Geography 111: Introduction to Physical and Environmental Geography Geog 111 Main Page and Course Description Geog 111 Syllabus Geog 111 Course Schedule and Lecture Outlines
Geog 111 Course Project

last updated: 12/9/05

Course Project

The Geography 111 course project is intended to get you thinking about and researching environmental issues you are interested in. The Geography 111 course project entails the following four steps:

Chapter Review: Select a chapter that interests you from Middleton's The Global Casino (excluding chapters 1-3) and write a 6 page review of that chapter.

Focus Topic and Annotated Bibliography: Select a particular topic of interest from the Middleton chapter you reviewed, and locate at least two relevant books, two relevant articles, and two relevant WWW sites on the topic. Write a 250-300 word review of each of your sources.

Presentation: Present your topic to the class during weeks 14-16.

Course Project Synthesis: Combine your revised Middleton chapter summary (already complete) with your Annotated Bibliography (with minor revisions if needed), the outline or notes for your presentation, and a summary of the entire project and what you learned.

Chapter Review

For this initial part of the project, you need to write a review of your Middleton chapter, focusing on the key issues, debates, and controversies surrounding the topic. Assume you are writing a report on the chapter topic which will be presented to interested non-experts. Thus you need to clearly and coherently present the topic to your reader. This review should be about 6 pages long, typed (double spaced). Suggested format of the chapter review:

  • 1 page: Summarize the topic of the reading: Note key concepts and issues and examples. Write this summary so that you communicate, in one page, what the environmental issue discussed in the chapter is about.

  • 4 pages: Summarize the main conclusions of the chapter: What are the most urgent aspects of the environmental problem outlined in the chapter? Who are the major 'players' involved in the problem (industry, government, etc.)? What solutions to environmental problems does Middleton (and people he quotes) suggest? What are the main impediments to solutions?

  • 1 pages: Three Focus Topics: The last part of you critical summary should be an assessment of what you think are three of the most interesting and vital issues raised in the chapter. This may be a one part of the chapter (eg., in the Waste chapter, you may find Toxic Waste Remediation absolutely fascinating) or it may focus on conflict between major players involved in debates over the issue (such as organizations who believe global warming to be a major threat and organizations that don't believe global warming is a threat). Choose three topics that interest you! Why is this issue of interest to you? Why is it a vital environmental issue? Be creative and please attempt to pursue issues you are interested in. In the next part of the exercise you will select one of these three topics to focus upon in more detail.

Important Dates for Middleton text Chapter Review part of Course Project:

  • Due Wednesday September 21 (by email to instructor): Choice of Middleton chapter

  • Due Friday October 7 in class: Review of Middleton chapter (6 pages typed)

  • Due Friday November 4 in class: Revisions of Chapter Reviews (if necessary)

  • Help with your writing: OWU Writing Resource Center

Focus Topic and Annotated Bibliography

At the end of your Middleton chapter review, you defined three topics of interest related to issues discussed in the chapter. Select one of the three topics as your focus topic. You will locate, at minimum, the following resources related to your focus topic:

  • two relevant books from OWU and affiliated libraries

  • two relevant articles from reputable journals

  • two relevant and substantial WWW sites
  • Help locating relevant sources will be provided by your instructor and Deb Peoples, science librarian at OWU. It is important that you learn how to locate resources from a diversity of sources, and that you learn how to assess the quality and relevance of these resources. Class time will be spent assisting you in both of these endeavors.

    It is vital that you determine the best sources for learning more about your focus topic, then seek those sources wherever they may be. Do not select sources only because they are easy to find (full text articles on the WWW or a book that just happens to be on the shelf at Beeghly). You may have to order an article through inter-library loan, or get a book from another campus. It may take weeks for such sources to get to you at OWU - thus you cannot wait until the last minute to get sources.

    A good starting point for Environmental resources is Deb People's list of Environmental Studies Information Sources.

    Once you locate your sources, you will write about 250-300 words per source (book sources may be a bit longer). Preface your annotated bibliography with the one paragraph description of your focus topic you wrote earlier in the semester (include any changes to your focus topic in this paragraph).

    Details about correct citation style and writing an annotated bibliography will be presented in class. Also recall in-class discussions about evaluating information on the WWW.

    Important Dates for Focus Topic and Annotated Bibliography part of Course Project:

    • Friday October 7: Help in class with selecting a Focus Topic. Plan to present, if there is time, your ideas for focus topics to the class.

    • Wednesday October 12: Finding Focus Topic Sources presentation by Deb Peoples

    • Due Friday October 14 (email to Krygier): Final Focus Topic (with brief explanation of why you are interested in it: 1 page typed) and three preliminary sources (book, article, WWW site) w/ proper citation style.

    • Monday October 24: Annotated Bibliography Workshop

    • Friday November 4 in class: List of sources (2 books, 2 articles, 2 WWW sites) (with proper citation style) on your Focus Topic.

    • Due Friday November 14 in class: Revisions of sources for focus topic (quality sources, cited correctly) if necessary.

    • Due Wednesday November 14: Annotated Bibliography (250-300 words per source, typed)

    • Due Wednesday December 14: Revisions of Annotated Bibliography (if needed; include with Course Project Synthesis)

    Presentation of Course Projects: Week 14-16

    You will present a summary of your course project in class. Each student should prepare a TEN minute presentation (with about a minute for set up and a minute for questions at the end). You should spend most of the time on your focus topic, but also touch on the context of the topic (the Middleton chapter). You have access to the WWW, computer, and computer projector and all presentations must use PowerPoint or a HTML presentation.

    More information on how to organize and present material is available on the course Presentation Skills page prepared by Deb Peoples.

    Please consider using a handout with a presentation outline and relevant graphs or maps for your presentation. Your instructor can make copies; please get the master to him 24 hours before your presentation.

    PowerPoint Presentations:

    • Please copy your Power Point presentation on the computer in the front of the classroom and test it before you present. Our classroom is open 8:30-6 Monday-Friday. Test the presentation to make sure it works. There will not be time to do this right before your presentation.

    • You can learn Powerpoint in workshops sponsored by OWU Information Systems. Check out their Information Systems WWW Site for more information. Be aware that Info Sys workshops may occur early in the semester, and that there may not be workshops late in the semester when you are working on your presentation. Please let your instructor know if you want help with Powerpoint.

    Important Dates for Course Project Presentations:

    • Friday November 11: Overview of Presentation Skills

    • Weeks 14-16: Presentations in class.

    • You will be evaluated by your fellow students (written comments). Attendance is required (and failure to attend presentations will adversely effect your course project grade)

    Course Project Synthesis

    You are not required to write a final paper as part of your course project. Instead, consider your Presentation and a Project Synthesis as the final products. The Project Synthesis (due the last day class meets) consists of:

    • A 1 paragraph summary of your focus topic.

    • Any additional sources you used (beyond those in the Annotated Bibliography). Please properly cite these sources.

    • A 1-2 page outline of your presentation; a printout from your PowerPoint will do: there is a "handouts" option when you print from PowerPoint which puts 6 slides on each page - this is best.

    • A 1-2 page summary and review of the entire project. Discuss what you have learned about your topic and about the process of researching such a topic. Comment on the structure of the project - was the way we engaged it, step by step, over the entire semester helpful? What was the most useful thing you learned? Can you think of any improvements that could be made in future versions of the course? Comment on your experiences doing a presentation; is a presentation better than a final paper? Did you learn much from other student presentations?

    • A 1 page statement of what you think you should get for a grade on the course project and why. Please note the grade you got on the Middleton Chapter Review and the Annotated Bibliography and compare the quality of your Presentation to other student presentations in the course. Please note any changes you have made to the project (such as adjustments to the Annotated Bibliography) which may support a higher grade than you were originally given. Please justify the grade you think you deserve.

    Your final grade for the course project consists of:

    • 25% Middleton Chapter Review grade

    • 25% Sources and Annotated Bibliography grade

    • 25% Project Presentation grade

    • 25% Project Synthesis and revisions and improvement

    Important Dates for Course Project Summary and Synthesis:

    • Friday November 11: Overview of Project Synthesis and Presentation Skills

    • Wednesday December 14: Completed Course Project Synthesis Due


    ...back to krygier top page. krygier teaching page.

    OWU Home
    OWU Geology and Geography Home