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Intro to Oceanography: Writing Assignment #1

(W1) Writing Assignment #1

  • Points 50
  • Submitting a file upload (Turnitin enabled)
  • File Types doc, docx, and pdf
  • Available Aug 24 at 12am – Sep 26 at 12:01am about 1 month

A PDF of the guidelines for Writing Assignment #1 is posted in the link below. Please read these directions now; and consult the course syllabus calendar for the due date for this assignment.

Writing Assignment #1: Scientific Article Critical ReviewPreview the documentView in a new window

For your convenience, the Scientific American article choices for this Assignment are also posted here: 

You will submit your completed critical review using this Canvas “Assignments” tool. Once you have finished your critical review, to submit, please follow the directions at this link to submit your work: How do I submit a Turnitin.com Assignment?.

Your essay will be checked against the Turntin.com database.If you plagiarize this assignment, you will receive zero (0) points with the possibility of failing the class and being reported to your Dean for academic misconduct. If you are uncertain what plagiarism is, please see the IU website on plagiarism (Links to an external site.), revisit the resources in the Library Resources link in Oncourse, visit the University Writing Center (Links to an external site.), speak to your W131 composition instructor, and/or speak to your class instructor.



(W1) Writing Assignment #1: ScientificArticle Critical Review 












The purpose of this assignment is to familiarize you with scientific terminology and current issues in oceanography, and to strengthen your written communication skills through critical reading and critical analysis of a recent oceanography article.






Reading Critically and Writing Critical Reviews






Critical reading means more than just skimming the subheadings an article or highlighting terminology. Critical reading means taking the time to think carefully about what is being said in an article. It involves identifying key ideas like the author’s argument, the evidence being used to support it. Critical reading means that you do not take what you read as absolute fact; instead, you analyze and evaluate the credibility of the article.




Critical reviews are based on specific criteria used to evaluate the article. Your goal in a critical review is to highlight some of the key points of the article, but not necessarily summarize the entire article. Some opinion is used in critical reviews, but it is opinion that is educated by your knowledge and experience with the topic. All opinion in a critical review should be substantiated and supported with evidence from the article and possibly from other sources.






The Writing Assignment





For this writing assignment, you will choose and read ONE of the articles listed below. These articles come from Scientific American, a magazine that presents scientific research to the popular science audience. Look at each of these articles and decide which one most interests you. If the links below do not work for you (likely, if you are trying to access them off-campus), a PDF of each article is posted to the Canvas Assignments page for W1. 







How Kitty is Killing the Dolphins Meltdown in the North




Reviving Dead Zones Storm of the Century




The Oceans Invisible Forest The Threat of Silent Earthquakes






Once you have finished reading ONE article from the list above, you will write a researched, critical review of the article in an organized, coherent essay that addresses the following writing prompts:





• The Problem: What problem does this article seek to explain and solve? Why should someone care enough about that problem to read this paper? What are the implications of the problem to the average world citizen? 


• The Science: What is the “science” of the article? How were data obtained? What data and observations are discussed? What oceanography technology is described in the article? How does the “science” of the article support the author’s argument? 


• Organization: How is the text organized? Is the publication organized logically? Are the main points clearly presented? Do you find the text easy to read, or is it stilted or choppy? Is the author’s argument repetitive? 


• Presentation: How did the author use graphics and figures to convey their topic? Do you think these figures were effective? What was the most compelling figure of the article? Why was this particular figure most relevant to the article? 


• Conclusions: What are the articles main conclusions? Do you agree with these conclusions? Can you think of other ways to solve, research, or investigate the problem? 


This article review should not be a simple summary; you should think about what you read and write a cohesive discussion of the research article that addresses the questions above. To answer the questions, you should integrate at least two (2) outside, primary sources (in addition to the article you chose) and cite them in MLA format both in- text and in a Works Cited. These should be sources beyond your module content and textbook. Do not directly copy sentences from texts, scientific papers, or other sources without proper citations.








Resources forWriting








Please review the “Writing Assignments” portion of the syllabus for important guidelines on all course writing assignments. Also review these resources for help with the research component of this assignment:





• The Writing Process (UWC Resources) 


• How to Write a Thesis Statement (IU Resource) 


• Writing Introductions and Conclusions (UWC Resources) 


• Sentence Structure and Style (UWC Resources) 


• How to Recognize Plagiarism (IU School of Education Resource) 


• Evaluating Electronic Information Sources (UWC Resource) 







• MLA Formatting and Style Guide (Purdue OWL Resource)






Formatting Criteria






Your critical review should meet the following formatting criteria:





• A minimum of 750 words and a maximum of 1000 words. This is 2-3 pages of double-spaced text. Use the word count tool in your word processor to be sure you have the correct amount of text. 


• Incorporation of the Scientific American article that you chose (linked on the first page of this assignment) and at least two (2) other quality sources: your choices for additional sources must reflect an understanding of the characteristics of quality primary sources. 


• Resources must be cited both in-text and in a Works Cited section at the end of the essay. If you do not have a citation format that you are familiar with (such as APA), use MLA format for the in-text and works cited. 


• Demonstration of critical thinking: (1) showing that you understand the writing assignment and its goals and (2) showing that you can apply the concepts and ideas discussed in your article and sources to compose an understandable essay. 


• Proper English grammar and spelling. If you are unsure of your grammar and spelling, please utilize the campus 


Writing Center. The UWC offers some resources on grammar at this link. 


• Submitted to Canvas “Assignments” as a Word or PDF document attachment. You will not be able to post your essay in any other form than an attachment. The essay must be a Word or PDF document. Late assignments will not be accepted; see our course calendar for the due date for this essay. If you don’t know how to upload documents to “Assignments”, see this link: How do I submit a Turnitin.com Assignment?. 






Grading Criteria






Your essay will be graded on how well you cover the writing prompts in an organized, cohesive, grammatically correct, well-referenced essay. A rubric will be posted to Canvas Assignment with a breakdown of your grade calculation, but generally:





• 30 points will come from how well you demonstrate an understanding and application of the writing prompts and assignment goals. How you express your understanding through writing is critical to earning these points. Have a thesis and make sure that your discussion is clear and that any opinions you present are well-supported. 


• 15 points will come from how well you choose your sources. You must use the Scientific American article and two (2) additional sources. If you do not, you will not receive any points for your sources. 


• 5 points for correctly posting your completed critical review per the guidelines above. 


If you plagiarize this assignment, you will receive zero (0) points with the possibility of failing the class and being reported to your Dean for academic misconduct. Your essay will be submitted to Canvas “Assignments” and will be checked against the Turntin.com database. If you are uncertain what plagiarism is, please see the IU website on plagiarism, visit the UniversityWriting Center, speak to your composition instructor, and/or speak to your class instructor. 



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