Student: Stanley

Assignment Description – Midterm Research Paper

UCI School of Engineering ENGR 190W Assignment Description – Midterm Research Paper Assignment Deadline and Topic Selection The midterm research paper is due in the Canvas drop box by 6:00 PM on Monday (4-27-20). The revised requirements for the midterm assignment are as follows. Plan, research, and write a 4 to 5-page paper (body pages of text) on seismology or any engineering-related topic. The inclusion of graphical elements to support your text is recommended and will increase the page count, which is acceptable. Sample midterm research papers are shown in the Sample Assignments module in Canvas. The suggested field of seismology covers a broad range of topics, which should allow you to find a wide variety of sources related to your specific topic (see suggestions below). However, you may optionally choose any other engineering-related topic for your paper. As an example, if you are currently conducting mentored research or are working on some type of engineering project in another class, you may write about that topic instead. Some suggested topics for seismology are as follows:  explain the basics of how and why earthquakes occur (plate tectonics, seafloor spreading, etc.)  describe/discuss the various proposed/tested earthquake prediction schemes  describe a specific earthquake (e.g., 1906 San Francisco earthquake, 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, etc.) and its effects on the environment, economy, and/or society  describe/compare the methods used for structural assessment and retrofitting of older buildings for seismic safety  discuss some recommended earthquake preparedness plans (residential/business environments)  provide an overview of plate tectonics and seafloor spreading theories  describe the evolution of seismographs and how they are used to measure earthquakes  describe the various types of electromechanical devices used for monitoring geological faults  describe the types of seismic-resistant foundations designed for use in high-rise buildings Completing Your Midterm Writing Assignment Use the following steps to complete your midterm writing assignment: 1. Plan your research (develop an outline) 2. Gather your data (select relevant and credible source material) 3. Organize your data (develop a logical hierarchy based on your outline) 4. Write the draft (visit the UCI Center for Excellence in Writing and Communication) 5. Add headings and subheadings as needed to show your chosen hierarchy of information 6. Review and revise your final copy (check syntax, word choice, spelling, grammar, etc.) 7. Proofread your final copy and inspect the final formatting for balance and consistency 8. Upload an electronic copy (native file and PDF file) of your finished paper to the Canvas drop box Assignment Specifications The midterm paper should conform to the following specifications: FORM (organization and hierarchy of the information presented in your paper) The paper should contain the following sections:  Cover page – (descriptive title, your name, student ID number, and class time)  Abstract – (written as a stand-alone document on a separate page – double-spaced text)  Table of Contents – (optional – NOT required for this writing assignment) Midterm Research Paper – Spring 2020 Page 1 of 3 UCI School of Engineering ENGR 190W  Body – (should contain an introductory paragraph followed by the main body of text, which should be appropriately subdivided using descriptive first and second-level headings as needed to indicate your chosen hierarchy of information (avoid stacked headings), and end with a brief conclusion that ties the paper together and brings closure to your selected topic)  List of References (IEEE citation format) – (should include at least five sources, preferably not all web pages – not to be confused with online sources such as electronic copies of books, journals, or conference proceedings) FORMAT (visual cues and aesthetic appeal) The paper must be set up with the following formatting parameters:  Body text must be double-spaced and left-justified (not full-justified)  Font size should be approximately 12-point (depending on the font style used)  Margins should be approximately one inch (top, bottom, left and right-hand margins)  Headings should be appropriately sized to indicate first and second-level status  Pages must be numbered (page one begins on the first page of body text – not the cover page) STYLE (tone and formality of the writing) The paper should reflect a formal scientific tone (avoiding unnecessary use of first-person pronouns when possible – I, me, my, we, ours, us) and be written to an audience of your peers. To maintain a formal tone, avoid colloquial expressions, conversational idioms, and metaphorical phrases. Peer Audience Considerations Sufficient technical detail should be included in your paper to meet the expectations of your engineering-based peer audience. Be careful not to overgeneralize or oversimplify the information presented in your paper, making it more suited to a generalist (non-technical) audience. Considering the intended scope of your paper, it would be better to provide greater technical detail on fewer points in your paper than to provide overgeneralized or oversimplified information on several points in your paper. Depending on your chosen topic and rhetorical mode, you could, for example, introduce your topic by providing a general introduction or overview (background and/or historical information to provide context for the reader) and then go into technical detail on selected points/components/characteristics of your topic, followed by a conclusion (restating your main points or conclusions, or restating the significance of your findings, or providing some forward-looking statements) to bring closure to your paper. If using an argumentative rhetorical mode, your paper should begin with a strong thesis statement tailored to the interests or possible concerns of your target (peer) audience. The body of the paper should be used to develop your argument. Organize your points of discussion to create a logical flow of factual evidence. Rhetorical Mode Selection You may use any rhetorical mode of writing (argumentative, classification, descriptive, cause and effect, comparison/contrast, exemplification, etc.) appropriate for your particular topic and purpose. Assignment Review and Submission It is recommended that you visit the UCI Center for Excellence in Writing and Communication at least once to have a writing specialist review a draft or final copy of your paper. Although the writing center accepts walk-in appointments, it is recommended that you make your appointment several days in advance to ensure you can meet with a writing specialist before your paper is due. After making the necessary final revisions to your paper, upload an electronic copy of the paper (both the native application file and a PDF file for printing) by clicking on the Submit Assignment button for this assignment by the published due date. Before submitting your paper, ensure the pagination is correct (page one begins on the first page of body text – not the cover page, abstract, or table of contents). Please name your uploaded file using your first and last name (e.g., John Smith.docx). Midterm Research Paper – Spring 2020 Page 2 of 3 UCI School of Engineering ENGR 190W Grading Criteria You will receive two grades for this dual writing assignment, one for the abstract based on the criteria shown below (an upcoming lecture will explain how to create a concise abstract), and one for the midterm research paper. The midterm research paper will be graded on its form, format, style, and content (based on the criteria shown on the midterm research paper evaluation rubric posted in the Assessment Rubrics module on the Canvas course space). As stated in the course syllabus, the midterm research paper represents 20% of your course grade. Your writing should reflect the writing concepts represented by the “4Cs” (clear, concise, complete and correct). Creating a Concise Abstract Your abstract should be a condensed version of your finished work that highlights the major points covered in your document and concisely describes the content and scope of your writing. Therefore, the abstract can only be written after you complete your midterm research paper. As a general guideline for this assignment, an abstract consisting of only two or three sentences is most likely missing pertinent information contained in your paper. Conversely, an abstract that fills an entire page (using double-spaced text) most likely contains too much detail and should be further revised and reduced. An abstract is presented first in your paper but is written last (after you finish your paper). In general, the qualities of a well-written abstract can be characterized as follows:  Designed as a unified, coherent, concise, stand-alone document  Uses Introduction/Body/Conclusion structure  Follows the chronology of your paper  Provides logical connections (transitions) between the main points of information provided in the abstract  Adds no new information (information not covered in your paper)  Maintains the same level of technical language used in your paper (written to the same audience as your paper) Consider the following suggestions when writing your abstract:  Keep your abstract as short as possible by avoiding lengthy, complex sentences. However, be careful not to focus too narrowly, which may lead to inadvertent omission of important information.  Ensure your abstract contains key words (especially important if you plan to post your abstract on the web).  Avoid abbreviations (acronyms and initializations), jargon (specialized vocabulary used in a particular discipline) and mathematical expressions.  Do not include any tables or graphics (diagrams, photographs, line drawings, etc.).  Do not include any in-text citations (all references to your sources are assumed to appear in the body of your research paper)  Avoid referencing other works in your abstract  Do not comment, evaluate, or otherwise editorialize in your abstract.  Avoid stating the obvious (e.g., “This paper will discuss…” or “The paper begins with…”)  Write an interesting abstract that entices your reader to read your paper (the abstract is an advertisement for your intellectual product). Midterm Research Paper – Spring 2020 Page 3 of 3

Budget: $45.00

Due on: April 24, 2020 00:00

Posted: 6 months ago.

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