The Genogram paper is not a family history but rather is characterized by discussion and analysis of dynamics within the student’s family. This paper is largely an interpretive analysis of the one-page genogram drawing and should include information and history only as is helpful in demonstrating the underlying feelings, motivations, and reasons involved in the issues of the student’s family. Some marks of a good paper: clarity in expression, discussion/analysis of processes, integration of history and relational dynamics, concise transition between stories and analysis, breadth of coverage, discipline in focus.
The Genogram paper follows standard academic writing procedure but is heart-oriented and reflective in nature. Though citations will most likely be minimal, proper credit should be given if using words or ideas from another person. The paper should also be written in good English, which includes proper spelling and grammar as well as prose that is free from informal English (slang, appeals to the reader, contractions, etc.). The text should be clear, coherent, and as concise as possible.
This section seeks to lay out the process of writing the genogram paper, not give methods for how to draw your one-page genogram or analyze the family dynamics. For tips on these processes, see your professor or some of the following resources:
Choose a topic/focus. Based on the patterns you see on your genogram, choose the relational patterns/topics to focus. This focus should be narrow enough in scope for you to cover adequately in your paper and should be a prevalent theme throughout your genogram.
Formulate a thesis. This one-sentence assertion will summarize the issues you plan to focus on in your paper. A thesis should be narrow and doable, yet challenging and interesting to you and your reader.
Research/plan using class material and outside resources, explore processes. Take notes of key themes you will discuss in your paper and group similar thoughts together. Revise thesis if necessary. Using these groups, follow the lead of your thesis to build an outline.
Write your paper using the outline you have built.
Unless your professor requests otherwise, the following conventions are recommended.