Download the Program Handbook here.
Download the course requirements for majoring in Psychology here.
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Guidelines for Short Moderation Papers
For the Moderation Board (during the second semester of the sophomore year), the student prepares two short papers that describe his or her academic past experiences and future plans, and a longer paper that summarizes and analyzes an empirical article.
The short papers (about two or three pages each) are required for moderation College-wide.
The following are meant to be guidelines only, not a rigid format. You should think of them as areas you should address. The format of the papers is up to you.
- A discussion of your coursework to date, including how your interest in psychology has evolved, particular courses taken, and so forth. Also, a discussion of academic experiences outside of psychology would be welcome
- A critical evaluation of your strengths and weaknesses as a student
- A discussion of how your objectives have evolved since coming to college
- Any other issues which are relevant to an understanding of your academic work
This paper should be a discussion of your plans for Upper College work and post-college. We understand that the first and especially second of these may not be completely formed. In any case, the paper should include:
- Anticipated areas of study within psychology and outside of the field
- Your ideas about work after college, including plans for graduate or professional school, career plans, summers, intersessions, and so forth
- An indication of what you might like to study for your Senior Project
Please bear in mind that the moderation is a concentrated advising experience. We want, therefore, to learn as much as we can about you as student from your short papers.
Fall 2017: Friday, November 17th (Guidelines F17)
Spring 2018: Saturday, April 14th (Guidelines S18)
The intent of Moderation Day is to provide you with an opportunity to demonstrate your ability to evaluate an empirical paper in Psychology. You will arrive at the Henderson Computer Resources Center at 9:00am, and receive a reprint of a psychology journal article appropriate to your academic background. You are then to write two papers. The first paper summarizes the rationale, hypotheses, methods, and conclusions of the article and should be no longer than three pages. It is important to make sure that the summary of the paper is in your own words. The second paper is an analysis of the article and should be no longer than seven pages. This analysis should be mainly comprised of a critique of the data, methods, and conclusions of the researchers. The analysis may also examine the relationship between the actual experimental results and the implications of the results as described in your article. You may also draw connections between the content of the article and other coursework, if relevant, and may also propose questions to be addressed in future research.
You may bring with you any notes, folders, and notebooks you wish as well as a dictionary and paper writing manuals. You may bring your own laptop if you prefer, but all work must be done in either the Henderson Computer Resources Center (either Mac or PC side) or in the Psychology lounge in the Preston entryway. You may leave the Center or lounge for breaks at any time, but you must leave all materials at the Center or the lounge, and you should not discuss your paper with anyone other than psychology faculty. There are limits to the amount of help we can provide. For example, we will not explain statistical methods in detail, but we will direct you to resources so that you will be able to comment on the experimental results in a manner that reflects your level of understanding. Your Psychology faculty will be available throughout the day in case you have questions.
Save what you’ve written repeatedly, both on your computer hard drive and someplace else (e.g., email a draft to yourself periodically or save it to the cloud).
Your papers will be double spaced, with all pages except the first numbered, have a 1.5 inch left margin and 1 inch top, bottom, and right margins. Your cover page should include the title of the article, your name, and the date.
Submitting Your Moderation Paper
Although you are submitting the paper online, we strongly urge you to print out a hard copy to do your final proofreading. When you are ready to submit your paper, please do the following:
- Hit save, and upload a pdf version of your papers to Moodle [yourlastname].longmoderation.doc.
- See the faculty member “on call.” He or she will log into Moodle and make sure that your paper is uploaded successfully and is readable.
- Reread your papers and the original article carefully prior to your moderation board meeting and be prepared to discuss it with your board. Bring copies of both to the board meeting.