The 2019 North Maluku Earthqu


Earthquake, Tsunami, Volcano, Hurricanes, Tornadoes, or Floods (pick one, not all six)

Please use a different type of natural disaster than you did on HW1.

Due: End of Week 6 (our weeks end on Sunday at 11:59 P.M., CST/CDT) – 100 Points

Be sure to submit to the appropriate submission area – do not email or Canvas message or me your papers, I will not grade them unless they are submitted to the assignment area. All papers must follow the formatting and style guidelines at the end of this instruction set. I have provided you with a summary checklist to help make sure you capture as many points as possible.


1,500 words required minimum. Specific section requirements are noted below.

Using one of the disaster types listed above, write a report using the following instructions and outline. (Make sure you match the disaster type to the appropriate assignment!)

Using the Internet, locate a news story on a natural disaster type listed above that has occurred somewhere in the world within the following timeframes:

  • Earthquakes, tsunami, tornadoes, or floods: no more than three years old
  • Volcanoes or hurricanes: no more than six years old

You must Canvas message me a link to a webpage (news story, not an academic article or government site) describing what event in particular you intend to focus on prior to beginning; disaster events that are too old or too small in scope will not be approved. Please make sure you choose an event that was large enough to allow you to address all of the components below – you may not skip components and then state “I couldn’t write about this, the disaster event was too small;” if you find that to be the case, then find another event to write on. I will do my best to help you identify this, but ultimately this is your responsibility.

You must include a minimum of five (5) acceptable sources in your paper (the book can be one of the sources) at least ONE source needs to be a primary source (article from a peer-reviewed journal).Canvas message me the source you want to use if you are unsure if it qualifies.

What is a Primary Source?

Primary and Secondary Sources for Science

These are examples of articles from a peer-review journal:

One way to search for these is the Park University Library:

and choose a Database ( Some examples of Databases you can uses in Geography are: Pirate Search or Science in Context. You can also use Google Scholar.

Sources must be cited in-text as well as in the references section. All sources used, including your original news story, must be cited. Use reputable sources, such as peer-reviewed journals, established news organizations or government sites; do not use encyclopedias, dictionaries, blogs, “wiki” pages, anything like or, or other “personal” webpages as sources; avoid using “news aggregation” sites – these are sites that do not report, rather, they “collect” stories. Also, definitely avoid tabloid-type “news” sources; stick to the reputable mainstream agencies. Informational sites (like government agencies) are not news agencies; you must locate a news story, to begin with; researching and finding specific history on the topic will come as you put the paper together. Government sites (FEMA, USGS, NOAA, …) can be used for some information and data, but they should not be a primary source; use peer-reviewed journals as primary sources for support, and news articles for more current informational needs.

Construct quality paragraphs. Paragraphs should not run-on over one, one-and-a-half, or two pages, nor should paragraphs be one or two sentences. Long paragraphs cause multiple themes to run together, and short paragraphs are, for the most part, not used in research paper writing. Each paragraph (and this is a general guideline) should be about six to eight complete sentences, up to ten at the most (of course there are exceptions).

A good rule to follow: NEW THEME = NEW PARAGRAPH. For example, you switch from discussing the response to the flood to discussing the recovery; that’s a new theme. If you are writing a short coverage of the volcanoes past eruptions, then switch to writing about the many foreshocks that preceded the current eruption, that’s a new theme…NEW THEME = NEW PARAGRAPH.

I realize this is not an English class, but since you are in college, I work from the assumption that you understand the basics of sentence structure and paragraph composition. Papers that contain run-on paragraphs or short “newspaper style” sentences will not score well, as poor presentation hurts the readability of a paper, and that is part of your assignment – present a readable and quality research paper. Content is not everything; your quality content must make sense in terms of presentation.


This included using the EXACT text of the capitalized section headers(all begin with the word “SECTION”) listed in the outline below. You are free to use sub-headings as you see fit. (-10 points if section headers are not used that follow the outline below.)


  • Provide a broad introduction to the event (not the disaster type in general).
  • Where and when did it occur?
    • Reference two locational maps showing where the event occurred, one small- and one large-scale; place maps at the end of the document, before the Reference page (if you are not sure about the difference between a small- and large-scale map, please look it up before proceeding).


  • How many people were killed and/or injured?
  • How many people were displaced (forced to move or left homeless)?
  • What is the estimated damage amount (in USD)?

SECTION 3: PHYSICAL ASPECTS OF THE EVENT (500 words minimum required)

  • Describe, in detail, the physical aspects, including magnitude (as measured by the scale specific to that disaster), that lead to the particular event (NOTE 1 below)– do not go in to detail about the disaster type in general – this paper should not cover how those phenomena work in a general sense – discuss the physical aspects of the specific event you are writing about.

SECTION 4: EVENT ANALYSIS (600 words minimum required, evenly balanced)

  • Could this disaster have been prevented? Why or why not? (NOTE 2 below)
  • Was the affected population prepared for this disaster? Why or why not?
  • How does this disaster rate in terms of historical disasters (of the same type) for both the geographical area in which it occurred and worldwide?
  • Discuss the mitigation strategies, response, rescue, and recovery efforts – were those efforts adequate for this event? Why or why not?
  • What impacts did this event have on society and history?

SECTION 5: CONCLUSION (100 words minimum required)

  • Wrap-up the paper (i.e., summarize all main points; hint: it helps to write the conclusion (as well as the introduction) last, that way, you know what to introduce and conclude!).
    • Do not present new information in the conclusion.

NOTE 1: Do not provide a lengthy passage on that disaster type in general, you need to describe the physical aspects of the specific event you are writing about in time and space – meaning, do not give me two paragraphs about how earthquakes happen, or how hurricanes work, I want to know the unique geophysical, hydrological, meteorological, and/or atmospheric details of the specific disaster you are writing about.

NOTE 2: Here I am asking you if the “disaster” could have been prevented; that is, the interaction between humans in the environment. Do not state that “the earthquake could not have been prevented” or “the tornado could not have been prevented”, etc…of course the actual physical event could not be prevented, I know that you know that (humans do not control weather or geophysical events); answer whether or not the disaster as it impacted the community could have been prevented(see Chapter 1 for help with this). There will be a 10-point deduction if any statement is made akin to “the [physical event] could not have been prevented because we can’t control those things…”, or anything similar.

FORMATTING AND STYLE GUIDELINES (numbers in parentheses indicate associated point deduction)

  • 1,500 words required, distributed according to the outline above.
    • Word count excludes the title page, captions, section headers, and references at the end of the document (in-text citations are included in the word count only if they are in the proper format, and not made excessively lengthy by including extra, and incorrect, information like full URLs, more than two authors listed, or full article titles; all in-text citations must follow the guidelines of a citing for APA or MLA guidelines).
    • Papers must be at least 1,500 words. But no more than 3,000
  • Include a section titled “References” at the end of the paper (-2 if labeled anything other than “References”), and beginning on a new page (-2 if it not on a new page)
  • List sources for all information using APA or MLA format (see the owl at Purdue for information on formatting). Full URLs are required for website sources. (-1 point for each incorrect citation, -1 point for any citation that does not appear in the references section but does appear in the paper and vice versa).
  • Place all figures at the end of the body of the document, on a new page (-2), but before the references section. (-1 for each figure placed in the body)
  • Refer to all figures within your text as figure 1, figure 2, etc., label figures appropriately (all figures must include a descriptive caption (not just “figure 1″), and be cited properly (short source in the caption, full source in the references section, and, do not cite “Google” or any other search tool as an image’s source – search engines are not content creators – find the original source, cite that). Figures are always referenced within the body in numerical order (i.e., do not initially reference figure 1, then figure 3, then figure 2, re-number figures as appropriate). (-2 for each incorrectly labeled figure)
  • Peer-reviewed sources, government data or information sources, and reputable news agencies are the only two types of acceptable sources to use. (-5 for any unacceptable source cited)
  • If you quote a source, paraphrase a source, or include a data-related statement, you must include a citation to that source within the text (again, Google the “owl at Purdue” for help with “in-text” citations). (-2 for any uncited material, each instance)
  • Do not overuse quotations; do not rely on quoting the source to fill the word count requirement .

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