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EAS 102: Earth Science: Earth Science Written Assignment

Online subject guide for students studying EAS B102, Earth Science.

Earth Science Written Assignment

EAS 102_Laurel_Kohl

Earth Science Written Assignment

Plate Tectonics Paper Parts


Bibliography and Outline—25 pts

See syllabus

Paper First Draft—25 pts

See syllabus

Paper Final Draft—100 pts

See syllabus





10 point deduction taken for each class that each assignment is overdue.

You must take your draft to the writing center for assistance.

You may take your final draft to the writing center for an additional 10 points extra credit.

The Paper

You will complete a written analysis (about 5-6 pages) investigating the development of the Theory of Plate Tectonics as it relates to the scientific disciplines of geology, oceanography, meteorology and astronomy.

Your paper will include the following:

1.  Investigate the early work of Alfred Wegener and discuss the evidence he used to support his continental drift hypothesis in the early 1900's. (include 3 or more examples of evidence Wegener used, explain how that evidence supported the idea of continents moving, discuss how the scientific community felt about Wegener's hypothesis)

2.  Discuss data/evidence found by Arthur Holmes, Harry Hess and others in the mid 1900's that lead to the development of the Plate Tectonic theory. (what was that evidence, how was it discovered, how did it explain the motion of plates rather than continents)

Describe the motions of, and examples of three types of plate boundaries, and the proposed mechanism for plate motion.

3.  Discuss 3 examples of supporting evidence of plate tectonics (such as shifting climate belts over many millions of years, sea floor spreading, changes in ocean circulation due to the location of continental land masses, and where similar fossils have been found)

Discuss the possibility of plate tectonics elsewhere in the solar system in the geologic past, such as on Mars.

4.  Explain how the scientific method has been utilized in the ongoing development of the plate tectonic theory.

Discuss the difference between Continental Drift as a hypothesis and Plate Tectonics as a theory.

Discuss how Uniformitarianism, as a principal, helped the scientific community build the Plate Tectonics theory.

Provide citations (in-text within the paper, for each idea presented that came from one of the references used).  NO QUOTES IN THIS PAPER!  All resources listed in the bibliography should also show up as in-text citations.  The paper should include 5 or more major references (e.g. science journal articles, books, but no more than two internet sites.  Periodicals available on-line are not considered internet sites)

Papers showing uncited material will be FAILED as PLAGIARISM!!!

As one source, students will be required to utilize the following: "This Dynamic Earth" as a significant reference.  This article has been broken into various topic pages and can be found at

Use more than one section of this article!! Each counts as a source.

Provide a bibliography of all references used in your paper at the end of your paper in MLA format. (You may use or but proof read these to make sure they are correct!)

Please use MCC/Library/Research Tips for assistance with citations and bibliography.


Note:  Three randomly chosen papers will be submitted to the Division for review.  Please use your name only on the title page, and not as a header on each page for ease of submission.