Climatic controls on the stable isotope composition of precipitation In your paper, you should investigate a method in detail that complements our lab activities and discussions in class. You will need to highlight the nature of the problem and describe what you are trying to learn. In other words, what scientific question or problem are you going to address? Here are two examples that might be helpful: ?How can the oxygen isotopic composition of tropical corals be utilized to reconstruct El Nino?? or ?How can 14C variations in marine carbonates be used to study past ocean circulation?? The questions are meant to drive the ?background? and significance of the research (i.e., the Introduction section of a journal). Describe how your chosen system will help address your major research question. You will then need to describe the methods of preparation and the analytical methods used to measure the selected isotope system. You will need to describe and summarize the evidence (data) available in peer-reviewed studies related to your research problem. Your paper should follow the typical style of journal articles (e.g., Introduction, Methods, Results, Discussion, Conclusion). Because you are not presenting new data, this is not always easy, so use the above format as a rough guide. Summarizing previously accomplished work is a bit more like a ?review? article. If this format is better for you and your topic, that is fine. A major goal of this paper is for you to communicate your understanding of a ?new? geochemical method and its utility in earth and environmental sciences as effectively as possible.
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