GEOG 858
Spatial Data Science for Emergency Management

Writing Resources


The resources below provide information on various writing resources you will find useful for this course. Please take a few minutes to familiarize yourself with this content.

Writing Style Guides

A good part of your college course work involves writing. Learn to become a better writer by knowing what is expected and seeing examples of well-written work. These online style guides are the product of an experienced writing tutor who has worked with EMS students for many years, and they will provide direction and insight. If there were keys to success, these guides would be on the key ring!

Style for Students Online - Effective Technical Writing in the Information Age

Author: Joe Schall

"Whether planning a paper, running a grammar check, completing a report, composing an e-mail, puzzling over a usage or grammar issue, or writing a resume or online portfolio, you are bound to find the material and examples you need in Style for Students Online."

Writing Personal Statements Online

Author: Joe Schall

"A writing tutor who has provided guidance on more than a thousand graduate applications, Joe Schall advises you on how to be competitive but not cocky, informed but not formulaic, openly creative yet professional. As you consider ways to write your way into your future, count on this Website to help you grow and thrive in the process."

Academic Integrity

Penn State defines academic integrity as "the pursuit of scholarly activity in an open, honest and responsible manner." Academic integrity includes "a commitment not to engage in or tolerate acts of falsification, misrepresentation, or deception." In particular, the University defines plagiarism as "the fabrication of information and citations; submitting others' work from professional journals, books, articles, and papers; submission of other students' papers, lab results or project reports and representing the work as one's own." Penalties for violations of academic integrity may include forfeited assignments, course failure, or disqualification from a degree or certificate program. More information is available by reading the Academic Integrity and Research Ethics policies of Penn State's College of Earth and Mineral Sciences.

Citation and Reference Style

We expect that the text and graphics you submit as part of your assignments are original. We reserve the right to use the plagiarism detection service to assure the originality of course assignments. You may build upon ideas, words and illustrations produced by others, but you must acknowledge such contributions formally. Unacknowledged contributions are considered to be plagiarized. This guide explains when and how you should acknowledge the contributions of others to your own work.

Different disciplines adopt different standards for citations and references. Moreover, almost every professional publication enforces its own variation on the standard styles. The most widely used styles include:

So, which one should I use?

Just as each discipline adopts different standards, each instructor and/or course may require you to use a different citation style. Please refer to the syllabus to learn what standard you will be expected to comply with. If it is not listed there, do not hesitate to contact your instructor.

Regardless of the style you use, we do expect two things:

  1. Whenever you include text, a graphic, or an idea that is not your own, acknowledge the contribution so that readers can find the original source.
  2. Consistently apply one style of citations and references for all of your assignments.

Learn more...

Penn State also makes available to all faculty and students an iStudy Module entitled Academic Integrity, Plagiarism, and Copyright.