There are many fascinating angles you can take on this assignment. I don’t set a topic because I want to encourage you to explore directions that most interest you.

The basics are that the term paper will be your documented study of the depiction of at least one mind/brain topic, such as a mental disorder, in at least one visual or performing arts primary source, with scientific research integrated to build your argument. The paper will be double-spaced, 12 font, at least 7 pages of your prose and 1-page list of Works Cited.

Examples: autism as the theme of a song/movie or the condition of the creator, expressions of mood
disorder in painting, schizophrenia on stage, the effects of music on cognitive development.

Example: analyze a painting, a play, musical composition, or a fiction movie that depicts bipolar disorder and discuss what the symptoms, experience, and treatment of bipolar disorder are like from the character’s point of view, and compare or contrast that with scientific perspectives on the symptoms and treatment from the practitioner’s or scientist’s perspective. What differences does the creative perspective bring to our understanding of the condition?

It is an evidence-based persuasive paper, integrating primary material and secondary peer-reviewed material. Take a position and defend it with evidence.

The paper must include at least one visual or performing arts primary source (that means, an original creative work, e.g., a play, musical composition, artwork, or dance), which has not been assigned in class; this source cannot be a Youtube video, a news video, a documentary, or a cartoon; if you seek to use audio-visual material as a primary source only a full-length feature fiction film is acceptable and it should be engaged critically, not accepted as necessarily accurate) and at least three peer-reviewed sources; you can integrate science as suits your argument.

The focus should be on the arts material rather than material from other fields. You should identify the arts primary source(s) in the introduction and integrate its main ideas into your thesis. You should plan to search, analyze, and integrate the arts primary source directly, yourself; relying on someone else’s summary or an extract is not suitable.

For the organization of the paper, etc., please see the guidelines below.

You are expected to engage critically with the material and to integrate peer-reviewed secondary sources into your argument. For example, if your subject is brain and arts therapy, discuss primary sources (the art works) in addition to secondary works by scholars (peer-reviewed articles, chapters, books).
Summarize or paraphrase any sources and document them; do not use much quotation. You need to learn to use your own words and to summarize sources accurately in your own words.
Points will be deducted for excessive quotation. A paper of this length should quote no more than one hundred (100) words.