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Tips, Tricks, Advice and Warnings WRITING ESSAYS FOR IB SL PSYCHOLOGY PAPERS 1 & 2.

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Presentation on theme: "Tips, Tricks, Advice and Warnings WRITING ESSAYS FOR IB SL PSYCHOLOGY PAPERS 1 & 2."— Presentation transcript:

1 Tips, Tricks, Advice and Warnings WRITING ESSAYS FOR IB SL PSYCHOLOGY PAPERS 1 & 2

2 (And in the case of the IB tests, they want you to bake a cake from scratch.) WRITING A GOOD ESSAY IS A LOT LIKE BAKING A GOOD CAKE.

3 In a psychology essay, there are a few things that you absolutely HAVE TO HAVE. These are: Theres a lot more that goes into an essay, but these are the essential pieces. YOU NEED TO HAVE THE RIGHT PIECES. Background knowledge CEGM Studies Knowing the command terms

4 You cant cook even a basic cake without the essentials, like: Flour Eggs Milk Butter Baking powder Sugar In the same way, you cant write an essay without your necessary pieces. YOUR ESSENTIAL PIECES ARE LIKE AN INGREDIENTS LIST.

5 A piece by piece breakdown. BUT WHAT DO THESE PIECES REALLY DO FOR AN ESSAY?

6 You should be getting your background knowledge from being in this class. You need to bring background knowledge into every essay you write – think of the things that youve learned this year and how they might apply to the question on your paper. Your background knowledge is like knowing what goes into a cake in the first place – for example, you (hopefully) know that apple seeds and raw garlic have no place in good cakes. BACKGROUND KNOWLEDGE

7 Personal opinions Swearing Informal language (first or second person) Cultural insensitivity Unsupported claims IN THE SAME WAY, THESE THINGS DO NOT BELONG IN YOUR ESSAYS:

8 Use CEGM to break up and organize your essay – this way, your paper is more readable and you cover essential topics that IB graders are looking for. The easiest thing to do is set up CEGM for your paragraphs – have an introduction, a paragraph about cultural considerations, ethics, gender considerations, methods, a conclusion, etc. Keep in mind that its OKAY to have more than one paragraph about a topic, and that sometimes parts of CEGM arent enough to make a paragraph out of. CEGM SHOULD PROVIDE A VALUABLE FRAMEWORK TO YOUR ESSAY

9 Having a recipe to work from makes baking a cake much easier, right? It also helps you to keep track of what you have and have not included in your paper – so you dont run the risk of repeating yourself and spoiling the recipe. THINK OF CEGM LIKE A RECIPE FOR YOUR PAPER

10 Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). 2 Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Frost. Pour batter into prepared pans. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Heat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9 inch pie plate. Beat together white sugar, buttermilk, baking mix, melted butter or margarine, vanilla, and eggs until smooth. Pour filling into pie plate. Bake until knife inserted in center comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Cool 5 minutes. Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans. Cool completely. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes. Heat oven to 350° F. Cool completely. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Could you put these steps in order and cook this cake the right way every time? HERE ARE THE STEPS TO BAKING A CAKE – OUT OF ORDER.

11 That was actually the steps from two cake recipes and a pie recipe mixed together. In the same way, when you start writing a paper without using some kind of a framework, its very easy to accidentally drift into other topics – and start writing a different paper altogether. Using CEGM as an outline for your essay makes this much less likely to happen – its like cooking with your recipe on hand. HERES WHAT YOU DIDNT KNOW:

12 Your studies are like flour. Flour is a necessary component to every cake, but if you use too much, the cake will be inedible. However, you cant just leave out the flour altogether – without it, your cake will fall apart with no support. In the same way, your argument in your essay falls apart with no studies to support it. However, if you use too many studies, your essay can get muddled and hard to read. STUDIES

13 Have you even eaten a cake that was made with the wrong type of flour? It tastes at best off, and at worst completely inedible. The same thing happens if you use the wrong studies to support your arguments: when theyre put into the wrong spot, studies can hinder rather than help a good argument. But… YOU ALSO NEED TO USE THE RIGHT FLOUR WHEN YOU BAKE A CAKE

14 You know why? Theres this wonderful, magical ingredient: ALL-PURPOSE FLOUR. CHANCES ARE, YOUVE NEVER HAD A CAKE MADE WITH THE WRONG KIND OF FLOUR.

15 And your graders can be saved from reading bad papers by a few well-placed all-purpose studies. This is also advantageous to you – instead of memorizing thirty different studies, you can use a few good all-purpose studies in the same way that you would use thirty specific ones. Remember, though, that this doesnt mean you can just learn four or five studies and jam them wherever you please – your all-purpose studies need to fit in wherever you choose to put them. PEOPLE EVERYWHERE HAVE BEEN SAVED FROM BAD CAKES BY ALL-PURPOSE FLOUR.

16 I know you dont think you need to know your command terms, but heres the thing: YOU NEED TO KNOW YOUR COMMAND TERMS. They are essential to writing your paper correctly. COMMAND TERMS

17 You slave away, baking like crazy, adding in all the right ingredients and following your recipe and cooking what can only be described as beautiful food. You finally pull your creation out of the oven, lay it out before the judges, and let them eat. The judges eat, and theyre amazed by your food. The first one gets up and says to you: LETS SAY YOURE MAKING A CAKE TO ENTER INTO A CONTEST

18 …Oh. How could you miss that? I mean, it was right on the flyer. You get disqualified from the contest, not because you cant cook – but because you cant follow directions. THIS IS A PIE CONTEST.

19 You could write the most beautiful essay known to mankind for your IB tests, but your grader cant give you points if you dont address the right command terms. Command terms work like guidelines about what youre supposed to be making in the first place – and if you dont follow them, youre only setting yourself up for failure. COMMAND TERMS WORK THE SAME WAY

20 The difference is the same as the difference between a cake and a pie. Are both desserts? Yes. Are both delicious? Yes. Can you put fruit in them? Yes. Can you eat them with ice cream? Yes. But are they the same? Not at all. BUT WHATS THE DIFFERENCE? YOU MIGHT SAY.

21 State: Give a specific name, value or other brief answer without explanation or calculation. Discuss: Offer a considered and balanced review that includes a range of arguments, factors or hypotheses. Opinions or conclusions should be presented clearly and supported by appropriate evidence. WELL, THEY CANT BE ALL THAT DIFFERENT Trust us, they are.

22 Critical thinking and inventiveness are key. SETTING YOUR ESSAY APART FROM OTHERS

23 Remember, IB graders go through hundreds of essays – dont be generic! You want your paper to stand out – be inventive and creative in your thinking. IB wants to know that you can be thoughtful and contemplative when it comes to your essays. They dont want regurgitation – they want synthesis. DONT JUST FOLLOW THE RECIPE

24 Critical thinking is about asking questions. Never accept what youve been told – explore, learn, be curious! When it comes to psychology, curiosity will get you far – the whole subject came into existence because of it. Never be afraid to ask questions or be skeptical of claims. Remember, even the most famous researchers and theorists are just people – theyre not always right. USE CRITICAL THINKING

25 Mrs. Savoia has spent the whole year giving you the necessary pieces to write your own essay – but she cant do it for you. You need to take the raw ingredients and make something great – you need to bake a cake. YOU NEED TO COMBINE EVERYTHING YOUVE LEARNED THIS YEAR INTO SOMETHING NEW.

26 But wait! You forgot something… SO YOUR CAKE IS BAKED

27 You have not finished your essay until you have poked holes! Your cake isnt finished until youve poked a toothpick through the middle to make sure that its cooked all the way through. Sometimes cakes that seems perfectly cooked can be raw in the center – and in the same way your essay can look perfect, but have a poor argument at its heart. ALWAYS POKE HOLES IN YOUR CAKE BEFORE YOU ADD ANY FINISHING TOUCHES

28 It happens to the best of us. Sometimes you cant think of any arguments to poke holes through – or the argument is too solid for you to poke any holes. HAVING TROUBLE POKING HOLES?

29 Learn a few weak theories that you can trot out in your papers. You can bring them up as opposing viewpoints, refute them, and carry on. Even little holes are still holes. You dont always have to completely destroy an opposing viewpoint in your paper – sometimes just pointing out their weaknesses is good. Every viewpoint has a weakness. Yes, even yours. Sometimes they arent obvious at first – but this is where critical thinking comes in. Think outside the box. If you use a popular study in your paper, creative responses give you points with graders – they like seeing that you can be thoughtful and considerate when you evaluate theories and studies. HERES A FEW THINGS YOU CAN DO:

30 Why not all cakes are created equal. PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER

31 But somethings missing. Right now, you just have a cake. But you could have something world-shattering, career-making, the kind of cake that people would kill to eat and die to know the recipe for. SO, YOUVE GOT YOUR CAKE TOGETHER

32 Lots of people think this – but its not necessarily true. You only need to work on your essays more superficial parts – word choice, flow, grammar, spelling, etc. – if they are bad. And when I say bad I mean the-essay-is-unreadable-because-of- the-errors bad. I SHOULD MAKE MY CAKE LOOK GREAT.

33 Just because you can make it look like you know something doesnt mean that you do – and no matter how much fluff or how many big words you pepper throughout your paper, IB graders will be able to tell that you dont know what youre doing. Dont spend all of your time decorating your cake – keep it simple. Graders dont care as much about what your introduction or your conclusion look like as you think they do – they want to see you demonstrate what you know. IB WANTS SOMETHING WITH SUBSTANCE, NOT SOMETHING THAT LOOKS GOOD

34 Some general advice. A FEW THINGS TO REMEMBER

35 And everybody writes differently. This isnt a bad thing! EVERYBODY COOKS DIFFERENTLY

36 Would you eat a cake that had only been in the oven for five minutes? No, its gross. Dont turn your essay in after writing only two or three paragraphs – its not done, and its not going to be pretty to read. DONT STOP WRITING AFTER PUTTING DOWN A FEW PARAGRAPHS

37 When you get the option to choose your topic, dont pick one just because it looks easy or like something the grader wont see a lot – pick a topic that you think you can write an essay on. WRITE WHAT YOU KNOW

38 You can have sympathy, but not empathy for sufferers of a mental illness. You can understand symptoms, but not how the illness actually feels – dont act like you do. Dont generalize. Not every sufferer experiences certain symptoms, and not every treatment works for every person. Be considerate of other cultures. This is almost doubly true for abnormal psych, because of the huge differences in the presentation of symptoms and effectiveness of treatments. When discussing treatments for different illnesses, remember that real people have to use them. This is a great opportunity for poking holes and/or ethics – would you want to use a certain treatment? Would treatment be effective, considering some of the behaviors common to those with mental illness? A FEW THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND WHEN WRITING ABOUT ABNORMAL PSYCH

39 Some (most) psychological researchers are very strange and their research reflects that. Some of the most innocuous seeming studies are actually very unethical or downright racist/prejudiced/sexist. Researchers are products of their time period, as are theories. Remember to put things into context. Dates on your studies earn you crazy brownie points with graders. If you cant remember a specific year, at least learn a decade. Go above and beyond. Putting in that extra effort is often the difference between a 6 and a 7. ALSO:

40 But obviously love isnt an ingredient that you can actually use in a cake – or an essay. WEVE ALL HEARD THAT PHRASE MADE WITH LOVE

41 Lets face it: papers that sound engaging are more fun to read than papers that dont. People that genuinely enjoy a topic tend to have a lot more fun writing an essay than people that dont – and that enthusiasm bleeds into their writing. I know it sounds like completely ridiculous advice, but get comfortable when you write. Dont stress yourself out on the day of the test – just relax, sit down, and have a little fun while you write your papers. BUT A LITTLE ENTHUSIASM CAN GO A LONG WAY

42 (And sorry for making you hungry.) THANKS FOR LISTENING!

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