Introduction to Environmental Geology Writing Assignment
The goal of the assignment is to develop and support an explanation of the Dust Bowl phenomenon. Students will research and analyze 19th and 20th century climate change, accounts of the Dust Bowl from government documents, newspapers and periodicals. Students will then analyze data, analyze and integrate different sources of information, and present a well developed written argument.
Context for Use
This activity is appropriate for an introductory-level Environmental Geology course.
How Assignment Promotes Quantitative Literacy
As a part of this activity, students are expected to download temperature and precipitation data for a particular recording station, analyze and graph it using Excel, and then interpret the data based on their analysis.
Teaching Notes and Tips
- Dust Bowl Writing Assignment (Microsoft Word 51kB Nov28 05)
AssessmentAssessment Rubric for Papers:
A - The paper is comprehensive and focused around a particular, clearly stated thesis (or argument). The author uses a variety of sources, including at least one contemporary periodical/newspaper article and one government document. The paper contains an original analysis and combination of information. All references are cited correctly in text and in a References Cited section. The writing is excellent.
B - The thesis or problem posed in the paper is clearly stated. There are some gaps in information and a narrow range of sources, though at least one contemporary newspaper/periodical account and one government document has been used. The paper has some original thinking but is not as well-focused as an A paper. All references are cited correctly in text and in a References Cited section. The writing is good.
C - The focus of the paper is unclear. There is an over-dependence on a single source and inadequate detail on important parts of subject. Writing and organization are mediocre.
D - The focus of the paper is unclear. There is an over-dependence on a single source and inadequate detail with no analysis. Writing is mediocre to poor.