Tracing Lifespan Development
I. General Description
This semester we are examining development throughout the lifespan. One recurring theme throughout this course is the
interaction between nature (i.e., one’s heredity) and nurture (i.e., one’s environment). How might environmental forces
interact with biological forces to influence development?
To address this question, and critically apply course content, you will complete the Tracing Human Development
assignment. In this assignment you will “trace” the development of a unique individual during a target developmental
period: prenatal, birth, and early infancy (conception to approximately one year of age).
You will be randomly assigned an individual, given that individual’s biography, and provided with a wild card scenario. The
wild card scenarios will involve aspects of development covered in your text and/or discussed in class. For example, a wild
card scenario during the prenatal period could involve exposure to a teratogen.
In this assignment, you will be asked to (1) introduce and explain the developmental period (e.g., conception to one year of
age); (2) accurately and thoroughly explain the effects of the wild card; and (3) accurately and thoroughly integrate
contextual factors impacting the individual’s development. You are permitted to use your textbook, notes from lecture, and
notes from discussion section.
II. Due Dates and Submission Details
The assignment is due in electronic form on D2L no later than Saturday, October 15th at 11:59 PM. Please note that
only Microsoft Word documents (.doc, .docx) will be accepted. Failure to comply with these file restrictions may result
in a late penalty. Please refer to the checklist and tips below for more information.
III. Checklist and Rubric
Basic Requirements (3 points)
___ The assignment meets the following formatting restrictions:
___ has a cover page that includes only the following information:
(1) your name;
(2) the name of your assigned individual; and
(3) the assigned wild card
___ no longer than 4 pages (not including cover page), has page numbers, is double-spaced, is in Times
New Roman 12-point font, and has 1” margins
___ No use of personal language (I, me) or quotes
___ The assignment includes proper usage and style of APA internal citations
___ The assignment is free of grammatical and spelling errors
Introduction to the Developmental Period (4 points)
___ Effectively describe the prenatal and early infancy period by incorporating and fully explaining at least four
unique aspects of this period of development. Reference lecture, discussion section, and/or textbook
Explanation of the Wild Card’s Impact on Development (8 points)
___ Accurately and thoroughly explain at least four applicable effects of the wild card via sufficient evidence
from lecture, discussion section, and/or your textbook.
Integration of Contextual Factors Impacting Development (10 points)
___ Successfully identify and thoroughly explain the effects of at least five accurate contextual factors impacting
your assigned individual’s development by incorporating sufficient information from lecture, discussion
section, and/or your textbook.
– Basic Requirements
o Begin writing early. If you start early you will have adequate time to ensure you meet all requirements within
the allotted space.
o Revise your assignment several times. The initial draft is often disjointed or may not express ideas in the
most concise manner.
o When proofreading the final draft, start at the end of your paper and work backwards to the beginning. This
technique avoids getting lost in the meaning of your writing and permits you to catch typos or grammatical
– Introduction to Developmental Period
o Ensure you describe the developmental period: prenatal and early infancy (conception to one year of age).
You earn complete points in this category by mentioning any four unique aspects of the prenatal and early
infancy period we discussed or read about. For example, you might choose to describe the stages of the
prenatal period; however, simply stating the prenatal stage is not enough to earn full credit. Thorough
description means providing information about when each stage occurs, what generally develops during
each stage, and the significance of these developments. Please note even though there are three stages,
this only accounts for one of the four unique aspects you are responsible for providing.
o You will need to mention at least three additional unique aspects of this period to earn full credit. Reflect on
the content from this period of development to generate additional aspects. What is a fetus capable of
doing? What is the significance of those abilities? How might the birth process unfold? What is an infant
capable of doing at birth? What is the significance of those abilities? What might theorists, such as Piaget
and Erickson, highlight about the first year of life? Thorough answers to these questions (and certainly
much other content) could be integrated in order to earn full credit for this component of the assignment.
– Explanation of the Wild Card’s Impact on Development
o When you receive your wild card, think critically about pathways through which it may affect the individual.
Some pathways may be clearer than others. I am looking for you to deeply engage with the content from
your text, discussion section, and lecture. Please carefully think about multiple possible routes through
which the wild card could affect the individual’s development. For example, a teratogen might affect
prenatal physical growth which, in turn, might affect birthweight, the acquisition of certain motor abilities,
and the onset of certain cognitive abilities.
o You must identify and thoroughly explain areas of development impacted by the wild card. It is not
sufficient to simply state a wild card could result in low birthweight. How does the wild card result in low
birthweight? What is meant by low birthweight? What is the developmental course of an individual
categorized as low in birthweight? In order to earn full credit, you will need to go beyond superficial
statements such as “X causes low birthweight” and fully explain the effect of the wild card on development,
as demonstrated by the extra questions posed above (e.g., defining low birthweight, identifying and
describing the developmental outlook for individuals with low birthweight). Look to your textbook, notes,
and content discussed in discussion section to inform your answers to these questions.
– Integration of Contextual Factors Impacting Development
o Development does not occur in a vacuum. There are numerous environmental forces which may affect the
development of an individual during the prenatal and early infancy period. You will need to identify and
thoroughly describe in an accurate manner how environmental factors in this individual’s life might impact
their development. For instance, parental characteristics (e.g., SES, employment), family structure (e.g.,
siblings), and location might all respectively impact development in meaningful ways. In order to earn full
credit, you will need to identify environmental factors (e.g., SES) and then thoroughly trace how each single
environmental factor might impact the individual’s development using information in your textbook, notes,
and content discussed in discussion section. Please note even though there are many ways SES might
impact an individual’s development, SES only accounts for one of the unique aspects you are
responsible for providing. You need to incorporate a minimum of five environmental forces.
o How should I structure my trace?
§ Following the order of topics mentioned in the checklist is usually most effective: (1) introduce the
period of development (prenatal and early infancy); (2) explain how the wild card impacts
development; and (3) integrate contextual factors that impact development.
o Are there any length restrictions?
§ Yes. You are limited to a maximum of four, double-spaced, 12-point Times New Roman pages with
1” margins. The required title page does not count towards this page limit.
o I see the word “thoroughly” repeatedly throughout this assignment description. How can I be sure I am
being thorough enough?
§ When writing your trace think of the following rating system pertaining to thoroughness, where 1 is
the least desirable and 4 is the most desirable: 1 = only your point is mentioned (e.g., SES matters in
development); 2 = your point is mentioned and expanded upon in an ambiguous manner (e.g., SES
impacts the resources present in the environment); 3 = your point is mentioned and expanded upon
but lacks effective explanation rooted in development (e.g., SES impacts household budgets for
things like proper food); 4 = your point is mentioned, effectively expanded upon, and firmly rooted
in development (e.g., SES impacts household budgets for things like nutritious food. This lack of
proper nutrition might result in X or Y. [Writer proceeds to specifically describe points X and Y,
ensuring to link them to the development of the assigned individual]). Always aim for the 4th level.
§ When you are writing your trace, your goal should be to support each and every claim to the best of
your ability. For each claim you make, make sure you answer the following question: “How do I
know this is the case?”
o May I use outside resources?
§ No. Your textbook, notes, and content discussed in discussion section provides more than enough
material for a highly effective trace.
o I did not purchase a textbook. Moreover, I now realize I took poor notes. What do I do?
§ Consult the PDF of textbook chapters on D2L. Recordings of all Monday and Wednesday meetings
are posted on D2L. To access these recordings, select UA Tools on D2L and then Panopto.
o Do I need to cite content in this paper?
§ Yes. When you present an idea that is not your own (i.e., it came from your textbook, lecture notes,
or discussion section notes) you should cite it. Please consult the EDP Plagiarism Policy posted on
D2L for much more information.
o How do I cite the textbook or notes from lecture/discussion?
§ Textbook: Infants spend significantly more time in REM sleep than adults (Feldman, 2016, p. 123).
§ Lecture/Discussion Section notes: REM sleep in infants is potentially linked to neurological
development (E. Smith, personal communication, September 9, 2016).
o What if I write my trace based on a different individual than I was assigned?
§ If you write your trace on either a different person or wild card than you were assigned you will
incur a 10-point deduction from your grade.
Our Service Charter
Excellent Quality / 100% Plagiarism-Free
Confidentiality / 100% No Disclosure
Money Back Guarantee
24/7 Customer Support