GLY 3083 Report Swear Words

We strongly encourage you to NOT use these words in your paper:




Huge problem

Major problem

Incredibly huge problem (and other combinations)




Changing world






Sorta swear words-

“Factors”. I was advised when I was as an undergrad writing a similar type of paper for my chemical oceanography class to never use term “factors”. Just tell the reader what the things are that control this or that. For example, you might start off a paragraph like this:

“There are several factors that contribute to increased density stratification in coastal oceans. These include increased freshwater runoff, increased warming, reduced wind stress.”

A preferred, more concise version is:

“Density stratification is increasing in coastal oceans because of increased freshwater runoff, increased warming, reduced wind stress.”

Then spend the paragraph describing how each of these impacts the density stratification.

“Damage, Harm”-Try to be specific because these reflect value judgements. What one person considers harmful, another might see as a benefit (e.g., zebra mussels & water clarity, kudzu &soil erosion). Does damage/harm imply a change in population (biomass, diversity, etc.)? If so, state what has changed and let the reader decide if it is a significant change. Maybe provide some context too. For example:

“Carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere are now around 410 ppm and are rising at ~10 ppm/year (ref). In the past, ice core records indicate that atmospheric CO2 levels only varied from ~175-300 ppm over the past 500,000 years (refs).”

The reader can take from this that CO2 is really high right now and is way out of the norm for past climates. Stick to the facts in the paper and avoid words and phrases that come with a value (e.g., good/bad; harm/benefit)

Double check for this and similar phases in your introduction:

“This paper aims to address….”

“This essay will analyze some of the….”

“This paper aims to asses and explain the results of ..”

“I describe research done on the effects of..”

Remember, you are writing a paper that attempts to test a hypothesis or address a specific question. You only have ~ 5 pages of text to work with. You cannot in any depth cover all of climate change and the oceans’ response to it. Focus! Your last sentences in the Introduction should be something like:

“Together, these observations indicate that XX is reducing in YY. I hypothesize the ZZ is likely causing the reduction in YY. In this study, I will use existing published studies to determine the relative role (or lack thereof) of ZZ in the observed change in XX.”

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