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Forest Biology and Dendrology Grading

Documented Paper

Writing is going to be a major part of what you do during your careers.  One of the best ways to become a better writer is to practice.  During your careers you will be asked to provide brief reports on a wide variety of topics.  For this assignment, you are to choose a topic which addresses the broad area of tree biology.  The specific topic you choose may deal with an aspect of pathology, entomology, urban forestry, ecology, genetics, physiology, or silviculture, but must relate to trees.

Attached are two articles from the Journal of Forestry; follow their format for literature citations.  Web sites may be used if they are from a credible source.

Your term paper organization can be whatever you want.  Be sure your headings and subheadings make a contribution to your presentation, and include a separate title page.  Please just staple your pages together.  There is no need to use a binder.

Your paper can be no more than four typed (double-spaced) pages.  You must have a minimum of three pages (exclusive of literature citations and title page).

 The paper will be graded using the following criteria:

a.   Technical depth and accuracy.

b.   Literature cited (scientific journal articles will be preferred over "popular" and lay-book references).  Five technical references are expected.

c.   General readability and audience suitability.

Audience

Assume you are writing an article for a publication that is read by an audience composed of well-educated lay professionals, woodlot owners and landowners, and professional foresters (including industrial, non-industrial, and urban foresters). 

Outline

As a preliminary exercise, you should prepare a topic prospectus.  This should be in the form of an outline.  This will help you focus on a specific thesis and force you to organize your paper.  A good prospectus will set the boundaries of discussion, allowing you to do a credible job in the space limitations of the assignment.  Major topic headings in your outline will likely be the major headings in your paper.

Due Dates           

Prospectus due:     TBA

Final paper due:    Wednesday, November 6, in class

 Should you have questions or need guidance during the preparation of your paper, please contact me.

The Virginia Tech Honor system is in effect at all times.

More information on the Honor system

The Syllabus...