Proposal Writing

Select a topic on something that interests you so you are sufficiently motivated to write a high-quality research paper.

You can pick any topic you like but it must be solution oriented. For example: “How can tropical deforestation for

palm oil in Indonesia be reduced?” This does not imply that there are quick fix solutions or that you should not write a

critical research paper but aims to get you to think creatively and pragmatically, based on evidence (not just hypothetical

solutions). As you can see from the readings, there are many global environmental issues, so you can choose a variety of

subjects. Don’t pick something simply because it is easy or because there seems to be tons of information on it. On the

other hand, do make sure there is sufficient information on your topic.

Your proposal should

include a paragraph description (or outline) of what you plan to do, a clear central research question, what you will do for

your primary research, and a bibliography of 3 to 5 academic sources you’ve perused (i.e. peer-reviewed scholarly

journals or academic books, not a 5th grader’s essay on overfishing. Ask me or a librarian (you can chat online with them

or call) if you’re still unclear). Collaborative work with your fellow students on a single topic is permitted and

encouraged, but if you choose this route your final papers must be distinct. The paper needs to be a research paper based

on analysis and synthesis of existing literature (e.g. books, articles), and including some primary research. Community

engagement projects (also known as “service learning”) will be given up to 20% extra credit on this paper, which

equates to 5% of your total course grade (e.g. volunteer at a community garden and relate it to the class by writing

about food security and sustainability.

these are topics that I learnt in this class

Topic 1: Introduction. Paradigms and Approaches to Global Environmental Issues; Thinking about

Environment and Development

Topic 2: Regional and Global Climate Change

Topic 3: Resource Consumption, Distribution and Population

Topic 4: Food & Agriculture: Modernization for whom? and with what consequences?;

Genetically Modified Organisms

Topic 5: Ocean Resources; Capitalism, Technological Change and Fisheries

Topic 6: Deforestation, Habitat Loss and Conservation of Biodiversity

Topic 7: Mineral Exploitation and Greening Mining

Topic 8: International Dimensions of Fossil Fuel Exploitation and Alternative Energy

Topic 9: Global Water Conservation and Water Conflicts; Dams

Topic 10: Transitioning to a Global Sustainable Society: Greening the Economy, Green Building

Internationally, and Ecotourism … Loving Nature to Death?

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