701-1303-00L  Term Paper 1: Writing

Semester Autumn Semester 2014
Lecturers M. Ackermann, N. Gruber, J. Hering, R. Kretzschmar, K. McNeill, J. Zeyer, M.  Lever, R. Schwarzenbach, B. Wehrli, L. Winkel
Periodicity semester course
Language of instruction English

Abstract The ability to critically evaluate original (scientific) literature and to summarize the information in
a succinct manner is an important skill for any student. This course aims to practise this ability, requiring each student to write a term paper on a topic of relevance for research in the areas of biogeochemistry and pollutant dynamics.
Objective The goal of the term paper is to train the student's ability to
critically evaluate a well-defined set of research subjects, and to
summarize the findings concisely in a paper of scientific quality. The
paper will be evaluated based on its ability to communicate an
understanding of a topic, and to identify key outstanding questions.
Results from this term paper will be presented to the fellow students and
involved faculty in the summer term (Term paper seminars)
Content Each student is expected to write a paper with a length of approximately 15 pages. The students can choose from a list of topics prepared by the supervisors, but the final topic will be determined based on a balance of choice and availability. The students will be guided and advised by their advisors throughout the term. The paper itself should contain the following elements: Motivation and context of the given topic (25%), Concise presentation of the state of the science (50%), Identification of open questions and perhaps outline of opportunities for research (25).
In addition, the accurate use of citations, attribution of ideas, and the judicious use of figures, tables, equations and references are critical components of a successful paper. Specialized knowledge is not expected, nor required, neither is new research.
Lecture notes Guidelines and supplementary material will be handed out at the beginning of the class.
Literature Will be identified based on the chosen topic.
Prerequisites / Notice Each term paper will be reviewed by two fellow students and one faculty. The submission of a written review is a condition for obtaining the credit points.
There is no final exam. Grade is assigned based on the quality of the term paper and the submission of another student's review.