Environmental studies and Forestry-Research Paper

Research Paper-BBE 2201 Renewable Energy and the Environment
Final Paper Options: Option 1. Research Paper
Option 2. Conference Session
100 Points or 10% of grade
Due date: See Block 31 on Moodle
Overview
During this course we only scratch the surface of many important topics. The final paper requires you to go deeper into one of the energy related topics from the course and tell us what you learned.
Selecting a Topic
You are encouraged to pick an energy topic that is related to your major. For instance, if you are in a policy major, your final paper might focus on some policy aspect of a course topic. If you are in business or economics, your paper might focus on the business or economic aspect of energy. If you are in marketing, your paper might focus on a marketing issue related to renewable energy. If you are in dentistry – well, dentists use energy also. There is no major or field of interest that does not have some tie to energy. If you have not yet chosen a major, no worries, think about what major or field you are most interested in and write about a related energy topic.
Final Paper Criteria
You have two options for this paper: Option 1–Research Paper and Option 2–Conference Session Proposal. The detailed requirements for each option are laid out in the following sections. The paper requirements below apply to both options.
• Energy: The topic MUST be related to energy!
• Your major: The paper topic should also be related to your major.
• Required structural elements: Each paper option has separate requirements for organization and content—see the following sections for specifics. Generally, the paper should be written in third person.
• Paper length: The paper must be a minimum of 2000 words to get full credit. We will count off points for papers with less than 2000 words (3 points off for each 100 words missing). Papers with less than 1200 words will not be accepted.
• Sample papers: Sample papers are in Block 31 of the course Moodle site.
• Late Submissions: Submit your paper on time! You will lose 10 points for each day your paper is late.
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Option 1: Research Paper
The objective of this Option 1–Research Paper is to have you present in-depth information on a topic related to energy. This paper is not a persuasive paper or first-person narrative of your actions or thoughts. Consider this a formal research paper that will help you develop an awareness of how your chosen career passion and interest relates to energy. Everything we do has a connection to energy, and we want you to explore this.
Your topic must be on energy and related to your major. Here are some questions that may help you think about energy:
• Where is the bulk of the energy being used in your field?
• What are some technologies or practices being done to change or reduce energy use?
• Are there some start-up businesses that are helping to change or reduce energy use?
• What is driving the change? (Is it policies? Economics? Consumers?)
• What are some of the road blocks to adapting changes in energy use?
Audience
Communication is most effective when you have a specific audience in mind. For this assignment your audience is either peers in your major or professionals in the field. You are writing to inform them of all the cool things going on that connect your major to energy!
Required Structural Elements and Organization
Use ALL of the following headers in your final paper.
Cover Page (10 pts)
• Paper title, your name, your major, date
• 2-3 sentence overview or summary of your topic
Executive Summary (10 pts)
This section is usually written last and includes elements from all sections of the full paper. This section (no more than one page) should serve as a stand-alone document. This means that if someone read the executive summary, and did not read the rest of your paper, they would have some understanding of your topic. The executive summary should be on its own page, and be placed right after the cover page. It should compel the reader to want to read more!
Introduction and Background (10 pts)
Provide a brief introduction to the issue and tell us why it is important to your field or chosen major. Provide background and context for the reader to better understand the issue and its significance. Provide historical information and global and national data to show when appropriate. Why is energy an issue for this sector or field? (This is a section where you will likely need citations.)
Discussion of the Issue (25 pts)
Go into more depth about the particulars of your topic. What technologies or practices are being implemented? Likely you will have some examples in this section about real events going on
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and the impact they are having. Try to quantify as much as you can. Is the practice resulting in major energy savings? What is driving the change? Who is involved? (This is a section where you will likely need citations.)
Future Predictions (15 pts)
This section should be a commentary on what is likely to happen in the future regarding this topic, based on what you have studied and researched (you can use first person tense here, ie you can say “In my opinion, I believe that…”). While you aren’t required to include citations, here, you must base your predictions on data and evidence. If we don’t see a basis for your predictions, you will lose points. Consider the following questions.
• Do you think what you wrote about and described will be common in the next 5-10 years?
• What roadblocks might be out there for these changes?
• Will there be other changes?
• What do you base your predictions on?
Bibliography (10 pts)
This final section of your paper should include the references used in your paper. You must also include in-text citations that refer to these references. You must use at least three sources—see page 6 for more information.
Quality of Your Writing (20 pts)
We reserve 20 points to grade you on the quality of your writing. See writing resources on page 7. Good writing quality includes:
• Proper spelling, sentence structure and punctuation
• Use proper tense (third person, except for future predictions section)
• Use of required headings.
• Paper flows well between sections and is easy to follow and read.
• Layout makes sense and is professional and clear.
• Proofread before you submit!
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Option 2: Conference Session Proposal
The objective of this Option 2–Conference Session Proposal is to find a conference related to your major and develop a conference session proposal around it. Your session topic MUST be directly related to renewable energy or energy efficiency. This means no conference sessions on nuclear energy or fossil fuels.
To do this, search the web and find an actual conference on an energy topic related to renewable energy or energy efficiency and related to your major (ie, Asia Pacific Power and Engineering Conference, American Psychological Association). You will then write a session proposal to be included at that conference.
If you need session topic ideas, contact us and we can help you brainstorm; here are some ideas.
• Details on a particular energy conversion technology, energy source, or energy efficiency
• Impacts of an energy policy on a segment of our economy or society
• Impact of energy economics or regulatory programs on the industry
• Report on governmental or other programs to change energy use behavior
• Influence of the media on policy or consumer energy choices
• New sources of renewable energy and the implications of these technologies
• Marketing strategies/incentives by utilities to implement energy efficiency practices
Audience
For this assignment, you will write a proposal for a conference session (not write a promotion about the conference session). Therefore, your audience is a conference organizing team, including professionals in the field. Your proposal must show them the importance of this topic and how it will benefit the conference audience.
Required Structural Elements and Organization
Use ALL of the following headers in your conference session proposal.
Cover Page (10 pts)
• Conference title and session title, your name, your major, date
• 2-3 sentence overview or summary including the purpose of the conference you selected and of your proposed session topic
Session Executive Summary (10 pts)
This section (no more than one page) is usually written last and includes elements from all sections of your conference session proposal. It should serve as a stand-alone document. This means that if someone read it and did not read the rest of your proposal, they would understand the topic that you are covering. Include the conference title and session title, and a brief description of the conference proposal, including speakers and content. The executive summary should be on its own page, and be placed right after the cover page. It should compel the reader to want to read more, and to even want to attend your conference session!
Introduction and Background (10 pts)
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Provide overall general justification for your proposed session. Describe the energy issue you have chosen in the larger global and US picture. Why does your proposed session have broad significance in your field of study? Provide a brief introduction to the issue your session will cover as if you are the moderator, and tell us why it is important. Provide energy background and context for the reader to understand the issue as part of the overall energy system. Decide what points the audience needs to know to understand the current state of the issue. (This is a section where you will likely need citations.)
Session Proposal (25 pts)
Go into more depth and specifics about what is known about the energy issue. Talk about the multiple sides to the issue and the known facts. What are some potential good and bad aspects of the issue? Use supporting facts from reputable sources to provide a balanced description of the issue. Include enough detail so that the audience can fully understand each side. Include specific incidents and facts that may have occurred that may affect the current state of the issue. Summarize the viewpoints of a few key organizations or stakeholders and include citations and perhaps quotes. (This is a section where you will likely need citations.) Other topic ideas to include could be:
• Global (non US) trends on this topic
• Measurement and best management practices
• Academic/industrial technology transfer trends
• Current and future policy
Speakers (15 pts)
You should have a minimum of three speakers for your session—a typical session is 1.5 hours, allowing 30 minutes per speaker. Who will you invite to speak at this session? Who are the biggest players in the field right now? You will be the moderator for the session, so how will you set the tone for this proposed session? Describe the invited speakers, the organization they represent, their title, their area of expertise, and why you chose them. Summarize why they are the best choice for the session, and include a brief biography on each of them. Note that your speakers should be real people, not hypothetical.
Bibliography (10 pts)
The final section of your paper must include the references used in your paper. You must also include in-text citations that refer to these references. What peer reviewed journals will you use to provide context and background on the significance of your session proposal? You must use at least three sources—see page 6 for more information.
Quality of Writing (20 pts)
We reserve 20 points to assess the quality of your writing. See page 7 for writing resources. Good writing quality includes:
• Proper spelling, sentence structure and punctuation.
• Use proper tense (third person, except for future predictions section)
• Use of required headings.
• Paper flows well between sections and is easy to follow and read.
• Layout makes sense and is professional and clear.
• Proofread before you submit.
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Documenting and Referencing Your Sources
Use a minimum of three (at least two from primary sources) sources for your paper. You can use more, of course. Be sure to include in-text citations for your references. You are encouraged to use peer reviewed journal articles, books, and government sources for the main or primary sources for your paper. Popular press articles such as magazines and newspapers are not considered primary sources. You can use information from “advocacy groups” or non-profit sources, but only to describe their position on the issue. Don’t use these sources to provide key facts about your issue. (We reserve the right to deduct points if non-reliable sources are used incorrectly.)
You can use web-based sources, as long as they are from a reputable source, such as a
government entity. Make certain that you use a document or report, and not just a general page
from their website. Remember to cite properly, don’t just provide a web URL.
Citation Style
You can use MLA, APA, Chicago or other citation styles that you choose. No matter which you choose, make sure to stay consistent and follow the guidelines for that style. If you simply provide us with web links to your source you will lose most of your 10 points.
Use this link to read about guidelines for the different styles. https://www.lib.umn.edu/howto/citationguides
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Writing Resources
A number of resources are available at the University of Minnesota to help you improve your writing.
Center for Writing: Use the Center for Writing for help if you need help proofreading/editing.
Winter and Spring semesters: The University of Minnesota Center for Writing provides information to all students about a wide range of writing assistance resources—including the online UMN Center for Writing where you can send your writing in for tutor review and feedback (You may need to allow 1-2 weeks for this). Refer to: http://www.writing.umn.edu
Summer semester: Student English Language Support (SELS) provides free, one-on-one consultations to international undergraduates to help them maximize their success at the University of Minnesota. Students can make an appointment via our website to work with an experienced consultant on any English language need, including but not limited to:
 Grammar in speaking and writing
 Lecture listening strategies
 Presentation skills
 Strategies for communicating with professors, T.A.’s, and classmates
 …Any other English language need!
Year Round: If you live in or near the Twin Cities, consider using the services of the student writing support offices, which offer free 45 minute tutoring sessions, available by appointment or on a walk-in basis. Call 612-625-1893 or check the student writing support page from this website for a list of these offices and their current hours of operation. If you live outside the Twin Cities metro area and need writing assistance, you may also contact the UMN Center for Writing or check with local schools, libraries, or other community resources to find out if similar tutorial help is available to you.
Student English Language Support: To learn more, please visit our website. Please contact us with any inquiries at eslhelp@umn.edu.
University of Minnesota Librarians: Ask a UMN librarian a question about citations or anything else:
https://www.lib.umn.edu/#askalibrarian.
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Paper Submission
Papers will be submitted directly to the Turnitin software on the Moodle course site. Turnitin is a third party system that checks for plagiarism. Students have the ability to resubmit the
paper prior to the due date to make certain that all sources have proper citations. Make sure that you have not plagiarized! Papers that have more than 25% similarity, even though properly cited, may lose points as we are looking for original ideas. See below for more information on plagiarism and proper citations.
Plagiarism
To help you identify what is and is not plagiarism, you can go through this tutorial from Indiana University: https://www.indiana.edu/~istd/
or see this website
http://writing.umn.edu/sws/quickhelp/sources.html
This additional resource provides background on the rationale for the US culture of citation/academic property used in academic institutions: http://wpacouncil.org/positions/WPAplagiarism.pdf
Paraphrasing
Paraphrasing properly can be a real challenge. If done incorrectly, it can be viewed as plagiarism.
If you need help determining when to quote and when to paraphrase, see this resource from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. YOU are responsible to make sure you paraphrase and cite properly! For helpful information see: http://writing.wisc.edu/Handbook/QuotingSources.html.
For examples of high-quality papers, see the final paper block 31. For more information on writing techniques and citations, see page 9-10 of the syllabus.

 

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