Reaction Paper Regard of Amendment Made in DSM5



Yourassignment is towrite a reaction paperonthe debate concerning the removal of the exclusionary criterion for bereavement for Major Depressive Disorder in the upcoming DSM-5. As part of this assignment, you need to read two articles(Friedman, 2012; Kendler, 2010) that illustrate both sides of the discussion. Your reaction paper must be based on these articles in addition to anything you have learned in lecture and your textbook on depression.  As part of the paper, you must discuss your thoughts about the appropriateness of the DSM-5 committee decision. You need to take a stand on the issue and argue for it.

What is a Reaction Paper?

In brief, reaction papers provide a summary of the information presented as well as your thoughts and comments on the material.  Though this is titled a reaction paper, your writing sample must demonstrate that you have insight into the topic and it must be presented in a logical, scientific, and concise manner.  A reaction paper is not simply a retelling of information, nor is it a journal of detailing your thoughts and feelings about it. (Note: The handout of DSM-5 criteria for depression does not need to be summarized; it is for your edification and in case you’d like to refer to it in your discussion)

A model for the Reaction Paper:

This model is provided as a guide to how you may want to structure your paper.  Feel free to veer away from the format, but be sure that the format that you choose results in a document that is written clearly, logically, and flows well from beginning to end.


  • Introduce the topic.
  • Present information related the controversy surrounding the topic.
  • Why is this topic important enough to create so much controversy?

Main body

  • Discuss your views prior to reading the articles and afterwards.
  • What arguments are presented by each side and what are the foundations for these arguments?
  • Comment on each position and cite the reasoning behind your opinions.  This must include more than just feeling statements.  You must think critically about the issue and present your view in the same way you would if you were in a debate.  You must take a stand and support it, even if you do not feel that strongly about either side.


  • Sum up your argument(s) and indicate how these readings did or did not impact change or impact your thoughts regarding this controversial issue.

Formatting Instructions:

  • Your paper must have a cover page with a title, your name, your student number, and the class name in the center of the page.
  • The text must be 2 pages (this does not include the cover page or reference page).No more than 3/4of a page should be devoted to a summary of the two sides.
  • The text must be in 12 point Times New Roman font.
  • All margins must be 1”.
  • The text must be double-spaced.
  • You must include a Header with Page Number in Top Right Corner.
  • Do not skip lines between paragraphs.
  • This paper is a piece of formal writing and as such, it is unacceptable to use slang phrases and popular expressions.  Paragraphs should be well organized and consist of three or more sentences that pertain to a single topic.  Be sure that paragraph transitions are smooth and maintain a flow for the entire document.
  • All papers should be stapled in the upper left-hand corner.
  • Please use APA style (6th edition)

Spelling and Grammar:

  • Your first spelling error or typo will be ignored and no points will be deducted. Each additional spelling error or typo will receive penalities.
  • No slang words or phrases (or contractions, i.e., “can’t”) should be used in this piece of formal writing. Remember to use transitions from paragraph to paragraph.
  • Write in complete sentences with proper sentence structure.


Independent Thinking:

  • You are asked to show evidence of independent thinking in this assignment. This means that the ideas expressed must be your own thoughts. These ideas can (and in many cases should) be supported by lecture and reading materials.
  • On the other hand, your also have to provide a concise summary of arguments proposed by each side, which requires summarizing and citing reading materials.

Citations and References:

  • You must cite reading materials, including the articles (i.e., American Psychiatric Association, 2012; Friedman, 2012; Kendler, 2010). Quoting or paraphrasing (i.e., summarizing something that another person wrote without directly quoting) without proper citation constitutes plagiarism. Quotes should be used at a minimum.
  • If you want to cite lecture material for which there is no actual citation included, cite as Sellbom (2012) and reference as: Sellbom, M. (2012, September). TITLE FOR LECTURE USED. Lecture presented at The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL.
  • Because you don’t have enough info: Kendler, K. (2010). DSM-5 Mood Disorders Workgroup Response. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association.
  • Websites, including Wikipedia, are not scientific sources. If you find something online that you would like to cite, be sure to locate and cite the primary source (e.g., journal article or book).



** Submit as an attachment (must be formatted as a Microsoft WordDocument (or something compatible)) on the Wattle***








Grading Rubric


  Unacceptable Needs Improvement


Average Above Average Excellent
Formatting More than three deviations from formatting guidelines (e.g., margins, font size, font type, spacing) OR paper is 1 or more pages off page requirement.

(0 p)


Three deviations from formatting guidelines OR page length is 1/2 page off page requirement.

(1 p)

Two deviations from formatting guidelines. Page requirement met.


One deviation from formatting guidelines. Page requirement met.


No deviation from formatting guidelines.


Spelling/Grammar Five or more typos, spelling errors, or deviations from proper grammar.



Four typos, spelling errors, or deviations from proper grammar.


Three typos, spelling errors, or deviations from proper grammar.


Two typos, spelling errors, or deviations from proper grammar.


One typo, spelling errors, or grammatical error.


Independent Thinking No presentation of independent ideas.


Most ideas expressed rely on other sources without independent thought.



About half of ideas include thinking that is independent from other sources.


Most ideas expressed include thinking that is independent of other sources.


Clear evidence of independent thinking throughout paper.



Summary of the Topic No summary of either side is presented.



No summary of one side and insufficient summary of the other side is presented.


Insufficient summaries of both sides OR a reasonable summary of one side and no summary of the other side.




Reasonable and concise summary of one side, but insufficient summary of the other side.


Reasonable and concise summaries of both sides are presented.



Comments and Conclusions No independent discussion of the debate and no clear stance on the issue.



Incoherent discussion of the debate, with some semblance of a stance on the debate.


Insufficient discussion, but the paper does take a clear stance on the debate.


Reasonable and coherent discussion of each side, but the paper does not include a clear stance on the debate.



Reasonable and coherent discussion of each side AND the paper includes a clear stance on the debate.




  • Total points: 15


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