What the course comprises.
Topics for discussion sessions and links to information on these
RESOURCES Access to class materials and
reference to relevant text chapters for each topic
Details of timing of position paper and on-line quizzes
A summary of course themes and learning objectives
The planned sequence of coverage for lecture topics
How learning in the course is assessed
Who to contact for more information
Aim of Position Paper:
- To enable the exploration of a specific class topic in
- To enhance understanding of an important aspect of the
- To provide an opportunity to integrate material from
different course topics.
- To compose a cogent, structured discussion of the chosen
topic rooted in sound scientific arguments and principles.
Choice of Topics and Submission:
- A brief position paper written on a topic selected from a
range of prescribed subjects, or on an approved student-selected topic.
- Paper copies of drafts (see below) should be submitted in
class, or in my mailbox in GY129, or in the pouch on my office door
- Electronic copies of the second draft and final copy are
required. These can be submitted as an email attachment (to firstname.lastname@example.org),
or can be placed in the drop box within the "In Touch" part of Oncourse .
Size and Format:
- The position paper should be about 2-3 pages single-spaced,
plus figures, tables and diagrams.
- Papers should be structured, with sub-sections and
- They should include:
- A brief abstract (100-150 words)
- An introduction giving appropriate background on the
- Sections with appropriate headings that address the
critical aspects of the topic, developing the presentation and its
- Conclusions that should not simply summarize the paper,
consider its broader implications.
- Alternate options are to prepare the paper as a Powerpoint
presentation, or as a poster, or as a website. The need for
explanation and structuring of the topic remains the same.
- A comprehensive bibliography or citations (including
websites) should be included, and links if the format is web-based.
- The position paper will be reviewed and assessed at each
- An initial extended outline
(or rough draft) - feedback from instructors.
- A first draft (assessed
by peer review)
- feedback from peer review.
- A complete revised draft -
feedback from instructor review.
- A<> final
Basis for Position Paper Grades
and Due Dates:
- Content, relevance to essay topic, and overall
- Clarity and merit of presentation (layout, headings) and
- Appropriate use of tables. diagrams and figures (including
- Use of references or bibliography.
- There are five different elements that are graded:
- The initial outline (5%) - assessed by
instructors (due February 6).
- The first draft (5%) - assessed by peers (due March 1).
- Reviews of other position papers (8%). Each student will
review two other papers (due March 27).
- The complete final draft (5%) - assessed by instructors
(due April 7).
- The final copy (8%) - assessed by instructors (due April
- The contents of the essay must represent your own
- If you use quotes or materials from other sources,
including the internet, make sure that you cite the source for the
Department of Geological Sciences,
1001 E. Tenth Street, Bloomington, IN 47405-1403
Phone: (812) 855-5582 Last updated: 6 January 2006
2000, The Trustees of Indiana University