buy levitra

Polls

What is most useful to you? You may select more than one answer.

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Arts & Letters Daily

QuickBooks

Writing Tutorial – Elaboration

Has a teacher ever written on your essay or report: Please elaborate! Did you know what the teacher was asking you to do? Many students have complained to me that they were not sure what the teacher wanted! In this tutorial, I will explain what you might do. First, let’s read Tom’s report on Monitoring Global Temperature.

Monitoring Global Temperature

Scientists are not agreed on the methods that should be used to monitor global temperature. Why? They do not agree with each other because they monitor temperature changes in different ways. Some use the traditional method which monitors atmospheric temperature at ground level and others use the satellite method which monitors the temperature in the upper atmosphere. 

How does the data collected by these two methods compare? The ground level method, which relies on thermometers located near cities, indicates a gradual temperature increase of approximately one degree over the last 100 years. The satellite method, which records the temperature in the upper atmosphere, shows no consistent increase over 10 years between 1979 and 1988.

It must be remembered that the ground level method has produced a 100 year record, while the satellite method only a 10 year record. Scientists are showing increasing interest in the satellite method because it monitors the temperature across all types of the earth’s surface.

Given the potential impact of global warming, it is urgent that scientists address these questions. Time is of the essence!

Please elaborate, Tom

        Ms. Jones

As you can see, the teacher asked Tom to elaborate. What is Tom asked to do? Ms. Jones did not explain clearly what she is expecting. Maybe she is challenging Tom to think about what he could do to elaborate on his report. For example, since he mentioned two methods for monitoring atmospheric temperature, he could describe each method and compare the two which is what he started to do. He could include a graphic in his description. He could present the temperature data collected over time in charts and analyze them. He could have generated some tentative generalizations based on the available data. These are some elaborating strategies he could use to elaborate on the ideas in his report. I have inserted comments in red to show where elaborating strategies could be added to Tom’s report.

Monitoring Global Temperature

Scientists are not agreed on the methods that should be used to monitor global temperature. Why? They do not agree with each other because they monitor temperature changes in different ways. Some use the traditional method which monitors atmospheric temperature at ground level and others use the satellite method which monitors the temperature in the upper atmosphere. These two methods will be reviewed and compared in this report.

(Tom could add a graphic to illustrate the two monitoring methods)

 (Tom could describe the ground level method)

The ground level method uses thermometers located near cities to monitor the atmospheric temperature. No thermometers are placed over forests, deserts, water or mountains. The data collected by the ground level method over the past 100 years is summarized in Chart 1. This record, collected by NASA, shows that the earth has experienced a fairly steady increase in temperature.

(Tom could plot the data of the ground level method on a chart)

Chart 1

(Tom could describe the satellite method)

The satellite method, used to record atmospheric temperature since 1979, monitors global temperature at least 1500m above sea level (Graphic 1). Satellites monitor the temperature in a layer of the atmosphere that is 4500m deep and 1000m wide. This layer blankets all surfaces of the earth including land, deserts, forests, mountains, and water. The data collected by the satellite method is summarized in Chart 2.

(Tom could plot the data of the satellite method on a chart)

Chart 2

 (Tom could analyze the data to identify the scope and limitations of each method)

Based on recent studies, scientists believe that the first sign of an increase in global temperature occurs in the upper atmosphere because heat-trapping gases accumulate at that level in the atmosphere. Therefore, the satellite method is regarded by some scientists as more reliable for monitoring temperature changes.

The satellite method is not without its problems. Recent research shows that scientists who used the satellite method have produced incorrect readings. They failed to realize that the satellites’ orbits were slipping gradually as atmospheric friction pulled them closer to earth and out of the upper atmosphere where the heat-trapping gases are located.

(Tom began to compare the two methods)

How does the data collected by these two methods compare? The ground level method, which relies on thermometers located near cities, indicates a gradual temperature increase of approximately one degree over the last 100 years. The satellite method, which records the temperature in the upper atmosphere, shows no consistent increase over 10 years between 1979 and 1988.

 (Tom could analyze the length of the record for each method)

It must be remembered that the ground level method has produced a 100 year record, while the satellite method only a 10 year record. The trend or fluctuation in temperature that satellites might record over a 100-year period is unknown. In order to make a reliable comparison, the satellite method will have to be used for a much longer period of time. The satellite method looks promising; especially useful is its record of the temperature in the upper atmosphere.

(Tom could generate some tentative conclusions and raise questions for further research)

Scientists are showing increasing interest in the satellite method because it monitors the temperature across all types of the earth’s surface. In contrast, the ground level method relies on thermometers located near cities.  More research is needed to address the following questions. What is the impact of cities on global warming as recorded by the ground level method? How long must temperatures be recorded by satellites to generate significant trends? How should scientists address the impact of atmospheric friction on the satellites’ orbits?

Given the potential impact of global warming, it is urgent that scientists address these questions. Time is of the essence!

The elaborating strategies used in this revision of Tom’s report are part of a list of strategies included in the following graphic.

Writers would rarely, if ever, use all the strategies in one report. The key is to select the strategies which help to elaborate the ideas presented in a report.

Try this …

1.      At www.sponsoravillage.ca, go to Writing and scroll to Elaboration. Read the ESSAY and complete the template.

2.      Write an essay using specific elaborating strategies. After you are pleased with your essay, edit it for grammar to create a reader’s draft.

If you have any questions about the writing process, send them to Ask Dr. Otto  at  www.sponsoravillage.ca.

Enjoy your writing experience.