Guidelines for Final Term Paper: Personality Case Analysis

The following are very broad guidelines for writing your final paper (8-10 pages, double-spaced, 1” margins, including references). Although you may take any particular theoretical approach(es) in writing your case analysis, you should include descriptions of major traits/needs/motives characterizing the individual that are apparent, and important social structures/processes that influence or have influenced the person.


Include an introductory paragraph or page describing the goals of your paper (highlight the importance and relevance of your case in understanding personality; describe briefly the particular relevance of your case; describe briefly the theoretical approaches you will take in examining the case).

Case Background

This section should be several pages long and involve a comprehensive description of your case’s background. Important components that you may include: General childhood experience Family structure, socioeconomic status, education, etc. Particularly meaningful or important childhood events Features of childhood behavior that are reflective of or important for later personality

General adulthood experience

Important life outcomes that make the case famous or well-known General lifestyle information (ways of living, relationships, occupations, other activities, etc.) Adulthood interpersonal style (the case’s typical behaviors in interaction with others), if evident. Any additional information about the person’s adulthood and lifestyle you think is particularly important.

Case Self-Descriptions and/or Other Descriptions

This section may be long or short depending on your case, but it should include any information you have found concerning self-descriptions that your case has made, or descriptions of the case provided by knowledgeable informants (family members, spouses, close friends, etc.).