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Week Three: the Origins of the Solar System and the Earth

Preparation for week three lecture (week beginning 5 August)

Listen to the podcast of this week's lecture

Transcript of this week's podcast

Copies of slides shown in this week and last week's lecture (one file for both weeks)

Your required readings for this week are chapters 2 and 3 of Maps of Time.

If you have not already done so, you should investigate the resources presented by Eric J. Chaisson of the Wright Center for Science Education at Tufts University:

Essay Writing Tutorial

This week's tutorial will be devoted to discussion of research and writing essays for this course.

Further Reading

While there are no further required readings for this week, the following books available in the UQ library will prove helpful in extending your knowledge of what we will cover in lectures during the first weeks of the course.

  • Berlage, H. P. 1968. The origin of the solar system. Pergamon international popular science series. Oxford: Pergamon Press.
  • Erickson, Jon. 2002. Historical geology :Understanding our planet's past. The living earth. New York: Facts on File.
  • Fabian, A. C. 1988. Origins. Darwin college lectures. Cambridge ; New York: Cambridge University Press.
  • ---. 1988. Origins. Darwin college lectures. Cambridge ; New York: Cambridge University Press.
  • Gribbin, John R. 2008; 2007. The universe :A biography. London: Penguin.
  • Jones, Mark H., Robert J. Lambourne, and David J. Adams. 2004. An introduction to galaxies and cosmology. Milton Keynes: Open University.
  • Levin, Harold L. 2010. The earth through time. 9th ed. Hoboken, N.J.: J. Wiley.
  • Liddle, Andrew R. 2003. An introduction to modern cosmology. Chichester; New York: Wiley.
  • Liddle, Andrew R., and Jon Loveday. 2008. The oxford companion to cosmology. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Longair, M. S. 1996. Our evolving universe. Cambridge; New York: Cambridge University Press.
  • Marschall, Laurence A. 1994. The supernova story. Princeton science library. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press.
  • Parker, Barry. 1996. Chaos in the cosmos: The stunning complexity of the universe. New York: Plenum Press.
  • Plimer, Ian, and Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 2001. A short history of planet earth. Sydney, N.S.W.: ABC Books for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
  • Stokes, William Lee. 1966. Essentials of earth history :An introduction to historical geology. 2nd ed. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall.
  • Williams, Iwan Prys. 1975. The origin of the planets. Monographs on astronomical subjects. Bristol: A. Hilger.
  • Woolfson, M. M. 2007. The formation of the solar system :Theories old and new. London: Imperial College Press.

Essay Writing

This week we will discuss essay writing, focusing in particular on your first assignment - which requires you to research and compile an annotated bibliography, ideally on the subject on which you choose to do your major essay (although you may decide to write your major essay on a different topic).

You may not have created an annotated bibliography before and are wondering what it is. Essentially, it is a list of references to important scholarly books, articles, and published collections of primary source materials. What makes it an annotated bibliography is that each reference to a book, article or source collection is given along with a brief evaluation of the relevance of the work to the subject you plan to research.

At this stage in your studies, I do not expect you to be able to offer an in-depth critical assessment of a book, book chapter, peer-reviewed article or source collection. But I would like you to try. To do this, you will need to read as much as you can of the works you include in your bibliography, while also consulting how they have received by experts in the same field of research.

The first step is to locate and note references to scholarly books, book chapters, articles and collections of primary source material that appear to be significany contributions to the subject you want to write about for your major essay.

Reviews in scholarly journals are a good way of finding out what are judged to be the influence, strengths and weaknesses of books and source collections. The reception of articles in peer-reviewed journals is harder to gauge, and here your comment will tend to be a summary of how and why an author is challenging received opinion. Likewise, it is often hard to do more than describe the contents of large print-based or online collections of primary source materials.

The next step in preparing the bibliography is to cite the book, article, or source collection using an appropriate style.

In this course, you can use any commonly used citation system (APA, Harvard, MLA, Chicago). I only demand that you learn to use the system you employ accurately.

I would also urge you to consider taking advantage of the fact that as a UQ student, you are able to obtain a free copy of the EndNote citation software, which makes it incredibly easy to ensure you cite sources accurately, and create comprehensive bibliographies, in any citation style you wish. Also, the UQ Library offers tutorials in the use of EndNote. For further information go to:

You then supply your commentary for each item you list.

A question many students ask is how many items they need to put in their bibliography. For this exercise you will need to provide a brief evaluations of two books, and summaries of three journal articles or book chapters, and one collection of primary sources available either print or online. Each commentary should be no more than 150 words.

Please note that if you use other books, journal articles or reviews in preparing your commentaries you must provide references to these sources. In other words, your annotated biblliography must have a bibliography.

Please note that this essay is due by 5.00 PM on Wednesday 21 August 2010

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