Climate Change scientific essay

ESSAY Guidelines


Find new information on your topic of choice. Write a clear, focused, well-organized essay that indicates you thoroughly understand your source material, and topic.


1. Climate Change


Aim for the essay to be ~1000 words long. Slightly longer or shorter essays are OK, but you will lose points if you are off by more than ±25%. Your list of references does not count against the 1000 words. Write your essay in a technical, formal style. Do not use colloquial terms. Use a passive form of 3rd-person voice (i.e. do not use the words “I”, “we”, “you”). Write for another student. Make sure that you introduce/define all the terms/concepts before you actually discuss their effects. For example, you need to describe what greenhouse gasses, albedo, and the global carbon cycle are before you can clearly discuss how the different factors affect global climate change.

What is Scientific Writing?

Scientific writing is a specific type of writing. Scientific writing benefits from structure and planning. Writing is a craft; to do it well takes practice. Some of the tenants of scientific writing you will need to hone include:

· Create an outline before you start writing; outlines encourage organization and conceptual continuity.

· Write clearly and concisely. Use words explicit with your intended meaning.

· Avoid references to self (i.e. don’t use the words I, our, my,…etc.).

· Do not exaggerate or embellish.

· Avoid vague adjectives. For example, when explaining an object’s mass it is unscientific to say it is huge or gigantic. Instead say how massive the object is (i.e. 200,000 metric tons).

· Follow the common format of introduction, body and conclusion.

· Introductions give the reader an overview of the topics to be covered in the body

· The body should develop, enhance and fulfill the concepts which the introduction presented

· Conclusions take information presented in the body and do one of two things with it. If possible, form a comprehensive statement about the inherent relationships of the information in the body. If not, explain the lack of comprehensive meaning within the body.

· The first sentence in every paragraph of your paper should include the thesis for the paragraph. All sentences within the following paragraph should help to support your thesis.

· Sources are to be cited and a bibliography is required. Use the structure reccomended by the American Meterological Society (AMS)


You must read and cite at least 2 scientific papers in your essay. Scientific papers are peer reviewed and contain a bibliography (list of references at end). You may use textbooks for your scientific references, but NOT the textbook for this class.

Examples of scientific journals are:

· Nature

· Science

· Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences

· Eos

· Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society

· Journal of Climate

· Climatic Change

· Geophysical Research Letters

· Scientific American

Include an alphabetical list of references at the end of your essay, structured as recommended by the American Meteorological Society (see also

· Books: Reference must consist of last name and initials of author(s), year of publication of book, title of book (italicized or underlined), publisher’s name, and total pages.

For example: Wallace, J. M., and P. V. Hobbs, 1977: Atmospheric Science: An Introductory Survey. Academic Press, 350 pp

· Journal articles: Reference must consist of last name and initials of author(s), year of publication of journal, title of paper, title of journal (italicized or underlined), volume of journal, number of issue (only if required for identification), and first and last page numbers of the paper.

For example: Archer, C. L., and M. Z. Jacobson, 2007: Supplying baseload power and reducing transmissions requirements interconnecting wind farms. Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology, 46, 1701-1717.

You must acknowledge and identify the work done by others in your written text by citing the appropriate paper/book.

Example: As mentioned in Wallace and Hobbs (1977), the weather data in the US …

Quoted material should always be quoted exactly word for word and enclosed in quotation marks, followed by the citation.

Example “Wind is the world’s fastest growing electric energy source” (Archer and Jacobson 2007).

No more than 5% of the text can be direct quotes.


I will use the following rubric to grade your essay.

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