Assignment 2 Argumentative Essay

Assignment 2 Argumentative Essay


Argumentative Essay

This document contains everything you need to know for your second assignment.

Please make sure to read this in full prior to asking any questions on Moodle.

Below are the key things covered and the corresponding page numbers for easy access.

Assignment 2 Argumentative Essay                                                                                                  2

Step 1: Choose one of the following topics                                                                                    2

Step 2: Gather suitable sources                                                                                                            3

Step 3: Write your essay                                                                                                                          3

Marking Criteria                                                                                                                                     5

Assignment 2 Resources                                                                                                                              6

FAQs                                                                                                                                7

Assignment Template                                                                                                                                     9

Assignment 2 Argumentative Essay

This assignment is a 2500-word argumentative essay worth 40% of your final grade. Based on your Assignment 1 feedback, you will further gather and examine evidence to put together an essay to address your chosen topic.

Why is this assignment important?

Essays are an important way of developing and showing your critical thinking and research

skills. This assignment is not only going to help you develop skills you need to complete your degree (psychology or otherwise), but will also help develop the tools you need to

communicate effectively and think critically in future employment situations.

What is an argumentative essay?

Not unlike a traditional essay, an argumentative essay is a piece of writing that takes a stance on an issue. In a good argumentative essay, a writer attempts to persuade readers to understand and support their point of view by stating their reasoning and providing scientific evidence towards their points.

How do I complete the assignment?

Step 1: Choose one of the following topics

  1. Provide justification for any scientific theory that explains where memories are stored in the brain. What are the strengths and weaknesses of this theory? Can you conclude whether the literature provides support for this theory? Feel free to draw on any material from the topics of memory and biological psychology in the textbook.
    1. See chapters 2 & 9 (Biological Psychology and Memory)
  • What is the evidence that women mature psychologically faster than men? What is the theoretical and functional basis of this assertion? What are the strengths and

weaknesses of this assertion? Can you conclude whether the literature provides support for this assertion? Feel free to draw on any material from the topics of developmental and biological psychology in the textbook.

  • See chapters 2 & 5 (Biological Psychology and Developmental Psychology)
  • Provide evidence that cultural competence or cultural sensitivity training reduces racism and/or prejudice. What is the theoretical basis of this type of training? What are the strengths and weaknesses of such training? Can you conclude whether the literature provides support for the effectiveness of this type of training? Feel free to

draw on any material from the topics of indigenous and/or cross-cultural psychology in the textbook.

  • See chapters 7 & 8 (Cross-Cultural Psychology and Indigenous Psychology)

Step 2: Gather suitable sources

  • For this assignment you will need to provide evidence for your position on the topic from a multitude of sources (minimum of 7 sources)
    • Sources can be: textbooks, newspaper articles, journal articles, and/or government and not-for-profit reports.
    • Journal articles and reports are generally considered stronger sources of evidence so these are most recommended, however the textbook and newspaper articles may also be used
    • The minimum number of references is 7. You will require > 7 references from a diverse range of sources to demonstrate a deep understanding of the topic
  • Ways to find suitable sources for the assignment have been previously demonstrated in the tutorials. Links for databases and search techniques can be found in the

Assignment 1 Guide and from relevant past tutorial manuals.

Step 3: Write your essay

Your essay should include an introduction, 4-5 body paragraphs, and a conclusion.

  • The Introduction should clearly introduce the topic (including key definitions and concepts), discuss the rationale for the essay (the purpose and possible translational

impact of findings from the essay), and summarise the key arguments for the position taken in the major argumentative essay.

  • Your introduction should follow a logical sequence
  • Your body paragraphs should be 4-5 key points that you explore the current evidence towards. These paragraphs should clearly answer/address the topic.
    • The key points should be clear themes that your essay can be easily separated into, for example, different parts of a theory, different populations, evidence for vs against, strengths and weaknesses.
    • All body paragraphs should follow the TEECL method for writing:
      • Topic sentence – the first sentence in a body paragraph that tells the reader what the main idea or claim of the paragraph will be.
      • Explanation – Explain what you mean in greater detail.
      • Evidence – Provide evidence to support your idea or claim. To do this, refer to your research. This may include: newspaper articles, government and not-for-profit reports, academic books, or journal

articles. Remember that all evidence will require appropriate citation.

  • Comment – Consider the strengths and limitations of the evidence and examples that you have presented. Explain how your evidence supports your claim (i.e. how does it ‘prove’ your topic sentence?).
    • Link – Summarise the main idea of the paragraph, and make clear how this paragraph supports your overall argument.
  • Your Conclusion should recap the importance of the essay topic, clearly state your essay findings (summarise key points, including limitations), and conclude the

validity of your position on the topic given the current evidence. You will also need to discuss the potential implications of your findings toward support for the theory and real world/translational/societal impact.

  • Your conclusion should also follow a logical sequence

Marking Criteria

Introduction15Introduction clearly introduces the topic (including key 
  definitions and concepts), discusses the rationale for the 
  essay (the purpose and possible translational impact of 
  findings from the essay), and summarises the key 
  arguments for the position taken in the major 
  argumentative essay. 
Conceptual and Theoretical Knowledge20Displays knowledge and understanding of the important concepts and theories relevant to the topic based on the evidence used. 
Use of Evidence15Evidence presented provides convincing detail directly related to the overall topic. A wide-range of sources 
  (minimum of 7) are used which provide appropriate 
  evidential support for claims made. 
Critical Thinking and Structure20Critical thinking is used through the essay and there is a clear acknowledgement of the strengths and weaknesses of the evidence provided and discussion of how these impact 
  the overall interpretation of the evidence. Evidence is 
  logically structured into key points that address the topic. 
Conclusion15Conclusion recaps the importance of the essay topic, clearly states the main essay findings (including 
  limitations), and concludes position on the topic given the 
  current evidence. Potential implications of the findings are 
  also discussed. Critical thinking and evaluation of 
  evidence is present. 
APA Referencing & General Presentation15Reference list and document structure and format adheres to APA 7th format (e.g., headings, spacing, margins, page numbering etc.). Writing is clear, concise, easy to read and 
  understand. Essay has a clear and logical flow. Proper 
  spelling and grammar is used. Minimum of 7 sources 
Penalties -5% for over 2500 words 

Assignment 2 Resources

Here are some key resources for helping you complete Assignment 2:

Searching for Sources & Evaluating Evidence:

  • Where to search for sources of information.
  • How to search for sources of information.
  • How to evaluate evidence from sources.

Academic Writing:

  • What is critical thinking?; how to incorporate more critical thinking.
  • Features of academic writing; how your writing should be structured and the type of tone that you should use when doing academic writing.
  • How to summarise and paraphrase information; this will be helpful for summarising your evidence without plagiarising (or directly copying) them.

APA referencing:

  • APA 7th Referencing Guidelines

General Resources:

  • How to write an essay; how to structure your essay and what to look out for when writing an essay.
  • Sample Annotated Student Paper in APA Style
    • Note: This is an essay writing guide for APA formatting and scientific writing and not a template for an argumentative essay.
  • There are also additional resources on Moodle that you can find here.


Help, I need an extension for my assignment!

In Psychology, extensions can only be obtained through a ‘special consideration’ request. This cannot be done by tutors or coordinators and needs to be applied for through the special considerations team at Monash. Please refer to Moodle for more details about this.

Do I need to be strict about adhering to the topic I’ve chosen?

Yes, please stick to the topic that you have chosen. Marks will be deducted if you stray away from the original topic. Make sure to address all marking criteria and address all key points outlined in the instructions.

How many words is the assignment?

The word limit is a maximum of 2500 words. This includes everything except the Title Page and the Reference list. In-text references will count toward the word limit.

Is there a 10% leeway on the word count?

No. You will be penalised 5% for going over the word limit. In addition, tutors will stop reading at 2500 words.

How many references/sources do I need for the assignment? What type can I use?

You need at least seven sources (these can be from any of the four types of sources allowed in Assignment 1: textbooks, journal articles, government / not-for-profit reports, or newspaper articles). This is a minimum to pass, so ideally aim for more than 7 sources.

How do I reference my sources?

Please ensure that you are using in-text APA 7th referencing throughout your essay. All referenced sources should also appear in the reference list in APA 7th format.

Will I be penalised for going under the word limit?

No, there is no penalty for being under the word count. However, by using fewer words, you may miss out on valuable information needed to address the marking criteria. Ensure you are adequately addressing all marking criteria.

Can I use direct quotes if I use quotation marks?

Direct quotations are not accepted in work within the faculty. Students are encouraged to

express ideas based on their own understanding, informed by the original sources, rather than quoting authors directly.

When will I get my assignment marks back?

The turnaround time for returning marked assignments is approximately 2 weeks.

How will I know that my assignment has been marked?

We will post an announcement on Moodle once all the marks are finalised.

Do I need to attach a cover sheet to my assignment?

No, there is no need to add a cover sheet. When uploading your assignment online you will be presented with a ‘Student Statement’ before you submit. Once you click on ‘I Agree’, you have agreed to the plagiarism and collusion policy of Monash University. This is your

electronic cover sheet.

In what file format should my document be uploaded?

You must upload your document in Microsoft Word format ONLY. Do not upload your assignment in ‘PDF’ or other formats. No, you cannot submit as a Pages or Google Doc format either. Save a copy of the assignment on your own personal computer, and don’t forget to back it up via USB/hard drive!

How do I submit my assignment?

  1. Go to the section “Assignment 2 – Argumentative Essay”.
  2. Go to the Submissions Link tab under the Assignment 2 Dropbox section on Moodle and click on the “Submit here” Argumentative Essay link.
  3. Follow the prompts and attach your file. Remember, we accept files in Microsoft Word format ONLY.
  4. Click on save changes.
  5. Once you are happy with the assignment, click on ‘Submit Assignment’.
  6. Accept the Monash University plagiarism and collusion statement and click

“Continue”. Your assignment is now submitted and no further changes are possible.


I have forgotten to click SUBMIT. What should I do?

Please contact the unit coordinator as clicking submit after the due date and time will change the submission date thus making it late. We will email you a copy of the plagiarism and

collusion statement that you will need to accept and email it back to us.

Assignment Template

Please download and use the Assignment 2 Word template provided on Moodle.

  • On the title page remember to add the essay title, your name, your tutors name and the date in the format provided.
  • These sections are not highlighted yellow in the submission document (as they should not be submitted with yellow highlight), the above image is for demonstration purposes.
  • Replace the rest of the text on the other pages with your essay and your references.
  • Make sure to rename the document with your name instead of “YourNameHere”.
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