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M2A1: Final Project Part 1 - Reflective Essay Assignment. Cognitive Development to Cope with Challenges (Essay Sample)


One of the characteristics of an effective critical thinker is his or her ability to develop strategies for coping with adversity rather than giving up or becoming embittered. Think of a hardship—personal, academic, or financial—that you are facing. Integrating the characteristics of a good critical thinker, develop a strategy for coping with or overcoming the hardship. This project aligns with module outcome 3.
This four-part, cumulative project gives you an inspiring opportunity to tackle a particular challenge or hardship in your life, whether it is a generalized issue such as managing stress or anxiety, or a specific problem such as losing weight or improving a familial relationship. With each stage of the project, you will benefit from applying the specific bi-weekly lessons from our reading, including the employment of specific critical thinking tools you acquire at each stage.
One of the goals of this project is to give you the opportunity to master the third stage of cognitive development. As stated in your chapter one reading: “Most college students do not make the transition to the third, or commitment, stage of cognitive development” (Stop & Assess Yourself).
Each of the first three projects will be reflective essays that contain five components. The final project will consist of a 10-slide PowerPoint presentation whereby you have the opportunity to summarily draw together the key components of your first three projects in order to persuade an audience or market your ideas.
Please ensure you employ proper headings for each of the five components and utilize proper APA citations and references throughout.
Final Project Part 1: Module 2
One of the characteristics of an effective critical thinker is his or her ability to develop strategies for coping with adversity rather than giving up or becoming embittered. Think of a hardship—personal, academic, or financial—that you are facing. Develop a strategy for coping with or overcoming the hardship by integrating the following components in your 4 to 5-page reflective essay.
From chapters 1 and 2, employ the specific lessons outlined in your reading:
Explain how a Stage 1* approach in Cognitive Development applies here and identify its limitations.
(*Note: Stage 1, Dualism: There are right and wrong answers. Authorities know the right answers.)
Identify at least 3 characteristics of a good critical thinker to help you overcome your hardship.
Identify at least 3 of the more common barriers that most apply to you and how to best overcome them.
Discuss the role of emotion in your approach to your hardship, identifying both negative and positive emotions and their impact on your strategy.
Discuss whether or not faith or spirituality plays any role in your strategy and how its presence, or lack of it, is key to your success.
This course uses the American Psychological Association (APA) format for scholarly writing. References and citations must adhere to the proper format for all written work presented including essays, discussion postings, and essay exams. Online tips for using APA style may be found at the Excelsior College OWL (Links to an external site.). Your research should be documented by citing one or more credible sources such as the textbook, a newspaper, a biographic article, book, or website. Wikipedia and any similar online reference sites where the content may be authored by anyone are not considered credible sources for scholarly writing.
To assist you in your research, the OWL and the Excelsior Library has the following tutorials and links for you to use:
Starting your Research (Links to an external site.) https://libguides(dot)excelsior(dot)edu/friendly.php?s=starting-your-research
Find Answers 24/7 (Links to an external site.) https://libguides(dot)excelsior(dot)edu/library-faqs
Research Strategies (Links to an external site.)
Research Tips (Links to an external site.)
Research Questions (Links to an external site.)
The Research Process (Links to an external site.)
APA Style (Links to an external site.)
Submission Instructions
Compose your work in a .doc or .docx file type using a word processor (such as Microsoft Word, etc.) and save it frequently to your computer. For those assignments that are not written essays and require uploading images or PowerPoint slides, please follow uploading guidelines provided by your instructor.
Check your work and correct any spelling or grammatical errors. When you are ready to submit your work, click “Upload Submission.” Enter the submission title and then click on “Select a file to upload.” Browse your computer, and select your file. Click “Open” and verify the correct file name has appeared next to Submission File. Click on “Continue.” Confirm submission is correct and then click on “Accept Submission & Save.”
This course has Turnitin® fully integrated into the course dropbox. This means that you should only submit your assignments to the dropbox below. Please do not submit your assignment directly to
Once submitted, your assignment will be evaluated by Turnitin® automatically. You will be able to view an Originality Report within minutes of your first submission that will show how much of your work has been identified as similar to other sources such as websites, textbooks, or other student papers. Use your Originality Report as a learning tool to identify areas of your assignment that you may not have cited appropriately. You may resubmit your assignment through this dropbox as many times as you need to check to see if you have made improvements, until the due date of the assignment. However, once you have made your first submission, you will need to wait 24 hours after each subsequent submission to receive a new Originality Report. Plan accordingly as you draft your assignment. Once the due date has passed, your assignment submission will be considered final.
This assignment accounts for 10% of your overall course grade and will be graded using a rubric. Please review this rubric, located on the Rubrics page within the Start Here module of the course, prior to beginning your work to ensure your participation meets the criteria in place for this activity.


Cognitive Development to Cope with Challenges
Student Name
Institution Affiliation
Critical thinking is a fundamental characteristic that all individuals should strive to acquire. It allows and fosters in depth thinking on matters and issues in society. Consequently, it helps to support rational and informed decision making. Critical thinking also plays a vital role in the development of strategies that assist individuals to cope effectively and efficiently with adversities and challenges as opposed to giving up or otherwise becoming embittered. It is common and part of human nature for individuals to feel dejected particularly when things aren’t going as planned. It is essential to note that hardships are inevitable and there are points in life even among the most successful people that they are plagued with problems that weigh them down tremendously. Hardships can range from personal, financial and even academic. During my first year at the university, I faced grave academic challenges. I was not only living in a new town but also for the first time in my life I was living on my own and far away from my parents. 

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