G302 Development of the Global Environment
What the course comprises.

Topics for  discussion sessions and links to information on these topics
RESOURCES  Access to class materials and reference to relevant text chapters for each topic
ASSIGN.   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 detail.
  • To enhance understanding of an important aspect of the course.  
  • 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.

Goals for Peer Review of First Draft:
  • The guidelines for the first draft are documented here.
  • The peer review process requires that you evaluate (anonymously) two papers assigned according to your code in the assignment chart.
  • Papers will be assessed via Oncourse and the reviews (Position Paper Peer Review #1, #2) will consist of answering a series of on-line questions about each paper and assigning a score for each paper in terms of:
    • Content (max. 10 points): relevance to essay topic, and use of resources to describe and explain themes. 
    • Presentation (max. 10 points): how the paper (or presentation, or poster, or website) is structured. How efffectively the format achieves its goals.
    • Development  and Overall Effectiveness (max. 5 points): comments on omissions (if any) and plans to address them; overall merit of paper.
    • Additional sections will provide space to offer general comments about any aspect of the paper.
  • General guidelines for review:
    • Be objective: focus on the contents of the paper. Read and review it thoughtfully.
    • Be critical: identify omissions, errors, or oversights.  Suggest corrections to spelling, grammar, phrasing and word usage.
    • Be forthright: describe what you don't understand, or aspects that are vague or need further explanation.
    • Be constructive: offer advice for improvements and additions.
    • Be specific: ensure that your comments can easily be related to the aspects of the paper to which they refer.
    • Be honest: state what you think, but always explain why.
  • Both peer reviews are due by March 27, and contribute 8% to your class grade. They will be assessed by instructors according to the criteria below.
  • The initial outline and rough draft is the first of four stages of preparation:
    • An extened initial outline in draft format, A revised draft, A complete final draft, A final copy

Oncourse Questions for Peer Review:
  • Contents:
    • Objectives: Does the paper achieve its aims? Does it address the critical aspects of the topic? Does it answer your questions about the topic?
    • Introduction: Is the information needed as a background to the topic included? What might be added or excluded? Is the theme of the paper established?
    • Topic and Themes: Are the major components of the paper suitably described? Are all components relevant and accurate? Are any parts redundant? Are there important elements of the topic that are missing, or inconsistencies?
    • Images, Figures & Tables: Is the choice of these appropriate? Do they enhance the paper? Would other supporting evidence be helpful?
    • Other Comments: Are there any aspects of the contents of the paper that merit comments, which are not covered by the preceding questions?
  • Presentation:
    • Structure: Is the paper well organized and easy to read? Is it succinct? Does the choice of layout, heading and subheadings help the readibility?
    • Text (whether Paper, Presentation, or Poster): Is the paper well written? Is it free of typographic errors? Are arguments or competing ideas resolved? Does the abstract provide an accurate summary? Do the conclusions suggest broader implications of the topic?
    • Images, Figures & Tables: Are they well explained? Are they integrated with the text? Are they well presented (size, format, etc.)?
    • Bibliography: Are the sources of information for the paper well documented? Are they appropriate? Are specific sources missing?
    • Other Comments: Are there any aspects of the presentation of the paper that merit comments, which are not covered by the preceding questions?
  • Development and Overall Effectiveness:
    • Contents: Are the critical themes of the topic defined, described, developed, explained and addressed?
    • Layout: Does it include an abstract (or outline), an introduction, appropriate sections, and conclusions?
    • Other Comments: Are there any aspects of the development of the paper that merit comments, which are not covered by the preceding questions?
  • General Comments:
    • Thoughts on what you liked/disliked about the paper.
    • Suggestions for improvements, whether specific or general, changes and corrections.
    • At all times avoid personal remarks or any denegratory comments.

Basis for Grades in Instructor Assessment of Peer Reviews:
  • Completion of assigned task in a timely manner.
  • Quality of comments and completeness of responses to review questions.
  • Insightfulness in commentary and evidence of objectivity.
  • Assessment of clarity and merit of presentation (structure, layout, headings). 
  • Appraisal of use of tables. diagrams and figures. 
  • Suggestions for additional reference sources or information.
  • Overall objectivity and accuracy of comments.

Supplementary Comments:
  • <>All peer reviews will be examined by the instructors prior to communication to the author. Comments may therefore be appended that identify:
    • important issues raised by the reviews that must be addressed.
    • significant omissions that the reviews did not recognize.
    • incorrect aspects of the review.
  • In such cases, supplementary comments may be provided to the author with specific recommendations for changes.
  • <>

Stages of Position Paper Development
Extended Outline
First Draft
Peer Review
Complete Draft

Final Copy
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