Who's Who

Mickey S. Schafer, PhD
Office: 201 Rolfs Hall, Office Phone: 392-5421 ext. 29
email: msscha@ufl.edu (it's always better to send email!)
Office Hours: M,T,W: 4th and by appointment
Mailbox: 402 Rolfs, UF web page: http://web.clas.ufl.edu/users/msscha/mschafer.html

About this Class

This semester you will discover that writing is central to the discipline of psychology; in fact, more than 35,000 items per year are listed in Psychological Abstracts--one item published every fifteen minutes! We write about our world in order to know and understand it; you will learn to be psychologists by learning to read and write like psychologists. Those students who learn to be competent and confident writers will not only be more successful in college, but will also be better psychologists. Here are some of the main questions about written communication in psychology that we will try to answer this semester: What are the key genres of writing in the psychology profession? Which types of psychology writing are more highly valued and why? What are the features of psychological styles and format? What are the conventions of APA style and what do they reveal about the focus of the profession? What is the writer-reader relationship in psychology?

Our class will be based on two central approaches to writing: writing to learn (the conventions and methods of psychology) and learning to write. Fortunately, writing is a skill that can be improved with practice, like tennis or typing; consequently, this is a writing-intensive course in which you will practice writing clearly and concisely. You will have plenty of opportunities to do both in-class and out-of-class writing tasks, a variety of short assignments and one long research report; and you will become familiar with the various types of writing in the field of psychology

ENC 3254 "Writing in Psychology" fulfills the University's General Education requirement composition (C) and 6,000 words of writing (W).

Major Assignments

The Synthesis Series -- All good writing begins with reading; further, surviving upper division classes means learning how to manage your reading load.  The synthesis series is a set of 3 articles and 4 short writing assignments designed to acquaint you with a few of the major types of experimental methodologyencountered in psychology. In doing so, you'll get the brief, immersion experience in reading science, writing in scientific style, and citing sources.

The Research Project -- The best way to understand scientific writing is to generate data that needs to be written up. For this assignment, you will conduct original research (survey, case study, mini-experiment).  This project begins by exploring the literature in a topic of your choosing, then creating a well-formulated research question.  You'll write a proposal, design a study, gather and analyze data, and write a research report.  This project finishes with a poster presentation in which you inform your peers about your project.

Personal Portfolio -- All this writing in intended to prepare you for grad school and/or a job.  To help get things started, you'll learn about writing personal statements, resumes, and cover letters.



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