Psych of Adolescence 3

Levels of Achievement







Focus & Content

0 Points

Absence of focus and relevant content; content doesn’t “fit” thesis. Film inappropriate

1- 2 Points

Paper contains too much research information without analysis or commentary

3-4 Points

Adequate focus, but unbalanced content; more analysis needed

5-6 Points

Clear focus; specific, illustrative, and balanced content. Some sources cited.

7-8 Points

Sharp, distinct focus; balanced, substantial, specific, and/or illustrative content; sophisticated, mature ideas are particularly well-developed. Sources cited appropriately.


0 Points

Absence of planned organization.

1 Point

Inconsistent organization

2 Points

Organization attempted, but unclear or inappropriate topic sentences

3 Points

Logical and appropriate organization; clear topic sentences

4 Points

Obviously controlled and/or subtle organization; strong topic sentences.


0 Points

No apparent control over sentence structure and word choice

1 Point

Several awkward and/or unclear sentences; problems with word choice

2 Points

Limited, but mostly correct, sentence structure variety and word choice

3 Points

Precision and variety in sentence structure and word choice

4 Points

Writer’s voice is strong; precision in tone, sentence structure, and word choice.


0 Points

Mechanical and usage errors that significantly interfere with the writer’s purpose

1 Point

Mechanical and usage errors which interfere with writer’s purpose

2 Points

Few mechanical and usage errors. APA style attempted.

3 Points

Free of mechanical and usage errors. APA style followed adequately. Sources included in References.

Critical Film Analysis Paper Rubric

Total Points Possible: 19 points

Assignment Outline: Critical Film Analysis

There are several objectives that guide the design of this assignment. First, the assignment is designed to engage students in critical thinking about adolescence and to develop the communication of that critical analysis through writing. Second, the assignment is designed to engage students in applying one of the fundamental developmental issues in adolescence (identity, autonomy, intimacy, sexuality, achievement, etc.) to the life of a contemporary adolescent. Third, the assignment is designed to encourage exposure to adolescence as expressed in film.

Students are instructed to select a film about an adolescent and relate concepts from the course to the character(s) and story. Given that there are an innumerable number of films that depict adolescence, you can watch any movie of your choosing that has a protagonist that meets our book’s standards for “an adolescent.” You can certainly email me if you have any question about the film you should choose. The paper should include an introduction to the topic, a summary of your main observation, and a concluding summary (see below).

Content of the paper:

· Refer to the General Paper Guidelines

· You MUST have three scientific citations to support your paper. The citations may come from the textbook or popular press (no Wikipedia). Better sources include scientific (peer reviewed) journals.

· For this assignment, students are asked to discuss the psychological development of a fictional adolescent(s).

1. What are the most significant aspects of this character’s development during adolescence?

1. What do you find interesting about this character?

1. What seem to be the pressing issues that this character must resolve?

1. How have the specific factors inherent in the context in which the adolescent lives (or had lived) affected his, her, or their development in adolescence?

1. To what extent is this character’s development typical, in the sense that it appears to correspond (or not correspond) to what we have learned from scientific research and theory about adolescence?

1. What might have been done to help the adolescent grow or develop more optimally? In other words, what buffers might have been to prevent any downfalls? Give specific examples from the scientific literature that focus on aspects of the adolescent (e.g., personality, cognitive development), family, peer, and greater social context.

Be sure to introduce briefly the character and the story so that the reader of your paper is familiar enough to understand the references to the movie. You may use direct quotes (with proper citation) from the scientific articles or movie for the purposes of illustration. You should not rely on this as an alternative to providing your own interpretation and analysis. Students are required to tie in references and information from the scientific literature.

Introductory Paragraph: The introductory paragraph should include the thesis statement, a kind of mini-outline for the paper: it tells the reader what the essay is about. Thus, you want to make very brief mention of the main point of the story. Then tell the reader what you are going to say – that is, which dimension of adolescence and psychosocial development you will use in analysis of the film, and which sub-themes you will include (e.g., you may select the theme of autonomy, and the sub-themes of decision-making and conformity). Outline the theme and sub-themes, describing them in the order that you will write about them in the body of the paper. The last sentence should provide a transition to the brief summary of the readings (for example, you may want to say that you will begin the paper by briefly summarizing the readings in the paragraph that follow).

First paragraph after introduction: In this paragraph you should briefly summarize the film. The point is not to re-tell the story. Rather, you should tell the main points, with a focus on the key themes that you will discuss later.

Body of the paper: Here you begin your critical analysis. Describe the dimension of psychosocial development that you believe is linked to the film, and provide your analysis of why this theme is relevant for the film. You will want to describe the substantive background of the theme (what you have learned about, for example, autonomy and decision-making in adolescence). Most importantly, you will then want to describe why it is relevant given what you saw for the paper. This is the heart of your argument. How does this idea relate to the film, and why? Keep in mind that this isn’t an opinion paper. You may state your opinion, but your opinion is not in itself a critical analysis (unless it is presented as one). You should state why the theme from class is relevant given what we know about adolescence, and given the substance of the film. As you analyze your film for themes about adolescence, think about why this story is told about an adolescent: does it make a difference that the main character is an adolescent? What makes this person’s experiences unique, or what makes their experiences similar to other adolescents?

Concluding paragraph: In this paragraph, revisit the major themes of the paper. Restate your thesis statement; allude to your review of the film, and summarize the main points from the body of the paper. Here you may want to describe ways that this film / assignment supports or extends what you have learned in class readings or lectures about adolescence/adolescent development.

References: Please include 3 scholarly, peer-reviewed sources in your paper. One of these may be the course textbook, but the other should come from a scholarly journal.

Format for papers:

0. Heading: The first page should include the following:

0. Your name, date, A title (DO NOT INCLUDE A SEPARATE COVER PAGE)

0. The Heading should occupy no more than three lines of the page. 😉

0. Length: 3-5 pages double spaced. (Note: Papers must be at least 3- FULL, well-written pages to receive full credit.). This does not include references or cover page.

0. Font: 12 point Times New Roman or Arial font.

0. Citations: Standard APA format for in-text and References page.