Ecology, Economics, and Ethics: Term Project

Summary: This document defines the term paper or other project for ENST30501, fall 2014. See also the instructions for the proposal. The term paper draft is defined below.

Syllabus | Schedule

Term Paper or Project

You must contribute a research project demonstrating the practice of economics, ecology, and ethics. This principle goal has been stated in the syllabus. The research paper should be at least 12 pages in length, including the bibliography, presented in either MLA or APA format.

Your topic must pertain to the substance of Ecology, Economics, and Ethics, ENST305, but should also support your interests and personal goals. I will be flexible and supportive in the development of a suitable theme. Some intentions that can be pursued here include: 

The paper is due December 17, a firm deadline. Two points will be deducted for each day late. Please transmit your term project to me as a MS Word attachment sent to Printed copies will also be accepted, but must conform to the deadlines.


This assignment counts as 32% of your final grade and is evaluated on these criteria, each carrying 8 points as defined in the rubric below:

  1. Depth, creativity and critical thinking: The papers should analyze the topic so as to reveal a depth of understanding and your ability to think through the essential issues pertaining to the topic.
  2. Content and sources: Source research material from books, journals, government documents, selective web sites and other appropriate sources shall be utilized to support your conclusions and demonstrate your grasp of the topic. All sources shall be properly cited in the text and provide a bibliography using either MLA format.
  3. Integration: The paper should weave together various sources, including reading and observations/experience, into a tight, logical, coherent structure.
  4. Writing style: The paper should be well composed and presented, concise and focused, and must avoid spelling and grammatical errors.

The Scoring Rubric

My scoring, which may pro-rate between the integers below, will be done according to this scoring rubric below:

Score Depth Content Integration Writing Style
Final: 8;
draft: 4 excellent
Demonstrates a reasoned, thoughtful, and comprehensive understanding of the research topic. The paper provides insight around clearly developed concepts. Shows a mastery of use of sources that support the research topic. The sources are cited clearly in the paper. The term research paper logically weaves together the sources into a cogent and convincing argument. The paper is designed well. The engaging paper appears professional and appropriate in tone. Few errors are discovered. Word choice is precise and accurate without excess. Paragraph and sentences flow smoothly.
Final: 7, 6;
draft: 3 very good to good
Shows a good but partial understanding of the research topic. Some insight but scattered and uneven. Concepts are not well developed. Shows a working but partial grasp of the research topic. The sources are referenced adequately. Reasoning contains occasional gaps or inconsistencies but the line of thought can be followed. Headers render the term research paper coherent. The interesting paper is well presented but is below professional quality. Word choice reflects substance of course. Some errors but not distracting.
final: 5, 4; draft: 2
Shows a simplistic but acceptable grasp of the research topic. The topic has been developed simplistically. Shows a basic and general use of term research paper but with little content or reference. The term research paper is fairly clear but contains gaps and inconsistencies. The paper is only loosely organized. The uninspired writing is not professional and barely at college-level. Word choice does not reflect substance of course. Too many errors.
final: 3 or below; draft: 1
Shows a shallow understanding of the the research topic. Shows only a vague acquaintance with the course material and unable to reference course material. No clear logic. No logical case is made that connects aspects into a coherent essay. Not acceptable college-level writing. Frequent errors mar sense of paper. Word choice does not reflect course substance.
Understanding of research topic is totally lacking. Does not demonstrate the ability to reference course material. Shows little success in making connections or demonstrating organization of thought. The befuddled reader became disoriented and stopped reading.


Preliminary Draft

A preliminary draft of your paper is due by 5:00 P.M. on Wednesday, November 19, allowing you to get feedback in time to work on it over the Thanksgiving break. This is a firm date and I will deduct a point for each day late.

I will make suggestions to improve the paper. The draft should indicate progress on the paper but should contain more content than an outline or sketch. Concentrate on the substance of the final paper but do not be concerned in the draft with citations or strict attention to format. I will respond with comments and suggestions. The preliminary draft counts 16 points, weighted equally for depth, content, writing style, and coherence.

©Wayne Hayes, Ph.D. | Initialized: 10/11/2011| Last Update: 10/30/2014 | V 3.7 , Build #13