Essays topics for this semester are shown here
Essays should follow the format outlined below, and should be submitted by the due date. No delays will be allowed. They should be sent electronically by Internet e-mail. They should be typed and formatted according to the instructions below. All the  illustrations should be included in the text.  See instructions for submittal of essays
Essay should be focused on the designated topics. Topic essays can be viewed as technical writing exercises, that is, you should be precise and to the point. Illustrations are a must in your essay. The overall contents of the essay should be consistent, there is not a maximum page limit to the length of each essay, but it is important that you address all the five fundamental issues  according to the organizational scheme given below.  Illustrations and visual materials should be included (inserted) in the written text, each illustration should be identified with a number, a figure caption or explanation should be given for all the illustrations included as well as a complete reference to the source.  All the sources consulted should be cited in the text and listed at the end of the essay under Reference Cited. References listed should be complete, including author(s), title of the work, editor, publishing company, number of pages. and the location of the source, for example web site URL, library call number, etc. A title page should include the tile of the paper, your full name, ss#, course and class #. This page should be followed by a table of contents under a separate page. Both title page and index of contents are expected for each essay submitted.

As stated in the course syllabus:  Essays are to be prepared from the materials covered in textbook chapters,  www browsing, video tapes, and journals. They will count 50 % towards your final grade.  So you should consider presenting a good essay. Essays can be submitted at any time during the semester; however, there is a time limit to submit them, no extra time or extension will be allowed. Essays are to be typed using fonts  10 to 12, single-spaced, with no  page limit per essay.

Example of Essay Organization
Title Page (first page)
Index of Contents (second page)
Introduction (starts pagination)
Synoptic Description of the Topic
Origins of the Resource
Occurrence of the Resource or Issue
Social and Economic Impact of the Resource
Personal Suggestions for Preservation and Recovery of the Resource Deplition
References Cited
An example  from previous semesters.
Grading of Essays

Essays must address the following issues: (These headings must be included in each essay). 

1.- Synoptic description of the topic: Describe the specific disaster, DO NOT spend time and space giving generalities on the topic. For example, in preparing the Izmit Earthquake essay do not include general aspects about earthquakes, but go directly into the situation of the earthquake in Izmit. The same applies to all the essays. To address this issue, you should think as if you were asked the question of what happen in that particular case. You need to thoroughly describe the issue of the topic.  Next, you should give any supporting statements that would help to enhance the description.  But keep in mind that you should be as detailed as possible to give a complete description of that particular disaster.  Make sure that you do not mix description with causes of the disaster.

Back to Essay Organization

2.- Origins of the Resource: To address this point think as if you were answering the questions:  “Why does the resource/issue happen?” and "What originates that particular resource?" These questions need to be focused on the particular resource or issue. You should address this point from general to specific.  In some cases general means global, then a regional cause and finally you should include one or two local origins.  Pay attention to course activities and  discussions presented in the assigned URL's links, as often information and discussion in them are directly related to this issue. 

Back to Essay Organization

3.- Occurrence of the Resource or Issue: This point has to do with the question:  Where does the resource/Issue occur?  Usually this question needs to be answered from general (planet wide) to specific, or in other words from global occurrences to regional (continent wide to local).  Note that this is a geography (locality) issue.  You should also incorporate course material given in the activities of each unit and the information provided by specific cases.  This is particularly important in citing occurrences in different localities, so do not hesitate to incorporate additional material you have found in you own browsing as well as other references. 

Back to Essay Organization

4.-  Social and Economic Impact of the Resource: This point should also be addressed from general (or global) views to specific, citing several examples such as those given in the activities section of each unit.  It is likely that some links may contain data related to this issue, for example statistics, amount of damage, etc. 

Back to Essay Organization

5.- Personal Suggestions for Preservation and Recovery of the Resource Deplition: It is likely that several of the web links will present issues related to this topic.  You should be able to take some ideas from those sites and elaborate your own suggestions on the way in which this type of disaster can be prevented and how the public can recover from that particular disaster.

References Cited and Citations in the text should follow a uniform format. It is important to give the source of the information and also to clearly distinguish between your own statements and those derived from your readings and website browsing. All the citiations in the text and reference cited in the corresponding section should follow a uniform format according to standard models of Citation Style for Research Papers(APA,Turabian, MLA, Chicago, AMA). Use this Web tool to make your citations

Grading of Essays: Essays will be graded on presentation (20%), organization (20%), and contents (60%). I expect some originality and I highly discourage lifting verbatim information directly from sources. Each of the three criteria will be graded following this rating: unacceptabel = 0 points; poor =25%; good =50%; very good =75%; excellent =100%

Back to Essay Organization

In summary:
1.- The essays (a total of three) are worth 50% of your final grade, and you should work accordingly. 
2.-  There is no page limit, however, I would say that you will need about 5 to 10  typed pages (without illustrations) to do justice to the topic. Nonetheless, you may squeeze a good essay in five pages. Just think that:  a good essay = a good grade. 
3.- Essays are to be presented at you own pace; however, they are due at defined deadlines (click here to view the deadline for the submission of Essays). NO EXTENSIONS ARE GIVEN. Essays not submitted will receive the grade of 0 (Zero). 
4.- Essays will be graded on presentation (20%), organization (20%), and contents (60%). I expect some originality and I highly discourage lifting verbatim information directly from sources. 

Additional information on the topics assigned for the essays can be gather at you local public library, where you can also find an extensive collection of video tapes on specific disasters. A list of journals and magazines commonly discussion natural disasters include: 
National Geographic 
Science Spectra 
Popular Science 
American Scientific