Human Brain Chart

Academic Programs

Guidelines for Short Moderation Papers

(Academic Past and Future)

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:

  1. 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
  2. a critical evaluation of your strengths and weaknesses as a student
  3. a discussion of how your objectives have evolved since coming to college
  4. 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:
  1. anticipated areas of study within psychology and outside of the field
  2. your ideas about work after college, including plans for graduate or professional school, career plans, summers, intersessions, and so forth
  3. 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.

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 paper in one of the disciplines in Psychology (Clinical, Cognitive, Developmental, Neuroscience, Social). On this day, you will arrive at the Henderson Computer Resources Center at 9:00am, and you will be given a reprint of a psychology journal article appropriate to your background in psychology. You are then to write a paper of no more than ten pages that summarizes and critically 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 critical evaluation portion of your paper should be 5-6 pages. Three stapled printouts of the paper are to be turned in by no later than 9:00pm to the psychology faculty member available at that time.

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 of your materials at the Center, and you should not discuss your paper with anyone else other than psychology faculty. Indeed, someone on the psychology faculty will be available throughout the day in case you have questions concerning the assignment.

Bring a disk or USB key for saving your files.
Remeber to save what you’ve written repeatedly!


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. Print the paper with a 1.5 inch left margin and 1 inch top, bottom, and right margins. You should have a cover sheet which includes the title of the article, your name, and the date. If the printer you are using does not print darkly enough, move to a printer that has more toner.