Short Geology Research Paper
Mary C. Gorte
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This page first made public: May 26, 2008
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Students are assigned to take a topic and research it in some depth, beyond the discussion in the class or in the book. The paper is 4-6 typed pages in length. Suggested topics include geologic hazards, geologic resources, solar system etc. Corresponding diagrams and charts are recommended. Minimum of two references.
Introduction to Physical Geology (see course profile
Skills and concepts that students must have mastered
Student must understand basic geologic concepts and principles. Student is pushed to answer pertinent and scientific questions (i.e. how did this happen? What are the forces that caused this phenomenon? How do we know?) Student must be able to convey information in an organized, scientific manner.
How the activity is situated in the course
This assignment comes at the end of the semester building on all the classroom learned geologic concepts and principles.
Content/concepts goals for this activity
To study a geologic event or phenomenon and understand the how, why, where and what,and when. The student must be able to convey these concepts in an organized and logical written form.
Higher order thinking skills goals for this activity
Students should think through geologic concepts learned and apply to their topic. For example, how did this structure form? Is California going to experience another earthquake soon? Why or why not? How do we know?
Other skills goals for this activity
Other skills for this assignment include writing concisely, logically. Students must know how to reference.
Description of the activity/assignment
Students are given guidelines and suggested topics for their research paper. Pertinent questions students should consider are also provided. Examples from previous students are also provided.
Determining whether students have met the goals
A rubric is given to each student explaining the grading of the paper.
More information about assessment tools and techniques.
Download teaching materials and tips
Assignment handout, page 1
Assignment handout, page 2
Checklist for paper writing