Professor William Brennan
GSci 200

 Typical Problems observed in Gsci-200 Term Papers

1) Papers often lack subheadings such as:
-Introduction
-Description
-Discussion
-Summary, or Conclusion

        As a result, some papers are not well organized.

2) Papers often contain many grammatical errors including:

-overuse and incorrect use of the articles "the, this, these and  they" especially when used as the subject of a sentence or at the beginning of a sentence
-misuse of present participles
-errors in tense
-singular vs. plural conflicts within individual sentences
-sentences without subjects or verbs
-superfluous words
-misspelled words (word processors have spell checkers; why not use them?)
-missing words
-overuse of commas

3) Papers often contain many errors in style including:

-non-scientific terminology
-choppy syntax (e.g., paragraphs that consist of very short sentences)
-informal conversational syntax
-redundant text
-poorly constructed paragraphs
-"hand wringing" syntax as, "When will they ever learn…?"
-anthropomorphism-the attribution of human characteristics to things not human as in " the river spoke to us...."

        Some, but not all, papers should have illustrations.

4) References:

-papers often have from three to as few as zero references (even when the textbook by Keller is included)

-the following format for references should be used (without page refs.):

...according to Jones (19xx) the cat ....
...it has been shown (Jones, 19xx) that the cat....
for two authors use ...Jones and Smith (19xx)....
for three or more authors use ...Jones and others (19xx)....