Index to resources for the writing assignments

Writing assignments philosophy and overview:

There are 4 writing assignments for this course. Each of the assignments uses the "Calibrated Peer Review" system. You will write your paper and submit it online. After the due date (24 hrs after), you will review and grade 3 papers that the instructor has prepared and graded, according to a carefully prepared scoresheet. You will then review and score 3 of your peers' papers, according to the same scoresheet. After this, you will review and score your own paper. Your grade for the assignment will be a weighted combination of how close you came to the preset calibration paper scores, the scores your peers assigned your papers, and how close the score you assigned your own paper came to that of your peers. Some of the papers will also be checked by the Prof and TA's, and if the score you assigned a peer paper deviates significantly from that assigned by the teachers, your assignment grade will be affected.

Note: this system has been used successfully in hundreds of courses. It has been shown to increase student learning significantly. Practicing scientists review each others' papers and research proposals and learn a great deal from the process. The "CPR" system is tailored to show you how to review a paper, then give you exposure to others' ideas.

Disagree with your score? Contact your TA and/or the professor. At your request, your paper will be reviewed and the score may be adjusted higher, or lower.

Writing Assignments:

The requirements for your papers are discussed in "Anatomy of a Science Paper," It is vital that you read it carefully. It focuses on the plate tectonics paper and use of data from the class CDROM, but the principles will generally apply to all of the assignments.

Preparing for the writing assignments 
Writing with Integrity Please review this <link>
Anatomy of a Science Paper This provides detailed instructions on how to write each section of your science paper(s). It is very worth you while to read it carefully. This document is contained in your lab book. <download link>
Evaluating the information contained on a web site How can you trust information contained on a web site. Any doofus can put up a web page. Many web sites are produced by organizations with a political agenda. This link gives you some help in evaluating these sites. <link>
Capturing images in various situations Foolproof methods for getting images from your computer to your image library.<link>
Miscellaneous questions answered <link> for "Frequently Asked Questions"
Instructions for writing assignments
Tips for the writing assignments <link to tips>
EarthEd Writer idiosyncrasies <link to idiosyncrasies> Read this to help you work around any unexpected behavior the writer may exhibit.
Plate Tectonics Writing Assignment Instructions: Purpose of assignment: To learn how to use data to distinguish between divergent and convergent plate boundaries. <detailed desctiption >
The Indian Monsoon Purpose of assignment: To use climate data to explain the properties and cause of the Indian Monsoon. <detailed description>
Climate and the Oceans instructions not yet available
World Fisheries Sustainability instructions not yet available