There are four assignments for this class.

  1. Prepare a summary of each paper we read for the discussion in class.

    If the paper is a review paper, write a one-page discussion of the paper showing a listing of the major topics discussed in the paper, and a brief (one - or two-sentence) summary of the main point or points of each section.

    If the paper is a research paper, write a one-page discussion with the following headings:

    • Introduction and statement of the problem
    • Conclusion(s)
    • Methods
    • Results

    Under each heading write a two or three sentences summarizing each heading.

    Do not copy sentences from the paper — show independent assimilation of their information. Neatness and grammar and organization all count.

    Bring your summary to class on the day of discussion and hand it in.

  2. Present one or more papers in class.

    Each of you will be assigned one or more papers to present in class.

    Rather than falling into the trap of walking the whole class through the paper in order, I would like each of you to first have the class talk through the topics each of you wrote about in your paper summary.

    Then I would like you to choose one or two “money figures,” figures from the paper that really demonstrate the story the authors are trying to tell. Discuss them in detail. Involve the class. Ask them questions.

    After class you will then send me a typed-up summary of the paper using the categories in part I above, but including the best and most helpful parts of the class discussion. I will post them on the course website for everyone’s benefit

  3. Write a problem set and answer your questions.

    In class we will discuss the art of asking questions and practice asking questions at different levels. Then you will each write a couple of practice questions, which we will grade and hand back. At the end of the semester you will then hand in a complete problem set of 10 questions and their answers. The questions have to address different course topics, more or less covering the whole course.

  4. Write a review paper covering the whole course.

    This paper should:

    • Cover the entire course topic
    • Be 8 to 15 pages long using one-and-a-half line spacing and 12-point Times type, excluding figures and references
    • Be grammatically correct and neat
    • Substantiate all statements with references.

    Writing careful course notes as you go and beginning to write early in the semester are good ideas. Reference any papers we read in class that you choose to, and be sure to find additional papers to reference, as well. Try to summarize the whole topic of planetary formation in a way that would have introduced you at the beginning of the semester in a helpful way. Examine the review papers we read through this course for help on structure and style.

Course Info

As Taught In
Fall 2008
Learning Resource Types
Written Assignments