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Psychology Genre Analysis and Application

Psychology can be defined as a field consisting of clinical, academic, and research

psychology that are interested with the behavior of humans and animals and how it relates to

psychological processes, according to Medilexicons medical dictionary (Nordqvist, 2015). Each

of these parts of psychology, being that it is medically oriented, require precision and good

analysis when taking care of patients. The work done in the field must be accurate and studied

carefully to ensure a proper diagnosis and treatment of any patient.

The writing assignment given by my psychology professor is given to all of the students

in general psychology [PSY 2012]. It is a secondary option to participating in face-to-face or

online research to obtain SONA credits as a class requirement. All students have the option of

either doing 5 papers, worth a maximum of 2 points each, doing participating in studies, or a

combination of the two for a total score out of 10. The assignment is to summarize a research

journal article from a list of provided documents on the assignment page.


The community that is targeted through this assignment is the entirety of the general

psychology student body. All students that take general psychology at UCF have the option to do

this assignment to earn SONA points. Because these assignments are used to evaluate your

understanding of the field of psychology, values such as attention to detail, honesty, hard work,

and attentiveness are important within the community. Within the psychology community there

are many specific types of language habits and words that are used within the field. There are

vocabulary terms such as the types of mental disorders, sleep stage names, types of treatment,

and theoretical concepts. Typically, specifics are often used because the field relies heavily on
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diagnosis and treatment of psychological disorders, as well as the studying of the human brain.

In my experience not many colloquial terms are used in the field, there is usually a standard that

is followed everywhere. This community can be described as a community of practice; while it

does follow common goals and attitudes, there is not much communication between all students

in general psychology. Students in the same class may communicate in some cases like through

webcourses here at UCF, but there is no overarching connectedness between all of its members

(Johns, 1997).


This assignments targeted audience is mostly the same as the actual audience that will be

reviewing it. However, the paper could have an intended audience of other psychology students

or even some psychology scholars who are looking to review material from different journal

articles. The summary should need to be clear and concise so that it could be useful to this

intended audience. Because it is a summary of another article and the audience is expecting to

learn from our summary, it is important that it is short enough to be considered a summary, but

also goes into enough detail about the main topics so that it is useful.

The actual audience of this assignment is the psychology department committee at UCF.

They are determining the scores of each paper based on a rubric provided with descriptions of

each component needed. Because of this rubric, I know that they require a title page with student

information and information on the article chosen. They also ask specifically for 75% summary

and 25% opinion within the assignment to receive full credit. It can also be inferred by the class

itself that the paper should at least somewhat follow an APA formatting because it is a

psychology class.
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The intended audience of this assignment is expecting a well summarized journal article

that can be read to understand the topics covered in the original research. This creates a need for

the assignment to be done so that a comprehensive analysis can be reviewed in order to learn the

material. The desire is for the paper to be a competent work that can be shown to others in the

same field that provides something of value to the community. There may also be a validation

factor that plays in as well. By producing a good work, it could get recognized which can be a

good step in advancing in the field as an influential force, which helps build your ethos.

The exigence brought on by the audience that will actually be reviewing the assignment

is the need to gain SONA research points to raise or maintain a grade in psychology. By taking

this class, all of the assignments are important for a grade creating the need for students to do

them. The goal for most if not all students is to pass the class with a decent grade and move on

with their studies. This assignment serves as a helper, or buffer to pad the grade if you do well on

it, and bring up the class grade overall. For students that are psychology majors, this assignment

serves as an introduction to the field, and so does the entire class. Doing well on this assignment

and in general psychology allows them to continue their major path with confidence knowing

that they did very well in general psychology, and transfer that confidence to the rest of the

classes in their field.

Rhetorical Strategies

For this assignment concepts such as Kairos and the appeals of ethos, pathos, and logos

are helpful when analyzing and responding to the prompt and the external research article.

Because the assignment is a summary the right measure of information is important in order to
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have a decent summary. The rubric also states that it needs to be a 75%-25% ratio of summary

and opinion respectively, so an understanding of Kairos is helpful in analyzing and writing the

summary for this assignment. It is also important to establish ethos and logos within the

assignment as well, pathos is not nearly as important for this. Establishing both of these appeals

when writing for the intended audience makes the paper better and give a better summary of the

research journal. Since psychology is an analytical field, with diagnosis and treating patients, it is

important to have a professional tone that also defines yourself as a professional. One of the

ways of doing that is by providing information that is unbiased and factual to the audience to

earn your credibility. Within this assignment the concept of narrative is also prevalent. By

summarizing a journal article, we are recreating the events or arguments found within the

original journal. The only difference is that the events are told in a more condensed manner due

to the nature of a summary.


Every field have lexis specific to them, being a member of a community allows you to

more easily see it. When talking about psychology I have found that the word psychology

appears often. It is used to describe the field and what type of disorders and learning we are

talking about. Some of the other terms used often are therapy, or therapeutic, diagnosis, and

behavior (Richard & Zimbardo, 2002). All of these terms describe methods within psychology

and the general focus of what was learned in the general psychology class.
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Works Cited

Johns, A. (1997). Discourse Communities and Communities of Practice. In E. Wardle & D,

Downs (Eds). Writing about Writing: A college reader (pp.319-341) Boston: Bedford/St.


Nordqvist, C. (2015, August 14). Psychology: What you need to know. Medical News Today.

Retrieved from

Richard, G & Zimbardo, P. (2002). Glossary of Psychological Terms. American Psychological

Association. Retrieved from