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Providing a "sample essay" for an article on bipolar disorder presumably to be published by the American Psychological Association in its Journal of Applied Psychology is beyond the purview of this service. However, the challenge is not particularly difficult, as everything a student would need to complete such an exercise is available on the association's website. Below is a link to the APA website's section on "Basics of APA Style," which provides the general parameters expected of any article submitted for publication. As one can see, the requirements are in-line with those of the broader academic community, and are primarily concerned with guarding against instances of plagiarism and formatting, all of which are consistent with academic requirements for any scholarly program. Use of headers, proper line spacing, types and sizes of fonts, etc., are all specified by the APA in its online manual.
Also available on the APA website are linkages to articles on bipolar disorder. These can be located simply by typing in the words "bipolar disorder" in the "search" window provided at the top of the website. While many scholarly articles on the subject of bipolar disorder are provided only at cost, and may require a subscription to the journal in question, an example of the basic format used is provided in the article abstract from the American Journal of Psychiatry below, the title for which is "Pharmacotherapy and Family-Focused Treatment for Adolescents with Bipolar I and II Disorders: A Two Year Randomized Trial":
Objective Previous studies have found that family-focused treatment is an effective adjunct to pharmacotherapy in stabilizing symptoms in adult bipolar disorder. The authors examined whether pharmacotherapy and family-focused treatment for adolescents with bipolar disorder was more effective than pharmacotherapy and brief psychoeducation (enhanced care) in decreasing time to recovery from a mood episode, increasing time to recurrence, and reducing symptom severity over 2 years.
Method A total of 145 adolescents (mean age, 15.6 years) with bipolar I or II disorder and a DSM-IV-TR manic, hypomanic, depressive, or mixed episode in the previous 3 months were randomly assigned, with family members, either to pharmacotherapy and family-focused treatment, consisting of psychoeducation (i.e., recognition and early intervention with prodromal symptoms), communication enhancement training, and problem-solving skills training, delivered in 21 sessions over 9 months; or to pharmacotherapy and three weekly sessions of enhanced care (family psychoeducation). Independent evaluators assessed participants at baseline, every 3 months during year 1, and every 6 months during year 2, using weekly ratings of mood.
Results Twenty-two participants (15.2%) withdrew shortly after randomization. Time to recovery or recurrence and proportion of weeks ill did not differ between the two treatment groups. Secondary analyses revealed that participants in family-focused treatment had less severe manic symptoms during year 2 than did those in enhanced care.
Conclusions After an illness episode, intensive psychotherapy combined with best-practice pharmacotherapy does not appear to confer advantages over brief psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy in hastening recovery or delaying recurrence among adolescents with bipolar disorder. [http://ajp.psychiatryonline.org/article.aspx?articleid=1849817]
Another journal article abstract, provided below, on "Maternal Smoking During Pregnancy and Bipolar Disorder in Offspring" provides a similar concept of how to structure an article submitted for publication and that is consistent with APA guidelines:
Objective Maternal smoking during pregnancy is associated with a number of adverse externalizing outcomes for offspring from childhood to adulthood. The relationship between maternal smoking and bipolar disorder in offspring, which includes externalizing symptoms among its many manifestations, has not been investigated in depth. The authors examined whether offspring exposed to maternal smoking in utero would be at increased lifetime risk for bipolar disorder after accounting for other factors related to maternal smoking.
Method Individuals with bipolar disorder (N=79) were ascertained from the birth cohort of the Child Health and Development Study. Case subjects were identified by a combination of clinical, database, and direct mailing sources; all case subjects were directly interviewed and diagnosed using DSM-IV criteria. Comparison subjects (N=654) were matched to case subjects on date of birth (±30 days), sex, membership in the cohort at the time of illness onset, and availability of maternal archived sera.
Results After adjusting for potential confounders, offspring exposed to in utero maternal smoking exhibited a twofold greater risk for bipolar disorder (odds ratio=2.014, 95% confidence interval=1.48–2.53, p=0.01). The associations were noted primarily among bipolar offspring without psychotic features.
Conclusions Prenatal tobacco exposure may be one suspected cause of bipolar disorder. However, it will be necessary to account for other unmeasured familial factors before causal teratogenic effects can be suggested. [http://ajp.psychiatryonline.org/article.aspx?articleid=1746572]
So, basically, an article on bipolar disorder should begin with a statement of intent; what is the purpose or objective of the text that follows. The next section should discuss the methodology used in the course of research. As this is not only an academic but a scientific endeavor, the methodology must be precisely spelled-out in this section and must represent a method that can be emulated or repeated by other scientists researching the same subject. That methodology can include patient surveys, observations of patients or test subjects under varying conditions, tests completed by subjects, etc. The next section is dedicated to a discussion of the results of the research, for example, "our research indicated that 'X' percentage of children diagnosed with bipolar disorder come from families with at least one alcoholic parent, or from families with a history of bipolar disorder on at least one side of the family (e.g., the mother's side of the family has a history of being diagnosed with the disorder or exhibiting those characteristics common to people medically diagnoses with bipolar disorder)." The final section, of course, is the conclusion, which largely restates everything said in previous sections in a concise manner while providing recommendations for further study.
These are the general parameters for producing a paper consistent with APA standards which, as noted, are available on its website at the URL provided below.
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