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Human activity affects the carbon cycle


Investigate the CLAIM:

Human activity affects the carbon cycle.


To produce a report that investigates the claim, using a research question.

  • Develop a research question: How does the burning of fossil fuels impact the carbon cycle?
  • Gather secondary evidence(min 3 articles) thatsupport or refute the claim.

Need another 2 x articles as a minimum.

  • Your evidence could include: scientific journals, books by well credentialed scientists and websites of governments, universities, independent research bodies or science and technology manufacturers.

Word count: 2000 words maximum

To complete this task you must

  • Identify the relevant scientific concepts associated with the claim
  • Pose a research question addressing an aspect of the claim
  • Conduct research to gather scientific evidence that may be used to address the research question and subsequently evaluate the claim
  • Analyse the data to identify sufficient and relevant evidence
  • Identify the trends, patterns or relationships in the evidence
  • Analyse the evidence to identify limitations
  • Interpret the evidence to construct justified scientific arguments
  • Interpret the evidence to form a justified conclusion to the research question
  • Discuss the quality of the evidence
  • Evaluate the claim by extrapolating the findings of the research question to the claim
  • Suggest improvements and extensions to the investigation
  • Communicate findings in an appropriate scientific genre, i.e. empirical essay





This response must be presented using an appropriate Scientific Genre- Empirical Essay.  Use the following headings, and respond to the dot points under each heading:

Claim: The claim will be given to you on your task sheet and is to be stated here

Research Question: This question needs to be specific so that you can easily find for information on it. Use the guide in your task sheet to help you narrow down your research question.

Rationale: This is a bit like an ‘introduction’. You state the claim, and justify how your research question was formed and how it will provide an argument to support or refute the claim. Then you provide background to the topic, defining words, giving some statistics and scientific theory behind the topic.

Evidence: This is where you use all the information (websites, journal articles etc) you have found to answer your research question. Build an argument using the information found. Quite often you might find sources that contradict one another and you should provide evidence to support both sides of the argument.

Evaluation: This section is where you consider how helpful your sources were. Was there enough information available? Were the sample sizes in the studies big enough? Was the information biased? Try to be critical of the information you have found and whether it is enough to answer the research question well. (NOTE – This is NOT an evaluation of yourself and your research skills!).

Conclusion: The conclusion brings together all the information found in the evidence section to answer the research question. You then determine whether the claim has been supported or refuted by the evidence found to answer your research question.  Also comment if further investigations or research is required.

Bibliography: APA style. Ensure you have found reputable sources (journal articles preferably, or information from government or university websites). The more the better, but at least 6 good ones.



Last Updated on September 14, 2019

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