GEOG1301 PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY

Objective: The purpose of the Written Assignment or PowerPoint Project is to give students an opportunity to further explore and discuss a key concept, to provide reinforcement and elaboration of textual material related to the concept, to show a basic understanding of academic research and reporting skills, and to provide experience with critical thinking and communication skills.

Students will please choose one of the following topics for your Writing Assignment or PowerPoint Presentation.

  1. How does acid deposition form? What are its sources?  How does it impact the environment and humans? What efforts have been made to reduce the amount of pollutants that cause it?  Name  and discuss two locations where acid deposition a concern.
  2. What is biodiversity and why is it used to measure the health of a natural environment? Provide an example of a location with high biodiversity and an example of a location with low biodiversity. What are the climates of the two locations? Explain how the climate of the location connects with the amount of biodiversity in that place.  Give an example of flora or fauna in each location.  What might cause the biodiversity of a location to decline?
  3. Discuss what is causing the present climate change on Earth? What are some of the scientifically observed climate changes for Earth? What are some predicted climate changes for Earth?  Provide an example of a location where climate change is occurring and describe in detail how the location will be affected by climate change in the future.  In broad terms, how can a government or an individual tackle climate change?  Discuss the role of activism today with the issue of climate change.
  4. Explain desertification. Why is it a major issue of concern?  How have humans influenced desertification? Give three examples of where desertification is taking place and what processes led to desertification in these locations.  For one of the location examples, provide information on how the government, NGOs or communities are combatting desertification.
  5. What is the role of ozone in the ozonosphere? Discuss and explain the chemical reactions that lead to its destruction. How does the hole in the ozone affect humans and the environment? What international efforts have been undertaken to ameliorate the destruction?  Where is the ozone hole and is it recovering or becoming worse?

Students will then choose either to write a Written Assignment essay or create a PowerPoint Presentation.  Guidelines and Grading Rubrics for both are detailed below.  Both the Writing Assignment and PowerPoint Presentation will be submitted via the Writing Assignment or PowerPoint Project link.  I will not accept a Written Assignment or PowerPoint Project that is emailed or messaged to me.

Submission Instructions:

Select the Writing Assignment or Power Point Project link above to submit your essay. Complete your assignment using word-processing software such as MS Word 365 (download free software at https://products.office.com/en-us/student?ms.officeurl=getoffice365), LibreOffice (download free software at https://www.libreoffice.org/download), or other per course requirements. Save your file as an .rtf file or .doc to ensure that it can be opened at any computer. Submit your assignment by selecting the title link, browsing to, and attaching your saved file. Make sure to select SUBMIT. You may view your posting both on this page and under My Grade (available under Tools).

Late submittal: Ten points will be deducted for every day the essay or PowerPoint Project is late.  This is the only hard deadline in class.  The Writing Assignment essay or PowerPoint Project will not be accepted after the last day of class.

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  • Guidelines for the Written Assignment:  Students will write an essay, 500-750 words in length, on a topic selected from the list above. The purpose of the writing assignment is to give students an opportunity to discuss a key concept, and to show a basic understanding of academic research and reporting skills.  The maximum total points available for this paper is 100 points.

The Writing Assignment essays will be graded based on five criteria, Quality of Analysis, Quality of Narrative, References, Formatting, and Length.  The Grading Rubric below explains each criterion in further detail and outlines the point distribution for each criterion.

      Criteria: 

Points Available

Quality of Analysis

Concept or issue identified and described thoroughly.  Clear explanations of topic based on information from the text book and/or other sources, detailed complete and logical presentation of answers.

50

Quality of Narrative

Grammar/Spelling/Readability (well organized, clearly written, easy to follow, no awkward phrases or informal writing)

20

References

3 references used (text and 2 outside sources minimal).  In-text citations must be used and sources must be listed on a Reference page.  Wikipedia and Wikimedia are not acceptable sources.

10

Formatting

Use Arial or Times New Roman 12 point font, double space the text, and create one inch margins on all four sides of the page. In addition, the assignment should be formatted according to Modern Language Association (MLA) style for papers with no title page.

10

Length

500-750 words (you may go over but do not exceed 1000 words), as well as a Reference page for sources containing information used in the essay

10

                                                                                                                          Total Points Available 

 100

Grammar & Spelling:  To ensure your writing is at an academic level, please proof read your assignments before submitting them.  The following links may also be helpful in avoiding the most common grammatical errors, https://writing.wisc.edu/Handbook/CommonErrors.html & https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/section/1/5/.  In addition, the Central Texas College Writing Lab is a resource available for your use.

References: You are required to use a minimum of three sources to write this essay.  As stated in the Grading Rubric above, you will need to provide a list of your sources on a separate Words Cited page and use in-text citations. This link is a helpful resource for correctly citing resources in the MLA format, https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/747/02/.  Please use the links on the left of the page for specific examples and if you have any further questions, please feel free to contact me.

Plagiarism, whether intentional or unintentional, results in a zero for this assignment.  Do not copy material or paraphrase too closely from any source, including websites, the textbook, another student’s work or any other source.  Make sure to use citations and quotations marks correctly and sufficiently throughout your work.  If you have any questions regarding plagiarism, please feel free to ask.  In addition, http://www.plagiarism.org/  and https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/619/1/ are great resources to help you avoid plagiarism in your work.

Late submittal: Ten points will be deducted for every day the essay is late.   This is the only hard deadline in class.  The Writing Assignment essay will not be accepted after the last day of class.

  • Guidelines for the PowerPoint Presentation:  Students are to create a PowerPoint presentation on a topic selected from the list above.  PowerPoint presentations should be a minimum of 15 slides in length (1 title slide, 13 informational/content slides, and 1 Reference slide).  Make sure to use quotation marks and in-text citations when quoting a source and cite appropriately when paraphrasing.  Two references (minimal) in addition to your text are to be used.  A rubric is provided below and will serve as a guide for designing the presentation and for grading purposes.  The maximum total points available for this project is 100 points.

The PowerPoint Project will be graded based on five criteria, Quality of Analysis, Quality of Narrative, References, Formatting, and Length.  The Grading Rubric below explains each criterion in further detail and outlines the point distribution for each criterion.

      Criteria: 

Points Available

Quality of Analysis

Concept or issue identified and described thoroughly.  Clear explanations of topic based on information from the text book and/or other sources, detailed complete and logical presentation of answers.

50

Quality of Narrative

Grammar/Spelling/Readability (well organized, clearly written, easy to follow, no awkward phrases or informal writing)

20

References

3 references used (text and 2 outside sources minimal).  In-text citations and quotation marks must be used for a direct quote and sources must be listed on a Reference slide.  Wikipedia and Wikimedia are not acceptable sources.

10

Formatting

Use Modern Language Association (MLA) style.  In-text citations, quotation marks and the source must be listed on the Reference slide.  Refer to the links listed in the “Plagiarism” paragraph below for additional guidance.

10

Length

Minimum: 1 title slide, 13 informational slides, 1 Reference slide, total of 15 slides

10

                                                                                                                          Total Points Available 

 100

Grammar & Spelling:  To ensure your writing is at an academic level, please proof read your assignments before submitting them.  The following links may also be helpful in avoiding the most common grammatical errors, https://writing.wisc.edu/Handbook/CommonErrors.html & https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/section/1/5/.  In addition, the Central Texas College Writing Lab is a resource available for your use.

References: You are required to use a minimum of three sources to complete this project.  As stated in the Grading Rubric above, you will need to provide a list of your sources on a separate Reference slide and use in-text citations. This link is a helpful resource for correctly citing resources in the MLA format, https://www.library.cornell.edu/research/citation/mla.  Please read the webpage for guidance and if you have any further questions, please feel free to contact me.

Please cite pictures and/or tables in your PowerPoint presentation.  When citing the source for a picture in the PowerPoint presentation, the format should be the same as how you would list the source in a Works Cited page.  So, if the source is a website, follow the guidelines for how you would normally cite the website according to MLA standards on a Works Cited page.  (Here is a website demonstrating how to cite a website using MLA https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/747/08/)  However, you would just include this source information below the picture rather than on a Works Cited page.  Here is a website that does a good job in describing how to cite within a PowerPoint presentation. https://library.peirce.edu/html/citations/powerpoint  I have screenshots below demonstrating the key components to citing pictures and tables within the PowerPoint Project.

Plagiarism, whether intentional or unintentional, results in a zero for this assignment.  Do not copy material or paraphrase too closely from any source, including websites, the textbook, another student’s work or any other source.  Make sure to use citations and quotations marks correctly and sufficiently throughout your work.  If you have any questions regarding plagiarism, please feel free to ask.  In addition, http://www.plagiarism.org/ , http://isites.harvard.edu/icb/icb.do?keyword=k70847&pageid=icb.page342054#a_icb_pagecontent732741_quotation and https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/619/1/ are great resources to help you avoid plagiarism in your work

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