Planet Earth Through Time
Research Paper Guide
• The minimum length is 2000 words (upper limit is 3000 words). Report your word total on the
last page of the paper (using the “Word Count” utility in your word processor software). The final
copy should be 1.5 spaced, use 11 font Times New Roman, with 1–inch margins. Place a title page
with the necessary information such as name, class, semester, etc., at the front.
• The minimum standard for source material is 10 references, of which no more than 5 can be
references directly sourced from the Internet. However, journals and books accessed on the web
(rather than procuring the printed version) are not included in this 5 web source limit.
• In contrast, anyone can post anything on the Internet, and there is not necessarily a strict peer-
review process. Beware that “. . . it was on the Internet. . . !” will not be accepted as an excuse for
• Attach a list of references cited, with complete bibliographic entries in an approved format. Use
whatever styles you like, so long as the title, author, year, journal/book, publisher, etc, are pre-
• Do not plagiarize chunks of text from references!
• Make sure you proof read your paper before submission; If on one hand my English
oral skills are ridiculous, on the other hand my written skills are good! Thus, I will
bust you like a cheap plate if your spelling and grammar are bad.
• The overall grade will be based on an assessment of Research Quality and Presentation,
– Presentation includes careful organization (including tight structuring and balance among the
parts of the paper), correct formatting, and effective writing (clear and concise expression,
correct spelling, grammar (word choice) and syntax (organization of words)).
– To maximize the credits for the Research quality component, you should choose a narrowly
defined topic, and find specific, primary reference materials for it.
• Use an outline to organise your writing, especially in deciding how and when to cover each piece of
information, idea, concept, etc. Use headings and subheadings to show your organization.
• Use graphics (e.g., maps, pictures, numerical tables, graphs, explanatory diagrams, etc.) pre-
sented as a series of numbered figures to supplement your written presentation of the information.
Including figures will contribute to the Research and Presentation grades. Ensure you
refer to them properly in the text, and accompany them with captions. Moreover, make sure you
cite the original source of the figure (i.e., where you got it from).
• Note that captions, tables, etc., will not contribute to the overall word count.
• Is the paper topic appropriately focused? Is the focus narrow enough?
• Is the scientific content supporting the topic included? Is the level appropriate, and does the writer
choose a level appropriate for the reader? (assume I know nothing about your topic).
• Is command of background content demonstrated?
• Are specific study areas, case histories, examples, etc., developed?
• Is background integrated with material about the specific content or study areas?
• Are critical thinking skills used in the analysis?
• Are the references adequate in number?
• Are critical professional-level references included? Do not include references that are only periph-
erally related to your topic.
• Are the citations accurate and adequate for the reader to locate references?
• Attention to specifics of assignment, appropriate format, organization, development of topic, and
• Introduction (a clear presentation of “problems”, “questions” or “issues” you are addressing, your
objective, statement of focus and scope, plan of attack, etc.).
– Is the choice of topic explained? Are the writer’s intentions for developing the topic clearly
– Is the context of the specific topic defined and related to more general context or background?
– Does the introduction give a clear “road map” for the rest of the paper, and is this plan
• Information/Content (data, observations or results, including captioned tables, maps, graphs,
illustrations, and other types of figures, annotated with reference citations identifying the original
– Was care taken in separating data and interpretations?
– Are concepts integrated, synthesized and clearly explained?
• Conclusions (a summary of the principal findings and conclusions, identification of limitations,
and suggestions for further work).
//////////////you can pick a topic sir/mam, about generally anything that has to do with geology or earth systems. I have a few ideas bt please feel free to choose a better one if you thinkis more fit. Maybe something about rock formation or maybe something about how diamonds are made. Possibly include a question of whether diamonds last forever. Everyone tinks that so I found it amazing that they actually dnt last forever. So maybe it cold be about how diamonds aare formed and compare them to other rocks and talk about why they dont last forever and the process it goes through.