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Earth Science Topic Paper (Spring 2019) - Smyser: Home

Overview of Paper Guidelines

Using what you have already learned about the construction and composition of the earth and research that you will be doing for this paper on the process of hydraulic fracturing, the concern that recent increases in tsunamis, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions are anthropomorphically generated, or the effect of strip mining or mountain removal mining of coal.  This paper will cover extensive information.  It will require comprehensive research and writing of approximately 5 pages or more.  It is worth 85 project/test points.  If you have an additional topic that relates earth science to current events, please feel free to discuss the idea with me.  Research questions that should be covered include the following:

  1. If it were up to you, how do you think the situation described should be regulated or utilized?
  2. Describe the process.
  3. If it were up to you, what steps do you think should be taken to affect the situation?
  4. What are the potential positives of the situation?
  5. What are the negative short-term consequences of the situation?
  6. What are the potential negative long-term consequences of the situation?

The paper should be written in APA format using appropriate internal citations.  One source, at least, must be a scientific journal or primary source, but more of these sources are recommended. If there is more than one sentence that draws information from the same source, then include the source at the end of all of the information.  An exception to this would be unless a direct quote or citation of a specific statistic.  In this case, include the citation at the end of that sentence also.  The generic structure for a website source is:

 Last, F. M. (Year, Month Date Published). Article title. Retrieved from URL. doi.

For example,

Many scientists and civilians debate the beneficial and harmful potential of fracking.  “Hydraulic fracturing, better known as fracking, is the process of drilling into shale formations and injecting a cocktail of water, sand, and chemicals to create tiny fractures that access pockets of oil and natural gas” (Miller, 2015).

Full citation (with a number for the numerical list):

  1. Miller, J. (2015, June 24). Why It’s So Hard To Regulate Fracking. The American Prospect. Retrieved from

Please remember other scientific paper recommendations, such as: no contractions, write in the third person, do not use slang, etc.  For this assignment, use the third person throughout the paper despite some of it being opinion.

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