Essay Instructions: Here is the class homepage:
here you are going to find some links aproved by the professor to use in this research paper.
Solar System Research Project
Due Date: Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Discoveries in planetary science occur at a frenetic pace, and this exponential growth of knowledge will only continue as we continue to send robotic probes to our planetary neighbors. For your semester project, I am going to ask you to research either a planet or moon in our solar system. Try to summarize what we know, what we do not know, and how current and future spacecraft missions will help us address some current outstanding research questions. The project is semester-long and will be due on the date listed above. Absolutely no projects will be accepted late.
What We Know: For this section you should refer to spacecraft missions that have visited this planet as well as scholarly and semi-scholarly journals. I do not want a simple recapitulation of information in your textbook. Describe what we know as well as what our spacecraft have learned. Describe specifically how we have obtained our current understanding. You might want to refer to the suggested readings at the end of each chapter as starting points.
What We Do Not Know: There are many, many questions we want to answer about each planet. We will mention some of these questions in class. In this section, I want you to explain how comparative planetology gives rise to these questions. For example, Earth and Venus are similar in size, mass, density, and composition; yet these two planets look very different from each other at their surfaces. Think about the kinds of questions you might ask to explain this situation. What is similar and what is different? Use this same type of reasoning to frame questions about the planet you are researching.
Sources: You should rely primarily on books, periodicals, and other print sources. You may use the Internet for portions of your research, but Internet use should be limited to reputable web sites like NASA. Furthermore, the primary use of Internet sites should be to append updated information from recent spacecraft missions. You must cite all of your sources in one of the accepted professional formats.
Grading: The project is 10% of your final grade and I am looking for quality. Your paper has no specified page limit, but the goal is to demonstrate that you are a non-science expert on your planet. Submitting a cursory summary of current knowledge will earn you no better than a “C” for the project. In addition to high quality research, I will also be expecting pride of authorship. Type your reports neatly. Include figures and figure captions where appropriate. Watch your spelling, grammar, and punctuation. Proofread and correct your first draft, then have someone else proofread and correct your second draft for good measure.
Excerpt From Essay:
Essay Instructions: Planetary Comparison Paper
Write a 1050 word paper on the science of Earth as compared with the other planets in our solar system.
a) Much is known about planet Earth, as it is our home planet. It is therefore an ideal planet for comparative planetology. Briefly describe the properties of our planet and explain them. Include the qualities of the earth?s interior, and how we learn about it, as well as a description of properties that shape and change the earth?s surface (i.e., volcanism, tectonics, erosion).
b) Then, examine each planet in our solar system. How does it compare to Earth? What are its unique characteristics? Why do these features exist on that planet, as opposed to Earth?
c) Your paper must be formatted according to APA guidelines, and should be based on the assigned reading. Your paper will be assessed according to your writing skills as well as the quality of the content.
Grading Rubric for Planetary Comparison Paper
Content / Development (45 points) Points Possible
All key elements of the assignment are covered in a substantive way.
? The required range for this paper is 1050 words
? The paper briefly describes the properties of our planet and explains them. This description includes the qualities of the earth?s interior, and how we learn about it, as well as a description of properties that shape and change the earth?s surface (i.e., volcanism, tectonics, erosion).
? The paper examines each planet in our solar system and answers the following questions:
1. How does it compare to Earth?
2. What are its unique characteristics?
3. Why do these features exist on that planet, as opposed to Earth?
This paper should be written in the narrative. Bulleted items or lists are not used. 30
The first paragraph introduces the topic. 5
Major points are stated clearly; are supported by specific details, examples, or analysis; and are organized logically. 5
The conclusion is logical, flows from the body of the paper, and reviews the major points. 5
Readability and Style (25 Points)
Paragraph transitions are present and logical and maintain the flow throughout the paper. 5
Sentences are complete, clear, and concise. 10
Sentences are well-constructed, with consistently strong, varied sentences. 5
Sentence transitions are present and maintain the flow of thought. 5
Mechanics (30 points)
The title page follows APA format. 3
A shortened title and page number are in a page header. 2
The first text page begins with a page break. 3
All margins meet APA requirements. All paragraphs are correctly indented 5 to 7 spaces. 2
The paper has no unnecessary hard returns embedded within the structure. 3
The paper is laid out with effective use of font styles, and white space. 2
Rules of grammar, usage, and punctuation are followed. 5
Spelling is correct. 5
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