Chem 103 Web Project Instructions

Summary Instructions
Detailed Instructions
Final Checks Before Submitting

Due Date:
No later than November 24, 2003.

Summary Instructions:
Choose a single issue from the list below and go to the class web site to find the two assigned web sites associated with the topic.Write a short essay about the issue consisting of three paragraphs:1) summarizing the point of view of the web site on one side of the issue; 2) summarizing the point of view of the web site on the other side of the issue; 3) explaining which side you agree with and why.  The third paragraph should include a critical analysis of the quality of the information in the web sites. You need to answer the question, "Is the content of the web sites verified or verifiable factual information or just hearsay?"You must back up your answer to this question with references and an analysis of the quality of the information source or sources.  Send the essay by e-mail to Dr. Gutow any time before November 24, 2003. (The submission will be scored out of 40 points:  each complete summary paragraph-10, a well reasoned point of view paragraph-10, grammar/spelling-10). The essay must be submitted as text based e-mail. You may word process it, but then you must copy and paste it into your mail program. Special characters such as curly quotes, superscripts and subscripts are not supported by text e-mail. You may want to make sure to save the document as text only in your word processor before you copy to the mail program.

Choose from one of these issues

Air Pollution, Ozone Depletion, Global Warming, Energy Conservation, Alternative Energy Sources, Water Pollution, Acid Rain

Summary Instructions
Detailed Instructions
Final Checks Before Submitting

Detailed Instructions
Choosing a topic: On the class web site are links to pairs of web sites that have opposing/different points of view concerning each issue.  Under some issues there is more than one pair to choose from.  Choose just one pair to write your essay on.  You may want to look at a number of the sites before you decide what to write about.  You may not choose pairs that are not listed.  If links don't work please e-mail Dr. Gutow so that he may fix them.

Contents of summary paragraphs (paragraphs 1 and 2):
1) First sentence should state who produced and sponsored the web site plus the point of view or side of the argument the web site takes.
2) The remainder of the paragraph should summarize the main arguments made on the web site to support their point of view.  Write this part in your own words and include a minimum of two of the most important arguments.  Statements backed up by data carry more weight than simple statements of the way things are.  Use your own words.  Don't plagarize.  Plagarism on the assignment will result in an automatic 0.
Contents of the third paragraph stating your viewpoint:
1) First sentence should state which side you agree with.  If you don't agree with either side just say so.
2) The rest of the paragraph should explain why your position is as stated in the first sentence.
3) Your position should be based on an analysis of the quality of the information used to support the arguments.   This analysis should include answers to the following questions:
a) Is the web site author or sponsor biased because of affiliation with a particular interest group?
b) For each piece of information used (at least those summarized in paragraphs 1 and 2) is the source reliable?  For example, data from peer reviewed scientific work is more reliable than numbers found in news articles.  Usually, but not always, raw technical data published by US, Canadian and European government agencies is reliable.  You have to be more careful with analyses that do not undergo rigorous review by independent organizations.
c) To support your analysis of the information quality explain how you checked on it.  Provide web links where appropriate.

Summary Instructions
Detailed Instructions
Final Checks Before Submitting


•Did you review all the parts of the web site that talk about the issue, not just the initial page to which the link was provided?  In some cases the link is to a complete article which is all that you need to write about.  However, most of the time it is to a web site that has multiple pages and sub-pages on the topic.  Follow and think about all the links.  In your essay summarize information from any important links.

•Make sure you have answered any questions specific to your topic that are asked on the link web page.

•Put your full name at the top of your submission.

•Skip a line and copy the name of your topic and both links from the link web page to your submission.

•Please double check your spelling and grammar before submitting your web project.

•After grammar the biggest problem people have is getting valid web addresses when they include additional web sites as references.  If you provide web addresses that do not work you will not get credit for using them as references!!!  The best way to get them correct is to use your browser's copy and paste functions to copy the address of the web site directly from the location field into your e-mail or word processor.  Note that if the site uses frames you may not be copying the correct link address.  Check by restarting the browser and pasting the link address back into the browser from your document.  

•Make sure your final document contains no special characters such as curly quotes, superscripts, subscripts, greek characters, automatic hyphens, etc. 

•Now you can submit your finished document by e-mailing it as text to:

Summary Instructions
Detailed Instructions
Final Checks Before Submitting

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Last Updated: September 9, 2003
Expires: December 15, 2003