Critical Analysis

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For this assignment you will develop a 10 – 12 page paper critically analyzing a lifespan development topic of interest.  The paper must include summaries and synthesis of 6 – 8 scholarly articles retrieved from the APUS online library.  The paper must not be merely one summary after another with no meaningful connections between them, but rather should include, following a description of and careful review and critique of the summaries, descriptions of how they are related to one another.  This is done via transition statements between descriptions of the various summaries such that the paper interweaves all the articles into a coherent and well-articulated review of scholarly publications related to the paper topic focus.  The paper will end with a minimum of three paragraphs summarizing points made and articulating suggestions for future research directions arising from the article reviews.  This assignment submission will be evaluated based on:

– The degree to which the article summaries are truly integrated; arbitrary statements of “This is related to that” without supporting evidence of an actual connection will result in a significant point deduction.

– Evidence of academically mature insight and use of critical thinking skills in analyzing and relating the articles.

– Clear and thorough articulation of the paper’s key points in a well organized logical progression of ideas.

– Compliance with APA paper formatting standards.

– Minimal to no grammar, spelling or basic writing errors

Selecting a Paper Topic


You must submit a suggested paper topic to your prof for pre-approval by the end of Week 2 of the course.

In case you are stuck and cannot think of a suitable topic, here are a few examples:

  1. Autism: Theories as to its etiology, description of the Autistic Spectrum, diagnostic Issues, and description and evaluation of possible treatment methods.
  2. Aging: Typical vs. atypical aging, problems associated with aging, description of Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease, diagnostic issues, and description and evaluation of possible treatment methods.
  3. Adolescence: Discussion of the stage of development (e.g., theories relating to the stage), description of problems that arise during adolescence (e.g., rebellion, clash with parents, psychopathology), discussion of effective and ineffective parenting methods with adolescents.
  4. Attachment: Discussion of theories related to attachment between parent and child, discussion of how children can become insecurely attached, discussion of Eastern European/Asian orphanages and some of the problems that these children can face when they are adopted into Western homes.