Course Information, Paper

This page has details about the required paper.

Requirements for Class Paper
Your paper is an important part of ENVE 649. The topic may be about any hazardous waste issue. The nature and source of the waste itself, treatment or disposal strategies, or methods to prevent waste generation. You may take an issue out of the newspaper or similar media, and analyze it critically based on material from this course. Narrow topics are easier than broad topics. Public involvement or controversy regarding a hazardous waste might make an interesting paper, but be sure that there is enough material so you can focus on some technical issues.

Grading Plan for Paper


Some parameters: The length should be "just long enough." I never count pages, but the typical paper should be about 10 pages of text, not counting figures. Please use 12-point font and double space. You do not have to use any particular style, as long at it is clear, but here is a good standard format from the ASCE, , at http://www.asce.org/Content.aspx?id=18107 . Look at Parts of a journal article, Writing style, and Author-date references.It is very important to reference the sources of your information. Here's a neat site with a guide for citing websites.

Students often miss the most important point about proper references or rather, properly acknowledging the source of material. They perceive the issue as one of nitpicking regarding style. Using material someone else has written without properly acknowledgment is both cheating and stealing. It is often bad writing too. In the old days, when everything had to be reentered by typing, there was not much incentive to leave material exactly as it had been written. Students and other authors can now electronically cut and paste large blocks of material. But this material often does not fit into the surrounding text. The correct way to write a paper is to enter all the material into your brain, which somehow integrates the material in your internal data banks. When you put the process in reverse and write, the material is naturally integrated and has logical flow. In scientific and technical writing, each fact that is presented must be referenced to the published research findings of others or the findings of your research that you are reporting. So having written your report, you now go back and cite each fact. Sometimes an exact quotation of one or several paragraphs is necessary. You can electronically cut and paste figures and tables, as long as you cite where you got them.

In student papers, use of copyrighted material is not a big issue, since your paper is only distributed to me and possibly other students. Quoting excerpts of copyrighted works is not against the law, in any case. Copying pictures and graphs can be copyright infringement, if you publish them or use them for gain. Your paper will be on our Blackboard site, but that is a password-protected site, so your paper is not published. Teachers enjoy an exemption from the copyright laws, up to a point, for materials used in class. Once a teacher puts something on the web, it is being published outside the classroom, and the teacher might be infringing a copyright.

I would like you to use at least two references that are not from the Internet. One reference from the "primary literature" and one "review article" would be best. The difference between primary literature that is "solid" (usually) and the electronic material you get from the web should be apparent to you. Of course all the material you reference must help you elucidate your topic.

Library explains how to search for these articles and how to get them without leaving your computer. Use your BACK button to return here.

Module 3 Index

ENVE 649 Homepage.