GWAR Writing Assignment Comment Key

Format Guidellines Issues (or, Following Instructions)

  1. Improper Title, Term or Section Heading. Title or heading shows no meteorological relevance or is unimaginative given the level of the class.
  2. Title, and/or section headings and/or section numbers not included
  3. Paper format issues (not 10 to 15 pages of text for body of paper. or margins too wide (> 1"), large blank spaces between section headings, font too large--not 10 or 12 pt, or sentences too spaced or triple spacing used--in essence, paper too short). Date format: 4 January 2008 or 1200 UTC 4 January 2008. NOT "4th of January" or "Jan 4" or anything else except in titles. Latitude and longitude miswritten. Labels or terms not conventional.
  4. Improper reference format for either in text or reference sections; References missing.
  5. Assigned references provided in class not used, or Bibliography not included or not included in Bibliography. Figures not numbered consecutively and sequenced in the order in which they are discussed in the text.

    Style Issues

  6. Conversational tone (use of contractions, asking rhetorical questions ("...how does fog form? Well, now I will discuss that..."), use of "street-speak", overuse of hyperbolic adjectives with no defined meaning ("...horrible fog; stupendous fog banks; collosal fog..." etc.) (BTW, all of this would be OK in narrative writing, but is never allowed in formal writing)
  7. Improper paragraph (either no topic sentence, or random sentences linked together, or topic sentence that makes no sense as written, or topic sentence that has nothing to do with the science content (e.g., "...I have been assigned this paper, and so this is what I am going to do..."
  8. Improper sentence (either plural verb with singular subject/object or vice versa, sentence fragment, clumsy sentence, lack of agreement between opening clause and subject, poorly or clumsily constructed sentence, improper reference from pronoun to subject etc.) or sentence that makes no sense as written . Several ideas collapsed into an improper sentence that should be expanded to several sentences.
  9. One sentence paragraph. A one sentence paragraph is an improper paragraph because a formally constructed paragraph MUST have a topic sentence, a body, and some sort of concluding sentence or sentence that is consistent with the topic sentence. One sentence paragraphs usually indicate lack of editing, and it usually is true that that one sentence is really the topic sentence of a new paragraph that the new author really thought should be written (but didn't write it) OR should have been included in some other paragraph elsewhere in the paper.
  10. Overuse of first person
  11. Use of unremarkable quotation, lack of paraphrase
  12. Run-on sentence
  13. Run-on paragraph (multiple topic sentences/themes)
  14. Improper or not thoughtful introduction (what I am going to do and why I am going to do it) or a "chatty" or cute introduction (as in, "when I was growing up, I noticed fog..."). Introduction has no clear statement of what the writer is intending to achieve or show. The Introduction should show some conceptual basis for why the paper is being written, beyond the fact that it is an assignment. (BTW, all of this would be OK in narrative writing, but is never allowed in formal writing)
  15. Improper or not thoughtful conclusion section. No conclusions, no thoughtful observation, no summary of what you have proven or shown, or includes a platitude ("...in meteorology, it is important to understand the weather to improve human life...") or conclusion that is not a conclusion, but adds new material not previously discussed (this latter is really a big mistake in writing style)
  16. Provide table to summarize information.
  17. Sloppy editing/revisions/misspellings: It's instead of its, effect instead of affect, to instead of too, there instead of their, phenomenons instead of phenomena, which instead of that...etc. Also, cardinal directions NOT capitalized. The low moved towards the south, the high moved northeastward (NOT the low moved towards the South). Capitalization of cardinal direction is OK if direction really is a formal place name. For example, these two sentences mean different things: "...a low forms in the Southwest.." "..the low movcs southwest..." Frequent usage governs this: "...a low in the North Pacific..." is OK....but really should be "...northern Pacfiic..." or "...northern portion of the Pacific..." but Pacific or Atlantic are always capitalized.
  18. Improper word choice, improper use of jargon, imappropriate use of hyperbole "tremendous rainfall" "
  19. Out of place sentence or idea fragment (seems thrown in as an afterthought)
  20. Sloppy editing . Alternating capitals and lower case. Use of capitals and lower case inconsistent. Abbreviations not written out in full first time with parenthetical for abbreviation "...The National Weather Service (NWS)...." "....Weather Forecast Office (WFO)...."
  21. Wording makes the sentence say something that writer did not intend, or makes the sentence make no sense as written
  22. Poor transition; topic sentence that shows no relation to section heading, or needs an explanatory "connecting" sentence
  23. Pronoun used as subject of sentence with unclear reference to noun in previous sentence, creating a connection that the writer did not intend
  24. Paper reads like an outline of ideas to be discussed rather than a thoughtful exposition (could be a formatting issue as well)
  25. Sentence starts with a preposition
  26. Non-sequitur; no connection between a sentence and the previous sentence, or between the end and the beginning of a sentence or a topic sentence that suggests a connection to previous knowledge not laid out in the paper, even though the writer believed there was such a connection

    Meteorology

27. Basically, a grade would be on on the basis of one overarching principle: did the student indicate by the level `of treatment in this writing assignment indicate that he or she has taken Metr 201, Metr 400 and is currently in Metr 430. Analysis techniques beyond the level of where exactly we are in Metr 430 are not expected. Yet you need to show that you have mastered what we have covered.

In addition, points are deducted if important guiding principles are mistated or "butchered".

28. Instructions ignored.

29. Material that should be covered in a different section included.

30. Include tables with summaries of information for the reader.

31. Crisis of confidence evidence. Very little or absolutely no meteorological statements, reasoning, or comments made OR meteorological statements, reasoning or comments inconsistent with what we have discussed in class....basically, this is a "think, talk and express yourself like a meteorologist who has taken Metr 430 (and Metr 201 and Metr 400) issue.

32. Figure not customized for present paper. Issues might include (a) feature of interest not centered on chart, or too much extraneous information included on the chart; (b) conventional, accepted and expected analysis conventions ignored (examples include, but not limited to, (pressure features not labeled, wrong conventions used for illustrating trough and ridge axes, wrong color conventions, incorrect contour labeling, unconventional isobar or height contour interval or labels); (c) figure not annotated indicating areas concentrated on in the text to help reader focus on salient issues or aspects of note; (d) figure incomplete...isobars not drawn, frontal locations not shown; (e) figure captions not typed and included or lack of clarity in figure captions.

33. Creative integration of course material not shown....(a) type of occlusion and evidence; (b) nature of vertical motion fields; (c) nature of divergence fields; (d) quasi-geostrophic controls (to the extent discussed in class); (e) relationship of sounding to frontal structure; (f) advection structure relative to type of wave cyclone and more and more. There's lots of stuff we have discussed that you can be including.

34. Creative use of conventional briefing products not evident...satellite imagery? radar imagery? SFO hourly rainfall/pressure/wind charts to illustrate passage of wave.

35. General analysis errors: Isobars not kinked at fronts; Important wind shifts ignored; inportant wind observations ignored; isobars not labeled; fronts mislocated.

36. Creative use of backgrouind statistics not evident. No location map provided. No sources of information included.