Death and Mourning

Please follow these instructions carefully when writing your research paper and WATCH the power point presentation about plagiarism so you are very clear before writing this paper. Points are deducted for not follow directions.

It should go without saying that you may NOT use a paper you turned in for another class.

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Research Paper and Presentation- Students will pick one developmental theory and explain how it connects or applies to a cultural event/experience. Students will then create a video presentation for 8-10 minutes on an age-graded cultural ceremony, tradition, celebration, or period of mourning.

I will need to approve of your topic before you start writing. TOPIC SUBMISSION IS DUE ON JULY 3.

You will write the first page (only) as an autobiographical or biographical statement of why you are specifically interested in your topic. This page should be minimum of one paragraph to one page, max.

The next 3-4 pages must be a synopsis of the research you have read. If you would like to interview elders about the cultural experience, remember that the interview must also be listed in the "references" section. Interviews or stories of individuals should be used as exclusive to and not used as evidence of empirical research. Also, if you write a conclusion that only repeats what you have already written or is your opinion, this does not count towards the required four pages of research.


Students will answer the following questions in the presentation and in the paper. The research paper must be written in APA format, even while completing the responses to these questions.

  1. What culture/religion/group of people participate in this ceremony?
  2. What is its meaning to the community?
  3. What ages participate? In what ways?
  4. Is there any special preparation for the ceremony?
  5. What happens during the ceremony? What happens after? Is there variation in how people do things?
  6. Does the ceremony grant the participant and new status or privileges?
  7. Where did this ceremony come from?
  8. What do you think about the ceremony?
  9. How does the developmental theory relate to the cultural event?

You will also include a 4-6 page APA format paper on the topic of your project. You will explain the cultural event by answering the above questions and apply it to a developmental theory or theories.

The 5th page will be your reference page (bibliography). This means that you do not include title of article or title of journal or full name of author(s) in your paper as this will all be on the reference page. In other words, do not write this: According to “ Alcoholism Treatment in the United States An Overview” by Richard K. Fuller, M.D.(2014) in the journal Alcoholism, etc etc. Please review the resources on how to properly cite within the paper. OWL (Links to an external site.) website is particularly helpful with this

Your paper will be at least 4 complete, typed, double-spaced pages with 1.0” margins (left indented only, not block formatted) in Times New Roman font, 12-point size. Do not skip extra spaces between paragraphs (Microsoft Word now skips 2.5 spaces between paragraphs so you must change this in "format" – click "do not add space to paragraphs of the same style").

The paper can be longer than 4 pages of research.

  • This is a paper about the latest research on your topic, so you must write it in essay format, without bullet points, lists, or subsection titles. You will not write an abstract.
  • You need a minimum of 3 references for this paper, which may only include journal articles and interviews. Major websites will not count as the minimum of 3 references but can be used as supplementary sources.
  • Do not use any type of book as a reference, including your textbook.
  • If you use the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM), then it must be the 5th edition only. Research articles must be published within the last 10 years (since 2010) unless the research paper is a seminal article for the field.

You are not allowed to use websites for the paper until I approve the site beforehand. A few exceptions to this include:,,,, and any website I directed you to in the online classroom. You can’t use any “.com” because there is no one to govern the truth of many of these sites. This means you MAY NOT even use or any other "wiki" site!

You must include a 5th page that will be a list of all of your reference (a bibliography) websites and journal articles.

IMPORTANT: When you are using someone else’s work to write your paper, you must give them credit. You must cite your references in every paragraph of the research report section of your paper; this should be done in either APA format (see (Links to an external site.)and the way your textbook is written). APA format means you include the author’s last name and the year of publication ONLY of the article inside parentheses when you are referencing work they presented. The following is an example of a sentence from a paper on depression: Many times depression is linked to anxiety (Myers, 2007).

Here is what a website would look like as a cited source: ( The full http address will be in the reference page. Please review the supplemental pages of APA information.

More information related to APA formatting can be found from OWL (Links to an external site.) resource at Purdue University. (Links to an external site.)

Microsoft Word does have a template specifically for APA format. It would be a good idea to use it.

The important thing to remember here is NOT TO PLAGIARIZE the information. CITE your references in EVERY paragraph, and USE YOUR OWN WORDS! Please do not copy word for word from your sources unless you put those words in quotation marks. You may not use quotes longer than one sentence, and you may not have more than 4 sentence quotes in the paper.

You must summarize what you have read using plain English. Do not write scientific jargon (such as lists of prescription drugs or the ingredients of drugs) that is not understandable without a medical degree. If you do not use all of your own words and do not properly cite your sources, this is plagiarism. I will either give your paper back to you to re-do OR I will simply give you a zero.

Your paper will be submitted to when uploaded to the assignment to check for plagiarism. If your final paper comes back more than 20% highlighted as plagiarized, it will be given a ZERO.

Before you upload it for submission, it would be a great idea to use Grammarly (Links to an external site.) for any assistance finding typos or using proper punctuation.

Review the rubric.
Papers graded with an "A" will contain the following elements:

  • Effective integration of information from class readings, lectures and outside readings.
  • A creative, engaging writing style.
  • APA format, typed, with at least 3 references.

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