Paper sections

  1. Title page Use the APA student paper templateLinks to an external site. (without abstract) to format the assignment.
  2. Introduction (1/2 page) – Draw in the reader in an engaging way, introduce your topic, and contextualize its significance. Make the last sentence a thesis that states the persuasive claim you will defend about how your chosen environmental issue should be addressed.
  3. Scientific background (2-3 pages) – Share main ideas from 3 recent (last 10 years) peer-reviewed scientific studies on your topic. For each study, share the research methods used (observation, experiment, prediction model) and the main findings. This content can come mainly from your science presentation, revising as needed based on comments you received. If you want, you can bring in up to 2 reputable but non-peer-reviewed background sources, such as newspaper reports or government documents, in addition to the 3 peer-reviewed studies. Do this if it will help build the case for your persuasive arguments later in the paper.
  4. Reading application (2 pages) – Choose two readings from the course. For each, summarize a main concept or argument from it and explain in detail how that viewpoint applies to your research topic. It is OK to use two readings from the same book as long as they were readings for different course lessons. Cite from your chosen readings as part of the discussion. You can choose main ideas from the readings that support or oppose your thesis. For example, you can describe an argument from a reading that feeds into your persuasive arguments later in the paper or explain how a reading author would approach your topic one way, and then argue for a different way in your own persuasive work.
  5. Persuasive arguments (3-4 pages) – Use logically compelling arguments and detailed evidence to defend your thesis about how an environmental issue should be addressed. Do not just survey different sides of the debate. Instead, defend a specific thesis with your own creative arguments. Part of the persuasive arguments section should use ethical concepts from the course, from outside research, or from your own thought to defend your thesis. Another part can give details of what your proposed resolution of the environmental issue would entail. For example, if you are proposing a new law or arguing that a certain practice should be discontinued, give concrete details about what that change would look like. Bring in facts from outside research as needed to support your main claims, noting potential sources of bias. After giving your own arguments, address one or two possible counterarguments to your view and show why they are not compelling.
  6. Conclusion (1/2 page) – Signal the end of the paper, review your thesis and main ideas, and discuss the wider significance of your research. End with a memorable closing.
  7. References page

Other things to maintain: