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Environmental Issue Research Paper
Due: April 8, 2017
Your mission is to investigate an environmental issue. You will analyze the chosen issue, evaluate the potential solutions, and communicate your findings in an effective, creative, and thoughtful manner. The purpose of your project is to gain experience conducting research and to present your scientific findings in a technical document. The final product will be a three to five page paper, complete with citations.
- Choose an Environmental Issue to Research
To begin, you must choose an environmental topic of interest. You may choose an issue covered in the course. You may choose an issue on any scale – local, regional, national, or international. You are encouraged to think carefully about your topic, and perhaps conduct some preliminary research before making a final decision. Make sure you can find information about your topic, and I recommend narrowing your topic selection. Selecting too broad or too narrow a topic will make the assignment difficult. You will submit a brief (one paragraph) description of your environmental issue on February 18, 2018. You may change your mind after submission of your Topic Description.
- Research your Environmental Issue
Once you have chosen your topic, increase the depth of your research. You will need to find at least three (3) different sources of information. You may use any source, such as websites, peer-reviewed journal articles, encyclopedias, and news articles. One of your sources must be from a peer-reviewed journal. If you would like some recommendations on how to start or where to search, please ask me or consult the really helpful folks at the CSN libraries.
- Prepare a Formal Research Paper
After conducting research on your specific chosen environmental topic, you will compile a paper that covers the following sections:
- Description of the environmental issue – What is happening? Discuss the science underlying the problem.
- Historical context – How long has the issue been a problem? Who and what is involved?
- Potential solutions to the issue – What is already being done? What more needs to be done? Be realistic and practical in your consideration of solutions – do we have the resources and technology to implement the solution(s)?
- Conclusions and recommendations
- Summarize your findings – What did you learn?
- Why do we have a problem? How will proposed solutions address and/or fix the problem?
- You’re the expert, what do you think should be done now? Did your thoughts change after doing this research? Do we need to take action, do more research, or leave the situation alone? Decide on how you would solve the issue, and justify your decision. Avoid emotion and sentiment and offer scientific and practical recommendations.
- Works cited information
- You may use the referencing style of your choice, just be consistent. If you are not sure how to reference your sources or how to use a reference style, please ask me.
- You will need to include in-text citations as well as the works cited page.
- Remember – web links are not citations!
The page requirement does not include the bibliography. Additional materials, such as a cover page or illustrations, are not required and inclusion will not be counted toward the three-page minimum.
You will need to read and cite at least three (3) references. Do not forget to provide in-text citations as well as the bibliography page. Any style is acceptable, as long as it includes the author, title, date, name, and volume number of the source. If you are unsure of how to do citations, please ask for some examples.
Your grade will be based on your writing skills and understanding of the science involved. You are demonstrating that you learned the science behind the issue. Be specific and objective. Grading components include the quality of evidence and scientific content and presence of thoughtful, original, and clear writing.
Some Common Mistakes to Avoid
1) Lack of scientific content. Be sure the science is sound and presented at the college level. Do not use flowery and emotional language in scientific writing.
2) The paper is too short. Be sure you cover the topic in detail, and provide enough information to thoroughly demonstrate your understanding of the topic.
3) Starting at the last minute. Start EARLY! Use this assignment to find out more about a topic that interests you. Spend some time and effort on them.
4) No citations. You must cite or reference your sources. In-text citations are also required. Failure to cite them properly constitutes plagiarism, and may result in a failing grade on the project.
5) Improperly citing quotes. A quote requiring more than two lines of text is too long – paraphrase or summarize it.
6) Using flowery or emotional language. This is a technical paper, therefore emotional prose is unnecessary, distracting, and reduces the author’s credibility.
ENV 101 – Introduction to Environmental Science
Twomey – Spring 2018
Environmental Issue Formal Research Paper
|Section/Activity||Points Earned||Points Possible|
|Researched an Environmental Issue (Topic Description Submitted by February 18)||10|
|Description of the Environmental Issue||20|
|Historical Context of the Environmental Issue||15|
|Conclusions and Recommendations||25|
|Grammar and Spelling||15|
|Page Length (3 to 5 pages)||10|
|Creative and Unique||10|