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Guidelines for Short Moderation Papers

(Academic Past and Future)


Guidlines for Short Moderation Papers (Academic Past and Future)

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 critically evaluates an empirical article. 

The short papers (approximately 2 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.

Academic Past

This paper should be an overview of your college education to date.  It should include:

  • 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

Academic Future

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.

Moderation Saturday

Unique to the Psychology Program is “Moderation Saturday.”  The intent of this day is to provide you with an opportunity to demonstrate your ability to critically evaluate a significant empirical paper in Psychology.  On this day, you will arrive at the Henderson Computer Resources Center at 9:00am, and you will receive a reprint of a psychology journal article appropriate to your academic background.  You are then to write a paper of no more than twelve pages that summarizes and evaluates the article for someone who has not read it.  As a general guideline, the summary portion of your paper should be no longer than 4-5 pages, and the evaluative portion of your paper should be approximately 5-6 pages. 

You may bring with you any notes, folders, and notebooks you wish as well as a dictionary and paper writing manuals. However, all of the work is to be done in the Henderson Computer Resources Center where you will have your choice of a Mac, PC, or your own portable computer. You may leave the Center for breaks at any time, but you must leave all materials at the Center, and you should not discuss your paper with anyone other than psychology faculty.  Psychology faculty will be available throughout the day in case you have questions.

BRING A USB KEY FOR SAVING YOUR FILES, and save what you’ve written repeatedly!  We suggest you email drafts to yourself as you write, so in case the computer hard drive AND the USB drive crash, you still will have copies.

The paper you write on Moderation Saturday is to be double spaced, with all pages except the first numbered. You are expected to make no spelling errors and are expected to use a spelling checker program. The paper should have a 1.5 inch left margin and 1 inch top, bottom, and right margins. You should have a cover sheet that includes 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:

1.   Hit save, so that the uploaded version reflects your final changes.

2.   Go to the link on the Research Methods Website that says “Moderation Paper upload.”

3.   Upload your paper as a Microsoft Word (.doc or .docx) document named in the following format: [yourlastname].longmoderation.doc.

4.   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.

5.   Print a hard copy for yourself that you will bring to your board meeting. You should reread this paper and the original article carefully prior to your moderation board meeting and be prepared to discuss it with your board.

 

Note: Students must have completed at least one semester at Bard before sitting for moderation (i.e., transfer students may not moderate in their first semester at the Annandale campus).