My topic that I chose is: The writing assignment topic that I would like to choose for my writing assignment is the Florida manatee, which is a subspecies of the West Indian manatee.  In my paper I would like to discuss the eating habits, population, habitat, reproduction rate and how they actually would affect the ocean if they do become entirely extinct.

Writing Assignment

Addresses outcome 2:


· convey knowledge of life in the oceans and how that knowledge affects decisions about the environment, policy, and daily life


You may choose a topic from a provided list or propose a topic for approval. Submissions can be a traditional five-page term paper or an optional multimedia presentation must be 25 slides minimum (e.g., a Microsoft PowerPoint submission). You will address the topics indicated in the course outcome.


In this course, the written assignment project will encompass five stages:


· written assignment project, stage 1: conference for submitting proposed topic for instructor approval

· written assignment project, stage 2: UMUC library conference on information literacy

· written assignment project, stage 3: UMUC Effective Writing Center conference for submission of thesis statement, outline, and introductory paragraph for critique

· written assignment project, stage 4: submission of work to and subsequent paraphrasing of verbatim text

· written assignment project, stage 5: submission of term paper or appropriate multimedia presentation for grading


You will be expected to participate in all stages to gain an appreciation for the expected content and coverage of the written assignment project.


Example Topics


1. Select a prominent individual or an event in the history of marine biology that influenced the science as a whole in a major way. 2. Choose a single marine (saltwater) species (fish, mammal, or invertebrate). Specify the species’ common name when you post your topic selection. At a minimum, your paper should address habitat, reproductive behavior, feeding behavior (place in the food chain), migratory habits, use by humans, and susceptibility to human activities (overfishing, for example). 3. Choose a marine (saltwater) species of algae that is grown or “farmed” commercially. Find out all you can about the way this aquaculture or mariculture is undertaken, including such things as methods, location (in what countries and localities does this activity take place?), problems (diseases, cost), and marketing of the products.

4. Choose a specific type of marine pollution (e.g., oil pollution, PCBs, chlorinated hydrocarbons, etc.) that is affecting our planet. What causes it? What is being done to combat it? What are the ramifications of continuing the pollution?

5. Address biological (also known as introduced or exotic) species’ invasions of a marine (saltwater) species. What causes it? What is being done to combat it? What are the ramifications of continuing the invasion? 6. Write a pro/con paper addressing overfishing, mariculture, commercial whaling, drift net fishing, aquarium trade, or artificial reefs.


You will be evaluated on:


1. content: clear and accurate knowledge of your topic and how that knowledge affects decisions about the environment, policy, and daily life

2. references: proper quantity and quality of APA citations

3. effective writing: grammar, spelling, punctuation

4. following directions


Grading Rubric for Writing Assignment




The grading weights for the four assessment areas are: directions (10 percent); scientific content (60 percent); scholarly references (15 percent); and effective writing (grammar, spelling, and punctuation) (15 percent).


A 90-100 percent paper is outstanding (writing excels far above established university standards). It is marked by superior readability and competent handling of content. The submission could be used as an example of outstanding work for other students to emulate.


· Directions. All general directions followed. No direction errors.

· Content. Facts, organization, and conclusions follow a clear, logical sequence that supports the thesis statement. Citations of scholarly references support scientific content. Accurate scientific information. No text has been copied verbatim without proper source recognition. Outstanding treatment of applicable course outcome.

· References. All are properly cited, using in-text and reference list citations; significantly more references are used than are required; many different types of references (e.g., textbook, scientific articles, encyclopedias, reputable Internet references, etc.) are used.

· Effective writing. No errors. Words are chosen and sentences are constructed to make the information understandable.


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