GEOG 583
Geospatial System Analysis and Design

Term Project - Create An Outline


This week, you need to compile and submit an outline for your term project paper. By now, you've received my feedback on your project abstract, and you had some time last week to collect some background information.

Term Project - Outline Description

A good outline will help you complete your term project as efficiently as possible. I like working with an outline because then I know the gaps that I need to fill. It's also an excellent way of narrowing what your paper will cover given a specific word count constraint.

Your outline should:

  • include your abstract at the beginning, that you have revised based on my feedback;
  • identify major sections and subsections of your paper with headings and sub-headings (I like to use bullets underneath headings to capture the major points I hope to make in each section);
  • organize sections in a logical flow that guides the reader from start to finish;
  • reflect the limitations you have on the word count for the final submission (2,500). In other words, you won't be able to have dozens of sections wiht an unlimited number of words.

I'll leave it up to you to decide how much detail your outline includes beyond section and subsection headings. I like to add short statements for the key ideas I will cover in each subsection. That way I know exactly what I must cover to complete the paper. 

Submission Instructions

When you're finished with this assignment, you will need to submit your outline.

To submit to the dropbox I've created for it in Canvas:
  1. Save your files in the following format: L4_tp_firstinitialLastName.doc (or other Word compatible format). For example, Roger Tomlinson's file would be named "L4_tp_rtomlinson.doc" - This naming convention is important, as it will help me make sure I match each submission with the right student.
  2. Submit your assignment to the Lesson 4 Term Project Outline dropbox in Canvas.

(Note: we will be completing a Peer Review of Outlines in Lesson 5, so you'll see instructions for that assignment next week. See our Course Calendar for specific due dates.)

Grading Criteria

For this assignment, I will assign grades with the following rubric. For each of the three main criteria, I will assign points on a scale from 1-5, with 5 being excellent and 1 being very poor.

I define "Impact" as the strength and logic of the arguments and analytical insights you provide with your writing. In other words, present a clear argument to the reader as to why your topic/idea/approach is important.

I define "Content" as the level of understanding and knowledge of relevant topics you demonstrate with your writing. Here, demonstrate to the reader that you are knowledgeable about the topic/idea/approach by communicating what you are planning to do and how you will do it.

I define "Clarity" as the readability and organization of your writing (including formatting and appropriate graphic design where applicable). Your writing should be clear, concise, and unambiguous. By all means, proofread your writing so as to avoid errors. As a suggestion, ask someone else to read your writing.

Term Project Rubric
Criteria Excellent Very Good Satisfactory Poor Very Poor
Impact 5 4 3 2 1
Content 5 4 3 2 1
Clarity 5 4 3 2 1