Environmental Geology






 What is an Essay in this class?

Essay should be viewed as technical reports on specific topics addressing current environmental or natural disaster issues. They are an important component of the course and should be view with all the due consideration because they result in fifty percent of the final grade.
Essay should be focused on the designated topics for your course. See the  listing of topics for this semester. Topic essays can be viewed as technical writing exercises, that is, you should be precise and to the point.
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
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 using the corresponding links in the "Submit Work" section of the Course Menu in the WebCT platform. They should be typed and formatted according to the instructions below. All the illustrations should be included in the text.
To help me quickly and accurately evaluate  your essays, I ask you to follow the few rules outlined below. These rules apply to ALL essays  submitted for GLY3039 and GLY3034 irrespective of section.
Essays  must be written in Microsoft Word (only): Make the page setup of your Microsoft Word processor letter size (margins: 1 inch top and bottom; 1.0 inch left and right), using Time Roman 12 points or a similar sans-serif font (e.g. Arial or Helvetica), all text must be justified (DO NOT hyphenate words); text should be formatted to line space at exactly 12 pt., indent 3 spaces the first line of each paragraph.
The first page of your essay should be its title page, which should be in bold, Upper and Lower Case, and Flush Left with the Margin. After the title skip several lines and type your  name first, followed below by your ID#. Capitalize the LAST NAME, FIRST NAME and MIDDLE NAME or INITIAL. Next type the course and reference #. 
Suggestion: You can be creative with the title page inserting a color image between the title and your name lines. 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.
Start the text of your essay in a separate page. You can start with an introduction or introductory paragraph of you own but after this short introduction you must use the headings given in the guidelines for preparing essays. Indent 3 spaces the first line of each paragraph. 
Illustrations are a must in your essay. 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 giving full reference to the source. 
Citations and Reference Cited should be formatted according to the style and model more adequate for your essay. References listed should be complete, consult this Web tool <http://www.liunet.edu/cwis/cwp/library/workshop/citation.htm>  for appropriate formatting  of citations and reference cited in your essay. Additional information and examples on citation formats,  sources types, citation styles  uses the following web resource http://www.dartmouth.edu/~sources/contents.html

All the sources consulted should be cited in the text and listed at the end of the essay under Reference Cited.

Sources for the essays include the materials covered in textbook,  www browsing, video tapes, and journals.
Grading of Essays: Essays 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.
Avoid plagiarism and unethical behavior. Here are some useful Web resources that can help you to avoid making mistakes and unnecessary efforts in writing your essays:
Quoting, Paraphrasing, and Summarizing: <http://owl.english.purdue.edu/handouts/research/r_quotprsum.html>
Students' Guide to Preventing and Avoiding Plagiarism: <http://www.liunet.edu/cwis/cwp/library/exhibits/plagstudent.htm>  
Example of Essay Organization


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

1.- Synoptic description of the environmental issue: Describe the specific problem, 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 disaster. You need to thoroughly describe the disasters.  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.

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2.- Causes of the Environmental Problem: To address this point think as if you were answering the questions:  “Why does the environmental disaster happen?” and "What causes that particular disaster?" These questions need to be focused on the particular disaster. 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 causes.  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. 

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3.- Occurrence of the Environmental Issue: This issue has to do with the question:  Where does the disaster happen?  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. 

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4.-  Social and Economic Impact of the Environmental Issue: 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. 

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5.- Personal Suggestions for Preservation and Recovery of the Envrironemtal Problem: 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.

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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 http://www.landmark-project.com/citation_machine/index.php

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.

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).

 ©José F. Longoria, 1998;  Last updated January, 1st., 2008. Comments : Prof. Longoria