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Essay assignment  30%   (Week 12)

Mid-term test  30%   (Week 7)

Exam  30%   (Week 15)

Participation 10% (see Course Rules)


 Essay assignment: Week 12, worth 30%

PLEASE NOTE : In the interest of trying to maintain a paperless classroom, the essay assignment will be submitted to me via e-mail, no later than 11pm on the day that it is due.

If you do not see confirmation or receipt from me within 24 hours of your sending it, it means I did not receive it, and you will need to send it again, with the original date that you had submitted it. Keep copies of everything so that if there is a question of a lost assignment, you will have proof that you sent it.

Using psychological and sociological tools you learned at the beginning of this course (week 2 and week 3), write a 1500 word essay analyzing a “passer”of your choice. The passer could be a famous person from the Passers list on your website, or it could be another real or fictional character whose life has been written about.

Before setting out to write an essay, or any important written work, always start by designing an outline.  An outline is like the blueprint or plan for your essay.


1) Tell the story.  Make it a brief and concise biography; no more than 100 words in total.

2) Identify whether the person’s mode of passing is survival-based, altruistic, or narcissistic.

3) Write a psychological analysis. How would mainstream psychology frame the psyche of this person? Would he or she be considered emotionally or mentally “disturbed?” If so, what might be some psychological labels used to define this person’s psyche? Provide at least three different psychological perspectives (example: Freudian, Ericksonian, Feminist) about this person’s condition.  Do you agree with the analysis that mainstream analysis would proffer? Explain why.

4) Discuss your passer’s life realities, and the internal and external conditions that might have led them to want to pass.

5) Describe your passer’s cultural influence—does your passer have a following or fans? Has he/she inspired people? If so, how?

6) Perform an archetypal analysis (see also Jungian archetypes; more on Jungian archetypes + video of Jung) of your passer’s journey from beginning to end. Is there a lesson for us in this person’s story? What has this person taught us that we can pass on to others?

7) Explain why you chose to profile this passer. What moved you to analyze this person’s story? Do you relate to this person in a particular way? Has this had an influence on your thoughts, beliefs, attitudes? Describe and discuss.

8) Use 3 hard-copy sources (books, articles, journals, newspapers), and create a bibliography (MLA or APA styles are acceptable).   Be sure to credit individual facts with in-text references, e.g… (Medaglia-Miller 34).  Even if you have not directly quoted from other sources, any ideas, historical facts, or opinions of authors other than yourself must be accurately referenced– at a college level, you must give credit to those who contribute to your essay in any conceivable manner.

You may use some web sources, but these must be included only in addition to your three books, journals, or newspaper articles.  You may not use a web source unless the following information is provided:  author, title of article, web publisher name (organization posting the article), and the date of the article.  In addition, you must, as per MLA/APA format, provide the date on which you ‘retrieved’ the article from the WWW.

9) Your work must be original– the submission of even a partially-plagiarized paper will result in an automatic failure.   Please write in your own words.

  • What do you think plagiarism is? 
  • Take Karen Hamilton’s self-test on Plagiarism
  • See Karen Hamilton’s tutorial on Plagiarism.

I invite you to take a look at these exciting examples of how students have completed the essay assignment:

Frank Abagnale, by Sorel Aviles

Chief Buffalo Child Long Lance, by Kristina Platt-Law 


Mid-term Test: Week 7, worth 30%

Final Exam: Week 15, worth 30%

Details concerning test content and format T.B.A.

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