ENVS103 Highline Community Week 1 Water Pollution Research Paper

Question Description
Collecting and Evaluating Evidence
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Due Oct 2 by 1pm
Points 25
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Name _________

Collecting and Evaluating Evidence

This assignment will help you get information on a specific environmental issue for your term project. The goal of today’s exercise is to help you learn (1) to find claims people make and collect evidence by searching library and electronic databases, and (2) to evaluate a claim someone makes on an issue.

The Topic
Each person will look up articles and other sources concerning their topic.

Previous projects in Environmental Science have focused on some of the following topics

· Air Pollution

· Water Resources

· Water Pollution

· Soil Erosion

· Alternative Energy

· Nuclear Waste

· Endangered Species

· Human Health

· Emergent Diseases

· Strip Mining

· Toxics

· Fossil Fuels

· Deforestation

· Human Population

· Overfishing

· Biodiversity

· Urban Sprawl

· Environmental Racism

· Climate Change

· Marine Pollution

Searching library and electronic databases for a topic.
I want to help you to develop confidence in your ability to access and search library sources and electronic databases successfully. You may want to search them again in the future for information on a personal issue such as a health problem.

Resources at the Highline library. The reference librarian can show you a variety of resources available in the HCC library. You will use these in the next month to research your issue for your presentation. If you are not familiar with the location of the resources, please ask a resource librarian.
Find a book. Using Highline’s library webpage, find a book related to your topic. You do not need to check the book out of the library.
Print out an article. Choose one of the articles that the HCC library carries, download it from the internet and print it out. Evaluate the claims made in the article (see below).
Reading a Scientific Article
Articles written mainly for other scientists can be a little difficult to understand at first. Do the following steps when reading the scientific article:

Read the article the first time to just figure out the general message.
Underline any words that you do not know.

Look up the words that you do not know and write notes in the margins.
Reread the article with these notes.
Evaluating Claims

To evaluate an issue, you must be able to critically evaluate claims made regarding the issue. The ability to critically evaluate a claim made by a writer (or a politician) is an important lifetime skill. This skill is especially important for scientists. We will follow a model for evaluating claims that should help develop these kinds of skills. Our model has four steps, and we will practice these on articles related to our subject.

Step 1 Identify the claim; state it clearly.

Step 2 Identify evidence.

Evidence must be a fact or measurement about something that actually occurred — an experimental result or an observation of nature.
Evidence must be attributed to a reliable source.
a specific scientist

a specific scientific paper in a journal

Step 3 Evaluate the validity of the claim.

Conditional Acceptance

If evidence supports the claim, conditionally accept the claim.

If evidence contradicts the claim, do not accept the claim.
Insufficient Data

If there is insufficient evidence, do not accept the claim.

Step 4 Write a “line of reasoning” regarding the claim.

Conditional Acceptance

Write a statement summarizing directly relevant evidence.
Write a statement giving the inference, or what the evidence implies.

Write a statement summarizing directly relevant evidence.
Write a statement giving the inference or what the evidence implies.
Insufficient Data

State that there is insufficient evidence.
Provide a specific example of additional information needed before you can evaluate the claim.

Collecting and Evaluating Evidence Lab

(25 pts/Turn in Only This Section)

Write down your topic.

Resources at HCC Library: List 2 separate sources from the Highline Library that you found using the different resources listed below.

Book Title:


Year of publication:

Notes on how you accessed the title:

Resource 2: ARTICLE about your issue.

Author: ________________________________________

Year: _________


Journal, volume, and page number: _________________________

Evaluate the claims in the article. Instructions on Page 2 under Evaluating Claims

Step 1 Identify the claim; state it clearly.

Step 2 Identify the evidence.

Continued on Back…

Step 3 Evaluate the validity of the claim: Accept, Reject or Insufficient Evidence

Step 4 Write a “line of reasoning” regarding the claim: Explain why you evaluated the way you did.

Tags: Environmental Issue water pollution Habitable Planet microbes and plants ecosystem contamination ENVS103