Skip to Main Content

Communication 101 - Toth - Spring 2021

Assignment Description + Requirements

From Prof. Toth's assignment prompt:

This exercise is based on likely happenings on the job where your boss will ask you to prepare a "scientific" assessment of the life span of coral reefs around the world against the growing problem of dumping billions of tons of human waste into the oceans. You look at him/her with wide eyes and say, "but I am not an expert on environmental pollution of that magnitude."

Your boss replies, "Exactly my position. So, I am assigning you with the task of researching this topic and finding the most up-to-date information & statistics on the destruction of coral reefs around the globe. The question is, how long can the Earth & human populations survive without enough coral reef populations?"

Most of your sources should be collected from the last two years of the most up to date research on the environmental problem of pollution & eventual death of coral reefs around the world.


Strategies for Research

Since this assignment asks you to find and use sources that are both "scientific" and "up-to-date" (within the last 2 years), your best bet is to search for the following types of articles:

1. Scholarly journal articles (also referred to as "academic" or "peer-reviewed" journals). These are sources where experts and scholars publish their research findings. Scholars and researchers read journals to keep up with the latest research in their fields, but they’re also for students like you.

  • They are considered some of the most credible types of sources to use for your college assignments because of the amount of careful work involved in writing, reviewing, and publishing them.
  • One drawback is that scholarly journals are only published a few times per year, so if you're looking for the most up-to-date information possible, you may want to look for magazine and newspaper articles.

2. Magazine and newspaper articles. Since magazine and newspaper articles are published much more frequently than scholarly journals, they will also be a valuable source of information for this assignment. Additionally, since magazines and newspapers are written for a general audience (as opposed to the "scientific" or "professional" audience of scholarly journals), they often do a great job of summarizing and explaining the overall issues and research surrounding a topic. They are able to take very complex topics and put them into a language that anyone can understand -- all within a few pages!


Where do you find these types of articles? Google might be the first thing that comes to mind, but as Valley College students, you have access to something even better. Let's take a look at the next page of this guide for a comparison between Google and the search tools found on the LAVC Library website.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.