paper must be at least four full pages, use 12 pt Times New Roman font and double space, use at least three
sources in addition to the text (Foundations of Astronomy PHYS 1403 Stars and Galaxies 13th edition
Michael A Seeds & Dana Backman). Encyclopedias (either hardcopy or online) are not allowed!
1. Please pick one from among the following three topics:
dark matter and dark energy
the Orion nebula
Spitzer space telescope
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 and header!). Please use 12 pt Times New Roman font and doublespace your text.
3. 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 looking at the most
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!
5. Please cite your sources in a bibliography at the end of your paper. Use footnotes where appropriate, and
make sure you attribute quotations properly. If you’re using online sources, make sure to give the address of the
pages you used.
6. You will be writing a brief paper about one of the topics given above. A good paper will focus on the
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
What unanswered questions remain
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.
8. Finally, please take a look at the following link regarding plagiarism. This is a good source to review. Read
the information and take the short quiz. Plagiarism involves taking someone else’s work as your own. It doesn’t
just mean direct copying – it can also include paraphrasing without quotation, not properly citing your sources,
etc. Plagiarism is grounds for a zero on your paper.
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