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Critique my current event paper (English Critical Thinking class)


bluek7 2 / 2  
Apr 24, 2009   #1
This is for my English Critical Thinking class. It is a current event/research paper. I have a pretty big block quote that I'm not quite sure if I can use it like that. Please tell me if you see my thesis and if my subtopics are related. My grammar is pretty bad also. I appreciate any help thanks in advanced

On March 19, 2009 an undersea volcano next to the Tonga islands, erupted. It released clouds of volcanic smoke, steam and ash thousands of feet above the South Pacific Ocean. Spectacular columns gushed out of the sea about 6 miles from Tonga's main island of Tongatapu (NG). Several weeks later another volcano erupted but this time it was in the Galapagos. This volcano is called La Cumbre and it erupted on April 13, 2009. Thousands of wildlife were threatens because of this natural disaster (CBS). Many volcanic activities hurt the environment on and off land. It also causes many fatalities.

Hydrothermal vents are associated with volcanic activity, it is in all of the world's oceans. These vents can be found at depths of around 2,500 metres and are known as black smokers after the plumes of sulphide compounds that billow from them. Dissolved sulphides in water up to 350 C are pumped up through the vents. Sulphides come out of solution to produce plumes that can rise several hundred metres after it mixes with the surrounding seawater. Eventually it sinks down and form chimneys that can reach 70-80 metres before they buckle and collapse into crumpled, mineral rich mounds (Rowe P.71). And so, mining companies began carrying out a drilling and sampling operation around dead hydrothermal vents off the northeastern coast of Papua New Guinea. They gather around 15 tonnes of sample containing high grades of gold and base metals. Other vents in different location were also collecting material such as, copper, gold, zinc, and silver (Rowe P.72).

[Block quote start]"The minerals' abundance is the result of the same extreme condition that have spawned the vents' rarefied life forms. "You have hydrothermal water in an area of high volcanic activity," says David Heydon, president of Nautilus. "You get a lot of cracks occurring on the seabed and the seawater goes down into the cracks and gets superheated." The water then circulates trough the volcanic rock, leaching out minerals. When it re-emerges from the cracks, its temperature drops suddenly from 350 C to 2 C and the minerals are instantly crystallized. The volcanic and sedimentary material that is constantly spewing forth from the vents then buries the deposits, preserving them from oxidation and erosion (Rowe P.72)."[Block quote end]

Countries such as, China, India and Indonesia are putting huge demands on these minerals, therefore the prices increases. Mining companies only choose dead or nearly dead vent to mined, anything else it would be too dangerous.

Potential for environmental damage is a problem for scientist and conservationists. Dr. Paul Johnson, scientist at the Greenpeace Research Laboratories is skeptical about the idea of mining the vents for minerals. Johnson is against the idea because he has not described all of the species living around the vents. "It's wishful thinking to say that this kind of mining could be surgically targeted. You would only need to be a little off target with these 'surgical' procedures to inflict damage (Rowe P.74 (Johnson))." Until the distribution of species is known one can possible endanger a site by wiping out a vent with a mass excavation. It wouldn't cause an extinction of a species but scientist have not yet understand the dynamics of the sites and whether one site is the key to surrounding sites (Rowe P.74).

"The White River Ash event was the eruption of a stratovolcano (Mount Churchill, Alaska) in the St. Elias Mountains 25 km west of the Yukon border (Bunbury P.453)." This massive explosion caused enormous amount of deposited tephra over the southern Yukon. Ash layers were ranging from 1 mm to .5 m in thickness has been observed in lake sediment. Freshwater lake environment are affected by disturbances that influence the composition of biological communities (Bunbury P.453). This volcanic eruption is considered as a severe disturbance, and evidence of its impact is seen in lake sediments and soils as a layer of ash. The aquatic ecosystems in lakes are being affected by these volcanic deposits because of large volumes of tephra can potentially smother organisms living at the sediment water interface (Bunbury (Edmondson, 1984)). Thinner layer of ash deposited farther from the source may have more subtle impacts. Variations in temperature and precipitation over time indirectly influence the aquatic environment and have the potential to alter species composition and abundance (Bunbury P.453 (Rouse et al., 1997)).

Volcanoes kill people in many different ways. Pyroclastic flows which are hot ash clouds that sweeps downslope at hurricane speeds claim the most lives (Slimkin, Siebert, Blong P.255). The most common killer in fatal eruption is tephra, it contain all fragmental material thrown from the volcanoes which cause houses and buildings to collapses. Projectile impact is by far the largest number of fatal tephra accidents. Many lives are lost within the first 24hours of eruption, which is when the element of surprise is the strongest. Danger persist well after the eruption's first month nearly two-third of the fatalities and half the fatal events have taken place more than 1 month after the eruption's start (Slimkin, Siebert, Blong P.255).

The Tonga undersea volcanic eruption released clouds of volcanic smoke, steam and ash thousands of feet above the South Pacific Ocean. The hydrothermal vents around these volcanoes emit rich-minerals undersea which can attract mining companies to come and destroy the ecology. The reason it interest mining companies is because some vents in different location had material such as, copper, gold, zinc, and silver. One careless mistake by the mining companies an entire site of species can be wiped out. Volcanic eruption on land deposits tephra over the southern Yukon. It impacts the lake which has living organism in the sediment water interface. Tephra also affect local area collapsing house and impact people causing fatal casualties. Volcanic activity damages the environment and caused many deaths on both land and sea.
babydoll 8 / 39  
Apr 24, 2009   #2
In the first paragraph for the last sentence as your thesis, can be rewritten like this:

Many volcanic activities affected the environment and cause many fatalities.
I don't know if my writing has improved or not, but I hope that made sense. I'm practicing my analytical skills here to help my virtual friends.

I don't want to give out the wrong advice either! So if I see something I thought can be rewritten I'll share.
michaelfrye1970 9 / 21  
Apr 24, 2009   #3
You have alot of quoted material. Although it may seem necessary most would say that you should not have more than 20% of your paper be quoted.
zowzow 10 / 175  
Apr 25, 2009   #4
yes you should try and remove some quotes if not at least post the important bits and skip the rest. for example ]"The minerals' abundance is the result of the same extreme condition that have spawned the vents' rarefied life forms. " ... The water then circulates trough the volcanic rock, leaching out minerals. When it re-emerges from the cracks, its temperature drops suddenly from 350 C to 2 C and the minerals are instantly crystallized. "

Its just an example of shortening a quote, im not suggeting you summarise the quote in the exact way i suggested.
Notoman 20 / 419  
Apr 25, 2009   #5
I am going to tackle your first paragraph. I think that it could read a little better with some minor changes . . .

On March 19, 2009 an undersea volcano next to the Tonga islands, erupted. It released clouds of volcanic smoke, steam and ash thousands of feet above the South Pacific Ocean. Spectacular columns gushed out of the sea about 6 miles from Tonga's main island of Tongatapu (NG). Several weeks later another volcano erupted but this time it was in the Galapagos. This volcano is called La Cumbre and it erupted on April 13, 2009. Thousands of wildlife were threatens because of this natural disaster (CBS). Many volcanic activities hurt the environment on and off land. It also causes many fatalities.

*Instead of saying "next to" the Tonga islands, I'd say "near." "Next to" implies in my mind that the volcano was either to the left or the right of the islands on a map. Seems how there are many islands in the Tongan Kingdom, "near" feels better to me. I'd also say Tongan islands . . . with "Tonga islands" I want to capitalize the word islands, but that isn't really a part of their official name.

*One of your sentences is a little too close to the writing on the MSNBC site. Their site says, "Spectacular columns are spewing out of the sea about 6 miles from the southwest coast off the main island of Tongatapu - an area where up to 36 undersea volcanoes are clustered, geologists said." You'll need to make that sentence your own. Even a close paraphrasing can be construed as plagiarism by teachers.

*Along those lines, I don't know what the (NG) is in your parenthetical citation. If you are quoting the article on the MSNBC site, I think that the citation would be (Associated Press) because it was the Associated Press that released the article and MSNBC that picked it up. If you have the author's name, the citation should be that. Don't take my word on this though. Check your source and make sure it is clear to your teacher when you do your Works Cited page.

*Write out the word for any smaller number. 6 should be six.

*Then I'd combine some sentences just for flow (I'll rewrite it at the end of the post. I just thought I'd tell you why I would make changes)

*Your verb, "were threatens" isn't in agreement. It would need to be either, "were threatened" or just "threatening." I noticed some other verb agreements issues later in the paper, but I am only tackling the first paragraph for now, *grin*

*I am assuming that your thesis is the threat from volcanoes to the environment and to human life. You might want to state your thesis just as clearly as you can. Really lay out what your paper is about.

Here's my rewrite (I cannot guarantee that it is free of errors. I am just a high-school student and a human one at that):

An undersea volcano erupted on March 19, 2009 near the Tongan islands releasing clouds of volcanic smoke and ash thousands of feel above the South Pacific Ocean. The eruption caused columns of steam and volcanic matter to burst out of the ocean about six miles from Tonga's main island of Tongatapu (NG). Several weeks later on April 13, La Cumbre, a volcano on an uninhabited island in the Galapagos, erupted threatening the wildlife in the area (CBS). Volcanic activity not only imperils human life, but it damages the environment in our oceans and on land.


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