Contents

Expectations

Requirements

Abstract

Length

References

Figures

What and when to submit

Mechanics

Do you want a higher grade?

Expectations

Your paper should be of a standard appropriate for a junior-senior level course in a science department at a major university. Your grade will depend both on content and on the effectiveness with which you communicate your material.

Description of a typical paper at each grade level:

A A thorough and well-supported synthesis of your chosen aspect of the region's climate. The paper is clearly written and effectively organized, with no errors in grammar or spelling. Explanations are supported by clear and readable maps or charts where necessary (and only where necessary). References are properly cited. Material is well supported by references to high-quality sources such as peer-reviewed journal articles with no citations from encyclopedias or anonymous web pages. A paper at this level may contain an element of originality.

B Similar to an A paper but lacking in some way. The topic is clearly discussed. References are from high-quality sources such as peer-reviewed journal articles with no citations from encyclopedias or anonymous web pages. One image may be fuzzy or unclear. There may be a few errors in grammar or spelling. Often papers at this level are thorough but not clearly presented. For example, they may be too wordy or not well organized.

C Includes a reasonable treatment of the topic but with notable deficiencies in coverage or presentation. Some examples are arguments that are not well supported with references, or discussions of human activities or natural features that do not clearly explain how they are related to climate. The paper may not be clearly organized, or may contain excessive errors in spelling, grammar and usage. Graphs and charts typically are copied and pasted from other sources with little attention to clarity or legibility. The paper includes inappropriate references such as encyclopedias or anonymous web pages. References may not be properly cited. Papers at this level often contain large stretches of material based on only one or two references.

D Typical of a paper done at the last minute. The paper attempts to include most of the information in A, B or C papers but is put together haphazardly. For example, graphs may be included but not discussed in the text, or a list of references may be given without proper literature citations. There is little or no attempt to integrate the material into a coherent whole. A paper at this level usually includes "padding" that attempts to hide a lack of content.

F A paper will receive an F grade for any of the following reasons:



Requirements

Abstract

Begin with an abstract, on a page of its own (separate from the title page and the body of the text). The abstract is a brief but complete summary of your paper. It should be possible for the reader to know your main findings simply by reading the abstract. The abstract must be no more than one double-spaced page.

Length

The maximum length is 15 pages of double-spaced text, not including references and figures. This limit applies to each person's paper (i.e., it is not the total page limit for all team members).

There is no required minimum length for your paper, although you probably will find it difficult to present a thorough review of your topic in less than 10 pages or so.

References

Figures


What and when to submit

Mechanics


Do you want a higher grade?

These points often make the difference between an "A" paper and a "B" paper (or between a "C" and "D" paper, but let's not go there):