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Web Project Instructions

by Gutow, Jonathan H last modified Apr 18, 2012 10:58 AM

Summary Instructions Detailed Instructions Things to Check Before Submitting

Due Date: No later than Friday, April 27, 2012.

Summary Instructions: 

Choose a single issue from the list below and go to the class web site to find the two assigned web sites associated with the topic. Write a short essay about the issue consisting of three paragraphs:1) summarizing the point of view of the web site on one side of the issue; 2) summarizing the point of view of the web site on the other side of the issue; 3) explaining which side you agree with and why.  The third paragraph should include a critical analysis of the quality of the information in the web sites. You need to answer the question, "Is the content of the web sites verified or verifiable factual information or just hearsay?" You must back up your answer to this question with references and an analysis of the quality of the information source or sources.  

When completed upload you double-spaced essay to the drop box provided in the Chem 103 D2L site. PDF documents are preferred but MSWord format is also acceptable. The essay is due no later than Friday, April 27, 2012 before 5 PM.

The submission will be scored out of 40 points:  each complete summary paragraph-10, a well reasoned point of view paragraph-10, grammar/spelling-10.

Choose from one of these issues

Air Pollution, Climate Change, Energy Conservation, Alternative Energy Sources.  These links will take you to pages with lists of pairs of web sites to compare.  Choose ONE pair to compare in your essay. 

Detailed Instructions

Choosing a topic: 

Choose just one pair of web sites to write your essay on by following the links in the above section.  You may want to look at a number of the sites before you decide what to write about.  You may not choose pairs that are not listed.  If links don't work please e-mail Dr. Gutow so that he may fix them.

Contents of summary paragraphs (paragraphs 1 and 2): 

  1. First sentence should state who produced and sponsored the web site plus the point of view or side of the argument the web site takes.
  2. The remainder of the paragraph should summarize the main arguments made on the web site to support their point of view.  Write this part in your own words and include a minimum of two of the most important arguments.  Statements backed up by data carry more weight than simple statements of the way things are.  Use your own words.  Don't plagiarize.  Plagiarism on the assignment will result in an automatic 0.

Contents of the third paragraph stating your viewpoint:

  1. First sentence should state which side you agree with.  If you don't agree with either side just say so.
  2. The rest of the paragraph should explain why your position is as stated in the first sentence.
  3. Your position should be based on an analysis of the quality of the information used to support the arguments.   This analysis should include answers to the following questions:
    1. Is the web site author or sponsor biased because of affiliation with a particular interest group?  One source of information on who funds various organizations is Source Watch.
    2. For each piece of information used (at least those summarized in paragraphs 1 and 2) is the source reliable?  For example, data from peer reviewed scientific work is more reliable than numbers found in news articles.  Usually, but not always, raw technical data published by US, Canadian and European government agencies is reliable.  You have to be more careful with analyses that do not undergo rigorous review by independent organizations. 
    3. To support your analysis of the information quality explain how you checked on it.  Provide web links and references where appropriate.


  • Did you review all the parts of the web site that talk about the issue, not just the initial page to which the link was provided?  In some cases the link is to a complete article which is all that you need to write about.  However, most of the time it is to a web site that has multiple pages and sub-pages on the topic.  Follow and think about all the links.  In your essay summarize information from any important links.
  • Make sure you have answered any questions specific to your topic that are asked on the page listing your web site pair.
  • Put your full name at the top of your submission.
  • Skip a line and copy the name of your topic and both links from the page with links to your web site pair to your submission.
  • Make sure the text of your document is double spaced.
  • Pages should be numbered.
  • Please double check your spelling and grammar before submitting your web project.
  • After grammar the biggest problem people have is getting valid web addresses when they include additional web sites as references.  If you provide web addresses that do not work you will not get credit for using them as references!!!  The best way to get them correct is to use your browser's copy and paste functions to copy the address of the web site directly from the location field into your word processor.  Note that if the site uses frames you may not be copying the correct link address.  Check by opening a new window (Tab) in the browser and pasting the link address back into the browser from your document.  
  • Now you can submit your finished document to the D2L drop box provided in the Chem 103 D2L site. PDF documents are preferred but MSWord format is also acceptable. The essay is due no later than Friday, April 27, 2012 before 5 PM.


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by Gutow, Jonathan H last modified Apr 18, 2012 10:58 AM