COLLEGE WRITING REQUIREMENT
The Term Paper provides an excellent opportunity to combine a requirement of the P235 course simultaneously with one unit of credit towards the College Upper-level Writing Requirement. The Departmental definition of the writing requirement is as follows: "The writing must be substantial and must receive appropriate oversight, i.e. attention by instructor or faculty supervisor to elements of writing itself in addition to scientific accuracy. Elements to be examined will normally include consistency of argument, adherence to accepted norms of language and format, and clarity of message, with no fewer than one thorough rewritten resubmission expected from the student when standards are not met".
The other purpose of the Term Paper is to have you study one practical application of classical mechanics that was not discussed in the lectures . There are many novel topics that could be selected from science, engineering, bioengineering, fluid mechanics, sports, etc. Select a topic that most interests you.. It is strongly recommended that you select a topic that involves dynamics of the system, rather than statics which usually are of less interest. Check with me before you start in order to ensure that the relevance and scope of your project is appropriate to P235. See the Term Paper link for further details about topic selection and requirements.
The importance of learning effective communication and publication skills, and suggestions for achieving this skill, are discussed in the link entitled Scientific Communication and Publication. Other useful references for learning how to write papers are "The Elements of Style" by William Strunk, and article entitled "Writing Scientific Manuscripts" published on the web site of the Journal of Young Investigators. The term paper should include the following elements although sections 4,5,and 6 can be combined in any form to match your topic :
1) Title and author's name: The title should be short but should convey a clear idea of the subject matter.
2) Abstract: This section briefly outlines the purpose and extent of the work reported and gives the main conclusions reached. It is designed to enable a reader to decide quickly whether the report contains anything valuable in his field of interest. It should be worded to help the reader, not to trap them into wasting time on a report that is of no value to them.
3) Introduction: The introduction should state clearly the justification and the questions being addressed by this work. To put the work reported into perspective in the relevant field of interest requires a brief review of previous work in the same topic giving reference to existing publications.
4) Theory: The relevant theory, if there is any, should be given, but in outline only. You can refer to a reference that presents the detailed proof. Stress the assumptions made in deriving the theory. Use simplifications in order to make the problem simple enough to solve analytically.
5) Results of your work: The results derived from both theory and your work should be given in this section. Frequently illustrations are the easiest to understand and elucidate the difference between theory and experiment. Normally it is not necessary to give results in both numerical and graphical forms. The units must be given for all physical quantities. The units used should be consistent throughout the report and be those normally accepted and familiar to the reader.
6) Discussion: This section should point out strengths and weaknesses of this work and compare the results with those of other workers. Since all experimental and theoretical investigations are part of a continuous unfolding of new knowledge each report should illuminate the way a little further. The next stage of development should be suggested here or, occasionally, it can be stated that a particular line of enquiry is no longer worth pursuing.
7) Conclusions: This section should restate the questions posed in the introduction and summarize the conclusions plus significance from the results. This section should be kept short enough for the main conclusions to be found quickly by a casual reader.
8) References: Any published works to which reference has been made should be listed here in the order in which they appear in the body of the report. The standard form for each reference is: "Author's name and initials, title of paper, title of journal or book, publisher, volume number, page number, year of publication." Note that using written material or results from another source without adequately referencing this source is plagiarism.
Following approval of your term paper topic by Professor Cline, you must submit a half page outline of the proposed term paper for approval. Every student must meet with a Writing Fellow at the College Writing Center to discuss the format and quality of their first draft of the term paper. The final version of the paper must be submitted by Friday 11 December for grading both for P235W and to satisfy the writing requirement.
The first draft signed by the Writing Fellow who read this draft must be submitted with the final paper.
In summary, the following steps must be taken.
1) Discuss your proposed topic with me to ensure that the scope and topic are appropriate for P235
2) Meet with a Writing Fellow of College Writing Center to discuss your first draft of the term paper.
3) Submit the revised final version by Wednesday 9 December, 2015. Attached the signed first draft with you final paper.