then you form a thesis statement based on your understanding of the material,
and explain and support that thesis. The thesis statement should appear at the end of the first paragraph of
Task: Your essay will review 5 peer-reviewed psychobiological studies on a particular problem or area.
Length: 3000-4000 words excluding references. I will stop reading after 4000 words. Do not include a title
page or abstract.
Format: File format should be doc or rtf. Please do not use pdf or docx or any other file format. Include your
name in the filename of the file you will submit to the course site. Include your name in the paper as well.
Rules: You must include at least 4 peer-reviewed psychological journal articles from the NU library with
weblinks (urls) to the fulltext article. Papers citing wikipedia will receive 0 points. Plagiarized papers will
receive 0 points and Judicial Affairs will be notified. DO NOT RESUSE PAPERS. REUSED PAPERS = 0 points.
Tips: Please review the rubric enclosed. Avoid quotations: Use your own words.
Deadline: The last Sunday of the course. Submit to the dropbox as doc file.
Late papers: First 24 hour period late: 10 points removed. Second 24 hour period late: 20 points removed.
Not accepted after Tuesday.
WHAT IS A THESIS STATEMENT? You can think of your thesis statement as the answer to the subject you
are trying to explain. Remember that a thesis statement is not the first thing you come up with when writing
your essay. It is the result of reading and thinking about the topic of your essay. After collecting and
organizing the information about your topic you can develop your thesis statement. As you conduct your
literature search, be mindful of conflicting data. Below are two examples of thesis statements for expository
1. Depression appears to be caused by an imbalance in one or more of the biogenic amines.
2. Our ability to perceive color is the result of cells in the retina that are responsive to different wavelengths
of the electromagnetic spectrum and the processing of this information by specific cells in various areas of
the cerebral cortex.
LENGTH: The body of your essay should be about 3000-4000 words. I will not read anything beyond 4000
TOPIC AND CONTENT: Your paper may be about any topic that interests you within the area of
biopsychology. However, the focus of your paper must be on brain function. For example, if you elect to
write an essay on schizophrenia, the focus should be on what we know about the biological basis of
schizophrenia and NOT on the symptoms of the disorder. Information cited in your paper must be
appropriately referenced and based upon textbook and internet material such as journal articles or
Government web sites such as NIH, NIDA, etc. WIKIPEDIA IS NOT AN APPROPRIATE REFERENCE.
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