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Psychology – Anxiety disorders are a best characterised as categorical disorders. – High academic standard

The University of Melbourne – High standard and technical academic essay on Anxiety – Psychology Faculty – Will need to have referenced at least 12 academic journal articles in the bibliography and many in-text citations of those articles.

I will attach the weekly slides on anxiety and the weekly slides on models on mental illness to assist.

Assignment Format: Argumentative Essay

Word limit: 2500 words

Essay Task

1. Discuss the following topic statement: Anxiety disorders are a best characterised as categorical disorders.

2. Your discussion of the topic statement should examine a minimum of 2 of the following issues:
a) The reliability, validity, and utility of an anxiety disorder diagnosis
b) The factors underpinning the development and/or course of anxiety.
c) Treatment approaches to anxiety disorders.
d) Biomarkers and/or behavioural indicators of anxiety.

3. Consider at least 1 of the following models in the context of your essay.
a) Clinical Staging model
b) HiTOP model
c) RDoC model
d) Cognitive Behavioral model

4. Your essay must additionally include discussion and logical recommendations regarding useful future directions in addressing the issues that you choose to examine.

Advice on approaching this essay
In approaching this essay, you should develop a contention based on the literature that you research. This contention may be in overall support of the essay topic statement, or not. Your contention need not be polarised either way but may embody a more complex position based on consideration of points for and against the topic statement. Indeed, it is likely that your contention will comprise layers, such that: 1) an overall contention is presented based on consideration of all of the issues and evidence that you present throughout the essay; 2) your position regarding the topic statement as it pertains to each of the specific issues (see above) that you examine is also presented. Any overall position/positions on each issue examined you choose is fine, but your position must be based on evidence the evidence that you will discuss in the body of your essay.

We strongly encourage you to take whatever position appeals to you the most based on your literature review and be clear about that position from the beginning. There are degrees of grey within the topic, so a good essay will likely not take an its NOT ever a categorical disorder or it is always bested characterised as a categorical disorders overall position. Better essays are likely to take any of the following overall positions – anxiety disorders are:
A discrete class (i.e., different from some other categories) of continuous disorders (anxiety disorders are similar to each other along a similar dimension or dimensions

somewhat discrete, but share overlapping features with other disorders (e.g., depression, PTSD, etc.)
Share some features/characteristics with other disorder categories and/or other anxiety disorders but dont share others
There are clear instances in which anxiety disorders seem to be very different (e.g., Specific Phobia vs. Treatment-resistant Depression) and others where they seem very similar (e.g., specific phobia and panic disorder)
Some other nuanced position

The task for you is to work out your position for your whole paper. Be clear about your position from the beginning and use your essay to tease out, explore and support the position that you ultimately take (see above for examples).

Structurally, your essay should have an introduction, a body, and a concluding section. Following best writing practices, the introduction will contain your thesis statement (your main argument or position), the body will provide support for your thesis statement, and the conclusion will reiterate and summarise your thesis statement. Note, this does not mean that you should write the exact same thesis statement over and over again. Each paragraph should also follow this logical writing format and have its own objective within the context of the broader essay. In other words, each paragraph should be making a case for something and the sentences within that paragraph should be making that case and ultimately supporting your broader argument.

Given the size of the essay, your introduction may span more than one paragraph. The body of your essay should present arguments in support of and opposed to the topic statement and should have sections dedicated to each of core (again, see above) issues you examine. Discussion of the broad issues for consideration and the models you examine may occur within single paragraphs. In other words, you do not need to separately discuss issues and models. Instead, you should discuss issues and models together. Your concluding paragraph should summarise your essay, resolve the current state of the situation, and outline a logical future direction/s for addressing (or at least starting to address) the issues raised. There are of course, more than just these main points that you should build into your essay, and you should refer to the marking criteria presented below and essay writing resources available on the LMS for guidance here. Your first lab class will address the essay and you can also ask any questions you may have on the LMS discussion board.

Starting readings
The following readings are intended to provide you with a starting point from which to approach this essay. You do not need to read all of these readings, they are just suggestions to help you get started. These readings are available on the LMS. Additionally, Lab class 1, and Lecture 1 and its associated readings will assist in formulating your initial approach. We expect that you will go beyond these resources in your research for this essay.

Kozak & Cuthbert (2016). The NIMH Research Domain Criteria Initiative: Background, Issues, and Pragmatics. Psychophysiology, 53, 286-297.

Clinical Staging Model:
McGorry et al. (2018). Beyond the “at risk mental state” concept: transitioning to transdiagnostic psychiatry. World Psychiatry, 17, 133-142.

Kotov et al. (2017). The hierarchical taxonomy of psychopathology (HiTOP). A dimensional alternative to traditional nosologies. Journal of Abnormal Psychoogy, 126, 454-472.

Cognitive-behavioral model:
Beck, A.T. & Haigh, A.P. (2014). Advances in cognitive therapy and therapy: The generic cognitive model. Annual Reviews of Clinical Psychology, 10, 1-24.

Broad Considerations of Psychiatric Disorders:
Kendler, K.S. (2016). The nature of psychiatric disorders. World Psychiatry, 15, 5-12.

Anxiety Disorders:
Craske, Stein, Eley, Milad, Holmes, Rapee, & Wittchen (2017). Anxiety Disorders. Nature Reviews Disease Primers, 3 (17024), 1-19.

Brown & Barlow (2009). A proposal for a dimensional classification system based on the shared features of the DSM-IV anxiety and mood disorders: Implications for assessment and treatment. Psychological Assessment, 21, 256-271.

Stein et al. (2014). Anxiety disorders, obsessive-compulsive and related disorders, trauma- and stressor-related disorders, and dissociative disorders in DSM-5. American Journal of Psychiatry, 171, 611-613.

Marking Criteria

A. The ESSAY TITLE will (2%):
Be an original title that clearly, accurately, and succinctly summarises the core topic of the essay

Clearly introduce the topic area
Establish the importance and relevance of the topic
Provide a clear statement of the authors position and how this is to be addressed throughout the essay
Define key concepts at the point of their introduction

C. The ESSAY BODY section will (40%):
Develop an argument to advance a particular position on the essay topic overall and in each area examined. This argument should be logically sound and supported well by theory and empirical literature.
Present a balanced argument. The essay body should include discussion of both points for and against the topic regarding each area examined.
Establish a foundation for recommendations regarding future directions.
D. The ESSAY CONCLUSION will (20%):
Summarise the key points in the arguments and counterarguments.
Resolve the discussion logically and with reference to the original contention.
Make logical and useful recommendations for future directions in addressing the issues raised in the essay.
E. APA Style (8%)
The overall document format, in-text citations and reference list should conform to current APA style (6th Ed.)

F. Writing style, gestalt, originality (10%)
The writing style should be clear and concise. The rationale and arguments presented should be integrated coherently throughout the essay.

G. Academic Honesty (There is no specific % associated with this, but up to 10 points
can be lost for minor misconduct, more for major misconduct)
Paraphrasing has been conducted appropriately and all sources have been acknowledged through citation and referencing.