Goals To develop an in-depth understanding of a turfgrass topic of interest to you. To develop better oral and written communication skills.
Timetable for Project:
2/11: Article and topic selection due
3/4: Outline of paper due including list of references to be included in the paper
4/8: Oral presentations given in class
4/22: Written paper due
Topic and Article Selection
Use the list of provided research articles to select a research paper on a topic of interest to you. You may also select a paper on another turf topic if there has been sufficient scientific study. All selections must be approved by the instructor. One of the purposes of this exercise is to allow you to learn more about an area of interest to you. Find a topic and article that really interests you. The written portion of the project will cover the topic selected. The article selected will be used for the focus of the oral presentation.
An outline is a critical tool in good writing. It forces you to focus on the paper and the points and areas you need to cover. A well-written outline serves as the basis for your paper. You merely expand each part of the outline in order to finish the paper. Therefore, the outline should be brief but cover the important points that you will describe in the full paper. The outline should have several levels that allow you to expand upon the points you intend to cover. Include a list of references you will use in the full paper.
Agronomics of sand topdressing
2) Sands used in sand topdressing
1) Methods of classification
2) Recommended size ranges for sand topdressing
3) Advantages of sand topdressing
5) Summary and conclusions
The paper should be 6-12 typewritten pages excluding references. You should include citations for all the reference sources you use. Use 1" margins, a type size of 12 points, and double space between lines.
Use your article as the center of the paper but develop the topic into a complete paper. In other words, use articles referenced in the paper as a way to develop more information about the subject.
Put the article into context. Is this the only research on the topic or has there been extensive earlier research? What is status of knowledge on the subject? Is there controversy over the research? Does one article contradict another?
The paper should give information about the topic and review the research that has been done in this area. What does the research mean from the perspective of a turfgrass manager? What were the researchers trying to find out? Read as much as you can about the subject prior to writing the outline and the paper. Read scientific articles and articles written for the professional turf manager. Make good use of the library. The library can get any article you want if you give them enough lead time. If they don't have an article you need at the University of Illinois, they can get a copy for you.
The oral presentation will focus only on the article chosen, not the general topic. You can use some of the information you've developed to help introduce the topic but in the short time you have to make your presentation, 10-12 minutes, focus on the paper and its results. Present your talk in the following manner. First, a brief introduction of the topic, why the research was done, and the practical significance of the research. Second, describe the methods used to do the research. You needn't go in to great detail but present enough of the methods that the audience will be able to understand the results. Third, present the results. Use PowerPoint to show any tables or figures that will help explain the meaningful results of the research. You do not have to present all the data in the article, only the parts that are meaningful. Also, it is your job to decide what is important in the article and emphasize those items. Finally, discuss the results. What did they find out that was useful or important? Are there practical results that can be applied to field situations? How do their findings relate to other research?
Grading - As described in the syllabus, the written and oral reports will each be worth 100 points (about 13% of your grade). The grade for the outline will be worth 50 points.