Phys 1403 – Stars and Galaxies – Research paper Please take a few minutes to read over the instructions for your research paper. Your paper must

Phys 1403 – Stars and Galaxies – Research paper

Please take a few minutes to read over the instructions for your research paper.

Your paper must be submitted to the Phys 1403 – Research paper

The use of generative AI tools like (but not limited to) Chat GPT is not permitted for

this research paper. For research and writing assistance please work with our writing

tutors and the library.

1. Please pick one from the following topics:

• Galactic collisions

• Hubble Space telescope

• Chandra X-ray Observatory

• The age of the universe

2. Your paper must be at least four full pages. You will be penalized if your paper is

shorter than four full pages (not including your title, header and works cited page).

Please use 12 pt Times New Roman font and double-space your text.

3. You will be writing a brief paper about one of the topics given above. A good paper

will focus on the following:

• Some context – Why is this object or topic important and interesting to the

field of astronomy?

• What is the most current knowledge in the field (if applicable)? (You will not

be able to write about everything, so choose a few important discoveries. Please

note the word “current” – you should report on the most recent information you

can find, not information from a few decades ago.)

• What unanswered questions remain?

When creating your paper, start with an introduction paragraph. The last sentence of

this paragraph should be your thesis statement, which lays out your argument for the

paper. The body paragraphs of your paper should be arranged logically so that your

writing flows from one topic to another. Your paper should also end with a conclusion

paragraph.

4. You must use at least three sources besides your text. Your text can be one of

your sources, but you must have at least three others in addition to it. Encyclopedias

(either hardcopy or online) are not appropriate sources. You can use them as starting

points and links to other information, but you cannot count them as one of your

sources. Good sources include books, magazines, web sites from universities or

NASA, etc. Be careful – not all sources are created equal, especially online!

HELP WITH SOURCES

Check out the assignment guide here:

The library has research databases in which you can search for authoritative,

trustworthy information sources on your paper topics.

The databases are listed and linked here under the “Articles” tab or on the

astronomy guide linked above.

The best databases for your project are Academic Search Complete, and the Sci-Tech

Premium Collection databases. Use search terms drawn from the topics you have

chosen, such as “Kuiper belt objects” or “planetary atmospheres”.

5. Your paper will undergo originality checking upon submission against various

databases, and you will see an Originality Report which I will be checking. Please

read carefully the final note below regarding plagiarism. You may submit your paper

as many times as you like until the due date – I will only be grading the most recent

submission.

Your Turnitin similarity score should be equal to or less than 25% in order to get

points for originality.

6. Please cite your sources in a bibliography at the end of your paper. This needs to be

in MLA citation style. Make sure you attribute information you’re using properly

using in-text citations, whether you’re directly quoting or paraphrasing that

information.

Note that a short paper should rely primarily on paraphrased information, not direct

quotes.

7. Do not wait until the last minute to submit and upload your paper! You will not be

able to submit any revisions after the due date has passed.

.

Guides are available for correctly creating your citations.

LSC-Online Library’s citation guide for MLA Style

For a Sample paper with instructions on how to format your paper in Word:
/format#s-lg-box-32137912

Tutor help with writing/reviewing your Research paper:

1. Login into Lonestar.edu.

2. Select LSC_Online

3. Select Online Tutoring:

1. First use Tutor Match to get help from one of Lone Star College tutors. “Select

Topic – English” and “Select Subject – Writing” and schedule a tutor to help

you. (Video Walkthrough)

2. If the time slots are not available, you can use “Live Help” and “Select Topic –

English” and “Select Subject – Writing” to get a Brainfuse tutor, who is

available 24/7.

mailto:[email protected]
/format#s-lg-box-32137912

8. Finally, please look at the following link from the LSC-Online Library

regarding plagiarism. This is a good source to review. Plagiarism involves taking

someone else’s work as your own. It doesn’t just mean direct copying of an entire

paper: it can also include paraphrasing without an in-text citation, not properly citing

your sources (in text plus works cited page), direct copying without using quotation

marks (even if you cite), etc. Plagiarism is grounds for a zero on your paper.

How Your Paper Will Be Evaluated:

A high-scoring paper will use at least 3 credible sources which are cited in-text and on

a works cited page. Your sources provide information, but direct quotes are kept to a

minimum. Your paper has a clear organizational structure with an introduction

paragraph, body paragraphs flowing from one idea to the next, and a proper

conclusion paragraph at the end. Your writing is free of grammatical and spelling

errors.

For a more detailed breakdown on scoring, see the rubric below.

Tips to Write A High-Scoring Paper:

• Take time to do research and to organize your notes from your sources.

Research is not synonymous with “did a Google search, used first three

results.”

• Think about what the main points of your paper are and put them into a logical

order. Drafting an outline of your paper can help you conceptualize this, and

help you see when you need to use which source.

• Get a rough draft finished early! This will give you time to make revisions.

• Submit your draft so I can check your selection of sources and citation

formatting.

• Take advantage of Brainfuse tutors online to improve your writing skills.

• Eliminate common grammar and spelling issues with Grammarly (free

accounts available at www.grammarly.com)

Poor (0-2.5 points) Fair (2.5-5 points) Good (5-7.5 points) Excellent (7.5-10 points)

CONTENT
Inclusion of all assignment
criteria:
See assignment instructions.

Student does not respond to
or elaborate upon the criteria
listed on the assignment
directions.

Student responds to and elaborates
upon some of the criteria listed on
the assignment directions.

Student responds to and
elaborates upon most of the
criteria listed on the assignment
directions

Student responds to and
elaborates upon all of the criteria
listed on the assignment
directions.

RESEARCH/ SUPPORTING
MATERIALS

Required type and number of
supporting materials: See
assignment instructions.

Citation format: MLA

In-text citations are provided
when outside information is
referenced. Full list of citations is
on a separate page after the
paper.

Any of the following is true:

• Student does not
include any
supporting sources.

• Student has
plagiarized content
(by not including in-
text citations,
through excessive
quoting, pasting in
content without
putting in quotes,
etc).

• Turnitin score
exceeds 30%.

Any of the following is true:

• Student includes one
credible source.

• Sources are cited but it’s
not clear which in-text
citation pairs with which
source.

• Cited information uses
excessive direct quotes
(in number or length).

Student uses two credible
sources and cites sources using a
consistent and clear format.

Student includes three or more
credible sources indicating
thorough research was
performed to gather information
for this project. Sources are cited
using MLA. In-text citations are
accurate and used appropriately.

Information is synthesized and
comes together for a cohesive
argument.

ORGANIZATION/FORMAT/FLOW

Length requirement: 4 full pages.

Font requirement: Times New
Roman, size 12

Spacing requirement:
Double-spaced

All of the following are true:

• Paper is unorganized and
difficult to follow.

• Paper does not meet any
of the following: Length,
font, spacing, or other
requirements.

Three to four of the following are
true:

• Paper is unorganized and
difficult to follow.

• Paper does not meet the
length requirement.

• Unacceptable font or font
size is used.

• Paper is not properly
spaced.

• Student did not follow other
specified directions.

One to two of the following are
true:

• Paper is unorganized and
difficult to follow.

• Paper does not meet the
length requirement.

• Unacceptable font or font
size is used.

• Paper is not properly
spaced.

• Student did not follow
other directions.

All requirements met: Paper is
organized and easy to follow.
Paper meets length requirement.
Correct font and font size are
used. Paper is properly spaced.
Student followed other specified
requirements.

Information is synthesized and
comes together for a cohesive
argument.

SPELLING/GRAMMAR

Frequent and severe errors in
spelling, capitalization,
punctuation, grammar usage,
and/or sentence structure.
Errors make paper difficult to
read and weaken paper by
causing lack of fluency and
understanding.

Paper contains some severe errors
in spelling, capitalization,
punctuation, grammar usage,
and/or sentence structure to
cause clarity problems at times.
At other times, they do not cause
confusion, but weaken the overall
paper.

General command of spelling,
capitalization, punctuation,
grammar usage, and/or sentence
structure is evident. Few errors,
but not enough to cause
confusion or disrupt the fluency
of the paper.

No errors in spelling,
capitalization, punctuation,
grammar usage, and/or sentence
structure.

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