Note: This handout  is based on one that was originally written by Dr. Diane Humphrey, of King’s College Department of Psychology.


Term paper


Term papers are due on Monday April 1st, 2002, in class. A late penalty of 3% per day (including weekends) will be assessed. (E.g., if your paper is 4 days late, you lose 12%, so a grade of 82 becomes a 70 when the penalty is applied.)


Your term paper should include a review of relevant literature on a topic related to material in the course.  You should compare the articles or chapters you are reviewing to other related articles or chapters from such journals as the Journal of Creative Behavior, Visual Arts Research, New Ideas in Psychology, Creativity Research Journal, Journal for the Education of the Gifted, Daedalus, Imagination, Cognition and Personality, Leonardo, and other related psychology journals or books.  Your term paper must include a literature review and must develop a thesis.  You may also present a proposal for specific research related to your topic as part of your paper.


Your term paper should be no more than ten double-spaced pages excluding title page, references, figures, tables, etc. It should be written in APA format. Term papers will be graded according to the Marking Scheme for Essays below.


Here is some stylistic advice for your term paper:


1. Always look up the original source.  Use only scholarly sources.  Avoid using secondary sources unless absolutely necessary, or unless you wish to make a point about something a reviewer (another author) said about the original work.  This means that you should not use textbooks, encyclopedias, the internet, magazine articles, or other sources that cannot be verified.


2. Unless they're really crucial or really zippy, don't use quotations.


3. Ideas should be presented in a critical context acknowledging a point of view.  For example, avoid saying something like, "The world is in chaos."  Rather, indicate what makes you think that this is so and what you've read that's relevant.  "A chaotic view of the world emerges in the literature linking psychology and dynamical systems theory (Abraham, 1991: Crutchfield, 1990)."


4. It is good to acknowledge your own point of view, as in "A dynamical approach provides a meaningful way to analyse aesthetics," but, don't be personal as in "I really think chaos theory is the best thing going."


5. Attempt to provide some interpretation and scholarly critique of the material, rather than just listing a series of so-called "facts".  But be sure to substantiate everything you say.


6. Use up-to-date material unless your reference is of historical significance.


7. If you do some "cross-border shopping", i.e., use material from another area or discipline than the psychology of creativity, be sure to "pay duty."  Be sure to state and explain the relevance of the material to the psychology of creativity.  Your central issues should always be psychological.


Marking Scheme for Essays.  Each of the following aspects is worth 25%:


-        Organization--Have you provided an introduction and conclusion?  Have you followed APA style (term paper only)?  Are the various parts of the essay related to each other in a systematic way?  Have you developed a thesis?


-   Clarity--How clearly have you expressed yourself?  Have you clearly indicated where the essay is going, what sorts of evidence or arguments you are using, and what the relevant issues are?  Is it clear how the different sections of the essay are related to each other?  (For a model of clarity, see Kearney's book, The Wake of Imagination.)


-   Comprehensiveness--Have you included as much information on this issue as possible that is relevant?  Is your scholarship thorough and fair?  Have you given consideration to proponents of various points of view on the issue?


-   Originality of thought--What is your own contribution to this area?  How would you assess the issue and the evidence and arguments?  Do you have any suggestions for further work in the area?




Assignments for participation – when creative works are experienced rather than treated as object – will be given throughout the term. These will involve reports on some experience of art or other products of creative activity. Brief reports can be made orally or in writing. Instructions will be given with each assignment. There will be three assignments through the term, each worth 5%.