Module 3 Research Essay

Essay Assessment for Module 3


For Module 3, instead of a timed essay, you will write a research essay. Internal citations and a Works Cited are requirements. You will have more than a week to complete this assignment, so start early, be thorough, and make sure you complete all requirements.

No assignments will be accepted late. Make sure you ask if you have questions on the assignment ahead of time. Read each part of the directions. This research essay will count as an Essay Assessment in your 1st grading period - so it is VERY important to put forward your best effort.

Please look at each item below. You will find the essay rubric, as well as several examples of correct citations.


Locate two or three scholarly articles on the topic of identity development in adolescents (think about Erikson's stage of Identity vs Role Confusion). (Do not use Wikipedia!)

  • Based on your literature review, write a thesis statement on the factors impacting an adolescent's development of identity.
  • Write a short essay (300-400 words).
  • Use the articles to support your thesis.

1. You must have both INTERNAL CITATIONS and a WORKS CITED section.
2. Any direct quotes and paraphrased information must be internally cited. So any fact or idea that you got from a source, even if it's not a direct quote, must be cited.
3. You must have at least 2 sources to get credit. It's fine if you use your textbook as a source. ".org", ".edu" and ".gov" websites are preferred, or journals, magazines, and books. (;; & are good places to start)
4. Your thesis statement should be the last sentence of the first paragraph. Underlining the thesis is always helpful. :) A thesis states what the paper will cover. It explains to the reader what the paper will cover. You never use first person (I will . . .) in a formal paper.


  • 20 points (at least 2 valid sources) Locate two or three scholarly articles on the topic of identity development in adolescents.(Do not use Wikipedia!) This rubric item is based on the presence of your your Works Cited.
  • 10 points Write a thesis statement on the factors on identity development in adolescents (think about Erikson's stage of Identity vs Role Confusion). Where is your thesis? It should be the last sentence of the first paragraph.
  • 50 points Write a short essay (300-400 words). Is the student’s argument clear? Does the student support his/her opinions with research?
  • 20 points Make sure to cite your references by using proper MLA or APA format. This rubric item is based on the presence of your internal citations.

For APA citations you use the person's last name and then the year of publication after the sentence (Smith 2010), for MLA it's the last name and the page # (Smith 23).

Citation examples

Here are examples from three students who did a good job integrating research and their own ideas together. NOTE this is only one paragraph from each of their essays, and if there were any grammar/spelling errors I did not change them.
My commentary about their essays is in italics.

Sample 1: Rachel’s paragraph 9

What I liked about this paragraph was she used a quote and then backed it up with her own ideas. You’ll also see in this paragraph she has a quote, her own ideas related to “Mean Girls”, and paraphrased information from a second source.

If Rachel had wanted to do APA style instead of MLA style, all she would need to do was add the publication years after the name in parenthesis. (see Molly’s example below). For MLA style Rachel doesn’t have page numbers because she was using websites that weren’t paginated.

As Elizabeth Morawitz stated, “that watching televised gender portrayals has an effect on individuals’ real-world gender based attitudes, beliefs and behaviors.” As teens experiment and test their boundaries, they may come across movies that exhibit qualities that do not reflect real-life. In the movie “Mean Girls,” teen girls are displayed as Barbie Dolls with a facetious side. Many teens watching this movie may think that because Lindsay Lohan acted a certain way in a movie, that they should do the same. The media has a more than likely negative effect on the development of one’s identity as an adolescent. While teens experience the stages Carl Pickhardt suggested, they may also be affected by the media, social crowds, and cliques.

Sample 2: Molly’s paragraph

Here Molly incorporated paraphrased information from 3 sources, her own commentary, and even a small direct quote (“social haven”). Also you might notice the Stringer resource is after the period which indicates all the preceding information came from that source. She is using APA style as the publication dates are listed after the person’s name.

As young teenagers, adolescents experience a multitude of influences that cause them to question their self-image. Should they be humble and quiet, accepting and wise, or should they be outgoing and vivacious, critical and inquisitive? Media and literature bombard them with different attitudes and perceived norms, each telling a different story. (Stringer, 1994). The biggest influence on the young teenager, however, is their peers. As teens tend to drift away from their parents, they begin to search for their true identity. Freed of customary boundaries and responsibilities set by the most important adults in their lives, children can then discover who they really might be (Cornell, 2002). Thus, as parents become less visible in the child’s life, friends become the stable “voices of reason.” Adolescents often hide behind their social group and their label, certain that their identity is merely consistent with the other twenty friends housed in their “social haven” (Mannheim, 2011). As time wanes, however, adolescents move from friendships into romantic relationships where boundaries are pushed and social circles expand.

Sample 3: Kristina’s paragraph

In this paragraph Kristina includes direct quotes from two different sources and then a paraphrase from our psychology textbook. What’s good about this is that she links the quotes from different sources together with her own words. Kristina is using MLA style so she has page numbers after the last names.

Both friends and family are people adolescents go to for help and comfort; the closest people to an adolescent, however, are the family. “No aspect of adolescent development has received more attention from the public and from researchers than parent-child relationships” say Richard M. Lerner and Laurence D Steinberg in their book Handbook of Adolescent Psychology (3). Parents pass on many of their values to their children. For example, many children adopt their political outlooks from their parents. How much a parent supports the child also matters in identity development. According to Identity Development by Jane Kroger, “results have generally found that adolescents in families that encourage individuality and connectedness are more likely to explore various identity alternatives prior to commitment;” likewise, “those adolescents in families discouraging individuation are less likely to explore identity alternatives” (77). Adolescents with a positive family environment will develop a sense of freedom in identity development and will adopt various selves; they have more opportunity to do so. A positive environment will also lead to a more positive outlook on life. In the Psychology textbook by David G. Myers (159), it says that children growing up with abusive parents tend to be abusive to their future children. Thus, adolescents are molded by parental influences.

Module 3 Research Essay

Thursday, Oct. 9th 2014 at 11:45pm

This is an online event.