Compare-Contrast Research Paper


Instructions for the Compare-Contrast Research Paper:

For this paper, chose two theories of interest covered in the textbook and write an essay that compares and contrasts them.For those of you who are new to compare/contrast essays, I offer the following explanation.This type of essay requires that the writer discuss the similarities and differences between two or more phenomena.In this case, you need to discuss for each section noted below (other than the introduction and concluding thoughts) how the theories are similar and how they are different.It is suggested that you organize each section in two subsections that each may contain one or more paragraphs – one subsection describing the similarities and the other describing the differences.Unfortunately, I sometimes receive papers from students who simply describe each theory in each section.That is not a compare/contrast essay and using that approach will result in point deductions.The sections for this paper are as follows, and please use an APA style header for each one.

  • Introduction
    • A brief paragraph introducing the topic you are covering
  • The Nature of Maladjustment
  • Therapeutic Goals
  • The Therapist’s Function/Role
    • Diagnosis and appraisal devices
    • Major techniques used in therapy
  • The Client’s Experience in Therapy
  • Multicultural Strengths/Shortcomings
  • Concluding Thoughts (each of these should be its own paragraph):
    • Summary of your findings
    • What you learned from this exercise
    • Of the two theories, which one did you identify with most and why

Along with your textbook, four (4) empirical studies from peer-reviewed journals for each theory must also be incorporated into your essay.That means you need nine (9) sources total – your textbook and eight (8) empirical studies.It is expected that you will use the RU library system to access the PsychInfo and PsychArticles databases so I can find your articles as needed when grading your paper.Citations and references must be in APA style.Lastly, a title page is expected; however, you do not need to complete an abstract.Excluding the title page and reference page, this paper should be between 6 to 8 pages in length using double line spacing.

I realize that the due date requires completion of this paper before some theories are covered, so feel free to read ahead should any of those theories look interesting.The due date can be found in the lecture schedule.The grading matrix is as follows:

Available Points


Title page included


Writing is well organized and follows a logical sequence


Grammar, spelling, and paragraphs are correct


APA style is followed





The Nature of Maladjustment


Therapeutic Goals


The Therapist’s Function/Role


The Client’s Experience in Therapy


Multicultural Strengths/Shortcomings


Concluding Thoughts


Total Points: