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PSYC101 Howard Community College Ordinary People Movie Analysis

PSYC101 Howard Community College Ordinary People Movie Analysis

PSYC101 Howard Community College Ordinary People Movie Analysis


PSYC-101 Ordinary People (1980) Movie Assignment – 75 points

For this assignment you will be watching the movie Ordinary People (2001) in class. The link to the movie is posted on our Canvas site. Be sure to use the questions below to guide your attention as you watch the film.

The written portion of this assignment must be computer-generated, double-spaced, 12 point font with 1-inch margins, and written in APA format.The final document should be 4-5 pages (900-1000 words) with a word count shown at the end of the paper. This page count does not include the Title page or Reference page. The word count should not include the set of questions. You may exceed this limit but direct your efforts to answering the questions posed. A grading rubric is provided on the Canvas site for the class. This assignment must be submitted in Canvas and MUST generate a Turnitin score.

Steps for writing the paper:

  • Create a title page which includes: The title of the assignment, your name and your Instructor’s name. (3 pts).
  • The body of the paper will focus on answering the questions below. Copy and paste the questions into a word document, putting the answers after each set of questions.
  • Reference page, reference citations, grammar/spelling, written communication (17 pts): Include an APA style reference page which includes the videos and your textbook. (7 pts) You must also cite the movie and textbook using APA style within the body of the paper and your paper will be graded for grammatical and spelling accuracy (6 pts) Finally your paper will be graded for written communication (4 pts)
  • Summary of the movie plot, in your own words (1/2 page maximum) (5 pts)
  • What is the major psychological disorder that Conrad suffers from? Discuss the etiology (symptoms) of his psychological disorder. How do the symptoms interfere in his life? Substantiate your answer with information from the film and your textbook. (10 pts)
  • How does Conrad cope with his illness? What steps does he take to be treated? What impact does the treatment have on his life? Support your answer by citing specific examples from the movie. (10 pts)
  • What part does the therapist play, including important information, generally of the relationship between Conrad and his therapist? What type of therapy is Conrad’s therapist using? Describe specific techniques and evaluate their effectiveness for Conrad. (10 pts)
  • How does Conrad’s illness impact his relationship with his mother and father? Support your discussion with evidence from the movie. Make sure you discuss his mother and father separately! (10 pts)
  • Describe 2 other characters in the movie (besides his parents and his therapist). Discuss how Conrad’s illness impacts his relationship with both of these characters. Do these characters help or hinder Conrad’s recovery? (10 pts)

Citing the movie in APA format:

  • If you describe a scene by saying: In the movie Ordinary People (1980) …, the title is italicized and the year is in parentheses.
  • If you describe a scene by saying Conrad showed signs of … (Ordinary People, 1980). The title is italicized and both the title and year go in the parentheses before the period at the end of the sentence.

Citing the textbook in APA format:

  • In Grison and Gazzaniga (2019, p. 558), family of people diagnosed with … Only the year of publication and the page number go in the parentheses. The page number included if the page number from the book from which the reference comes.
  • Treatment issues include… (Grison & Gazzaniga, 2019, p. 558). The author’s name, year of publication and page number all go in the parentheses before the period at the end of the sentence.

Basic APA reference format for the film looks like this. (Reference page should begin on a separate page!):


Grison, S., & Gazzaniga, M. S. (2019). Psychology in Your Life (3rd ed., pp. 558-560). New York: W. W. Norton & Company.

Schwary, R. (Producer), & Redford, R. (Director). (1989). Ordinary People [Motion picture]. United States: Paramount Pictures.

Make sure you also include the textbook on the Reference page and make sure you cite the appropriate pages!

The following are the main characters in Ordinary People (1980):

Conrad – the main character in the movie.

Buck – the oldest son who died in the boating accident

Beth – the mother

Cal – the father

Dr. Berger – the psychiatrist

Karen – the girl he met in the mental hospital

Jeanine – the girl in the choir Conrad takes bowling

Remember, anytime you describe a scene from the movie you must cite the

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