As always, following directions is important.

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The study of birth order is an attempt to gain insight into the behavior of people. Many psychologists believe that birth order is a significant variable that can impact who we are because it often dramatically affects the environment we are raised in; however, birth order is certainly not an exact science. Many other factors influence who we are, including our own unique family dynamics. Still, people often find it fascinating to discover how similar they are to others in their own birth order, and that`s one reason that this topic pops up from time to time in newspapers and magazines.
Instructions
Your assignment is to write a first-person essay (avoid second person– no "you," "your") in which you discuss how your birth order has affected your personality. Minimum length—750 words.
For this assignment, you`ll first have to learn something about birth order theory as well as what experts say are some of the common traits of people in your own birth order (firstborns, middle kids, lastborns, only children…). To get you started, you`ll notice I included some introductory information as well as two articles on this topic. That should give you a pretty good general understanding of what the experts are saying. Then before you complete the Planning Sheet, most of you will probably want to research a bit more, searching with key words to bring up articles specifically about traits of people in your own birth order.
Choose one of the following three options for your essay:
If you feel that the research about your own birth order describes you pretty well, select 3 to 5 of the main character traits common to people in your birth order. Discuss each quality in a separate body paragraph and support your ideas with specific, detailed examples from your life.
Many different family dynamics can play into how birth order can affect us, including gender, years between siblings, subgroups, trauma, divorce, etc. Once you`ve read about what psychologists say about birth order, if you have a good reason why you might be better described under a different birth order, you can instead focus on that assertion in your thesis. For example, if you are the middle child but the first born boy, you might research firstborn characteristics to see if they describe you better (than those of the middle child), since psychologists say that the firstborn of each gender can display traits of a firstborn child. (See module "An Introduction to What Experts Are Saying") You`d then select 3 to 5 characteristics under this other birth order to discuss in the body of your paper, each in a separate paragraph. Support your ideas with specific, detailed examples from your life.
If you feel that the description given by the experts about people in your birth order does not resemble you much at all, you can choose to discuss how you are not like most others in your birth order. In this case, choose 3-5 characteristics that psychologists attribute to people in your birth order and show by examples how you are different. If you have an idea why you might be so different, that would be a good thing to include in your thesis, but this is not required.
As always, following directions is important. It is critical to the success of this assignment that you get started on the right foot with an essay idea/thesis that is in line with one of the three options above.
Listed below are a few of the common pitfalls to avoid:
While most people see some characteristics under every birth order that fit their personality, you cannot just pick out any traits you want from any birth order, toss them all together into the paper, and call yourself unique! (A paper like this would have no significant thesis.)
You cannot just randomly adopt any other birth order to focus on simply because you feel many of those qualities describe you perfectly. If you`re thinking of doing this, you need a compelling reason in line with guidelines from researchers to support your assertion (see Option #2 above).
You cannot assert that you are both like and unlike others in your birth order. Not only would this be a weak thesis, but also most everyone can say this (since very few people display all qualities of a particular birth order). Thesis must be on one side of the fence or the other, and all traits must support that you are like others in your birth order or that you are not.
Don`t focus on two birth orders in your thesis, even if you are both of them. For example, if you are both a second born and lastborn child, don`t include both in your thesis. I suggest that you learn about the character traits of both birth orders and then focus on the one that seems to describe you best. This paper is not long enough to do justice to a discussion of two birth orders.
Your thesis should focus on you alone (not you and a sibling, for example).
Lastly, this is not a research paper, so don`t cram your paper full of facts about birth order theory. While you are to incorporate 3-5 specific traits you learned about from outside sources, the primary support in this exemplification essay are the examples from your own life. (Note: you do not need to cite any of the articles where you learned about the theory or character traits.)
-I am the middle child of a family and was adopted into another family where I went from having brothers and sisters to by myself.
-For the essay I am think number 3 fits me the best, but you can flip flop back and forth on the essay it just needs to be one-sided on if you match the traits or if you do not and why.

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