Essay 1 – Assignment Instructions

  • Length: 1000-1500 words
  • Value: 200 points
  • Format: MLA
  • Outside Sources (other than Mistakes Were Made): Optional
  • Due: Friday, November 5, 11:59 pm

For essay 1, you will write a personal narrative about an observation of or an experience with cognitive dissonance.

Personal narrative means you will tell a story that you observed or experienced. This means the event(s) can have happened to you personally or can be something you observed closely firsthand happening to others.

Your essay should

  1. set the stage for the event(s);
  2. identify and explain the specific dissonant elements and their context, using concepts and definitions from Mistakes Were Made;
  3. narrate how and why the dissonance was addressed or ignored.

You will of course need to be clear about what cognitive dissonance is, so you should review and understand the relevant sections of the early chapters of Mistakes Were Made, which you will have just finished summarizing.  

Grading Criteria (in order of importance):

1) Quality and sophistication of the thesis and support;

2) Correct use and substantive application of cognitive concepts from Mistakes Were Made

3) Organizational logic and clarity;

4) Command of sentence and mechanical conventions.