Read through several recent scientific magazines/journals (paper or online versions of these sources are appropriate). The following are suggested sources:
Another starting point for student research is Science News for Students
Pick out articles that relate directly to topics covered within this Earth Science class (published within the last three years).
Topics for the Current Event Essay might include:
renewable/nonrenewable resources, energy resources, minerals, rocks, plate tectonics, earthquakes, earthquake prediction/forecasting/mitigation, Earth’s interior, volcanoes, volcanic eruption prediction/forecasting/mitigation, intraplate volcanism, deformation, faulting, mountain building, Isostacy, weathering & erosion, soil, soil conservation, landslides, surface water, groundwater, aquifers, flooding, deserts/desertification, glaciers, ice ages, geologic time, age of the Earth, relative age dating, radiometric age dating, extinction events, origin of Earth’s atmosphere, origin of Earth’s oceans, oceanic ridges, seafloor sediments, continental margins, deep ocean trenches, ocean waves/tides/currents, Earth’s seasons, greenhouse effect, ozone hole, albedo, humidity, clouds, precipitation, cloud seeding, fog, air pressure, wind, El Nino/La Nina, monsoons, air masses, weather fronts, thunderstorms, tornadoes, tornado prediction/forecasting/mitigation, hurricanes, hurricane prediction/forecasting/mitigation, sea level rise, ocean acidification, climate, or climate change.
Once you find a primary source article that you are interested in, search for at least one additional RELATED source article to add further support & details to your primary source.
2 Primary Source Articles
2 source articles are required; however, most students utilize more sources plus their textbook
Guide to Evaluating Sources
Primary Source Article Authors and Discussion of Authors Qualifications
In other words, describe the author’s background in detail.
minimum length = 1 detailed paragraph
Note – if the chosen article is a summary of a scientific journal article, include qualifications of both the article author and the research scientist
Summary of Primary Source Articles – IN YOUR OWN WORDS
minimum length = 2 detailed paragraphs
Critique of Primary Source Articles – IN YOUR OWN WORDS
this section should be the bulk of your essay; minimum length = 4 detailed paragraphs
Summary vs Critique
Specifically, address the following questions:
How does the topic of the article affect the Earth as a whole?
How does this article relate to my life?
References (APA format preferred) – Purdue’s OWL website can assist with APA citation formatting
Please use the above 6 numbers/headings to organize your essay.
What is a Critique?
A book report only summarizes the article. A critical essay is you explaining what you think of their data. For a 1000-word essay, the summary should only be about two paragraphs long. The rest of the report should be your thoughts about the topic. Analyze the pros and cons of the article. Is the author presenting good science or just opinion? Is the author a recognized expert? How could the article be improved?
What is Good Science?
The instructions above ask you to evaluate whether the article is ‘good science’. DO NOT just tell me it is ‘good science’. Explain why. Start by asking yourself these questions: Did they try and use the scientific method (Ch. 1)? Did they support the conclusions with facts? Did they provide the facts or a reference to them? If the answer is no to any of those basic questions, then it’s probably not good quality science, and you probably need to find at least 1 more supplemental article to add additional support to your essay.
Essays will be submitted online and checked for plagiarism via TurnItIn. Here is a link to common Plagiarism FAQs. Any essay found to have significant plagiarism detected (above 25%) will receive a 0 for this assignment.
If you would like to pre-check your essay for plagiarism before turning it in, try a Free online plagiarism checker
Tutor.com (direct link on the left) offers free tutoring and proofreading services to students. This online service is free and generally, you will have feedback on your essay within 24 hours of the request.
Grading Rubric for Current Event Assignment – Essay:
Discussion of Author Qualifications = 5 pts
Summary = 15 pts
Critique = 20 pts
Discussion of 2 required supplemental questions = 10 pts
Reference Page with correct citations = 6 pts
Length / Word Count = 4 pts
Appropriate Grammar & Organization = 5 pts
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