Oceanography--Term Paper Suggestions

Each paper must have a purpose, and that purpose must be stated at the beginning so the reader knows what to look for. Possible purposes might be: 1) To present a survey of satellite remote sensing techniques used in oceanography, or 2) To argue that human pollutants are destroying coral reefs.

The paper topic should have greater depth than the coverage that that topic receives in class.

The paper should include the writer's own conclusions and not be merely a book report.

At least three sources should be used and properly cited with footnotes or scientific citations (Reynolds 1985), and a bibliography should appear at the end of the paper.

Papers should be about 7-10 pages in length, but this is not a rigid requirement, and they will be graded only on content.

You are encouraged to write your paper on computer because of the ease in making corrections and alterations. Computers and word processing software are available for student use in the library breezeway and other locations on campus. All you need is a diskette.

The two main objectives of the paper are to research a topic and to write a well-structured report on it. As you consider what topic to write on, make sure that appropriate library materials on that topic are available. A scan of library materials may be the best way for you to choose a topic.

Library of Congress call numbers for oceanographic collections

Use the computerized index to find library materials on a specific topic. The "help" command will familiarize you with the use of the system.

You may also want to scan relevant periodicals such as Science magazine.

A list of possible term paper topics is found below. The list is by no means exhaustive, however, and you are free to choose any topic as long as it has relevance to oceanography. If you are not sure of the viability of a topic, consult the instructor.


Possible Term Paper Topics

You may also want to consider writing about the life history of a specific group of marine organisms, such as: monerans, fungi, foraminifera, diatoms, radiolarians, marine algae, sponges, corals, marine worms, jellyfish, sea anemones, brachiopods, clams, snails, octopi, nautiloids, crinoids, sea urchins, starfish, barnacles, shrimp, crabs, primitive fishes, anadromous fishes, sharks, sea turtles, sea snakes, sea birds, penguins, seals and walruses, whales and porpoises (to name a few).

If you choose one of these topics, you still need to decide on the focus (the purpose) of the paper. You may want to deal with only one specialized element of the topic.


Timothy H. Heaton: E-mail, Home page, Phone (605) 677-6122, FAX (605) 677-6121