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Senior: 11 & 12: Unit 1: The Earth's Spheres

What is a Claim?

According to the QCAA Syllabus glossary, a claim is an assertion made without any accompanying evidence to support it

CLAIM 2: Earth is currently experiencing a Sixth Mass Extinction of greater severity than previous events.

There are at least 20 articles on the Sixth Mass Extinction here.

 

           Ebook

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Over the last half a billion years, there have been five mass extinctions of life on earth. Scientists around the world are currently monitoring the sixth, predicted to be the most devastating extinction event since the asteroid impact that wiped out the dinosaurs. Elizabeth Kolbert combines brilliant field reporting, the history of ideas and the work of geologists, botanists and marine biologists to tell the gripping stories of a dozen species - including the Panamanian golden frog and the Sumatran rhino - some already gone, others at the point of vanishing. The sixth extinction is likely to be mankind's most lasting legacy 

How to Write In-Text References for Science

Zotero - Online Referencing Tool

Zotero can be set to the same Harvard AGPS (Australia) style that CiteAce uses, called 'Melbourne Polytechnic - Harvard'. Please read the instructions carefully.

Any issues - see your Library Staff

QCAA Sample Research Question Developed From a Claim

Scroll down to p 4.

Advanced Web Searching Tips

1. Use 'Ctrl F' (Control + Find) to search for particular terms easily in a long document, whether from a website or a database article.

2. Use a Google command to limit results to a CERTAIN DOMAIN

  • 'edu'  - for educational sites from universities and schools:
    eg  biodiesel site:edu
     
  • 'gov' - for government sites:

             eg ethanol site:gov

3.  To check the authority of a website when it is not clear who the author / authority is, go to the end of the URL in the Google search box, cut back to the first forward slash (/) and hit 'Enter'. This will take you to the Home Page of the website, and you can see the full name of the source.

4. Use a Google command to limit results to the MOST RECENT: After you get your results, choose the Google Menu Bar, and choose 'Tools'. Then on the far left, at the drop-down menu next to 'Any Time', you can choose 'Within the last year' (or less, if you prefer), but generally, you can choose 'Custom Range' at the bottom, as often the last 3 years would be sufficient for a recent search.

QUT C.R.A.A.P. Test for Evaluating Websites

Check the quality of your websites using these criteria (adapted from QUT Library):

Currency: Timeliness of the information

  • When was the information published, posted or last updated?
  • Is the information current for your topic and field of study? How recent does it have to be? Can older sources work just as well?
Relevance: Importance of the information for your needs
  • Is the information appropriate for a senior secondary course?
  • Is this an adequately in-depth examination or a quick summary of the topic?
  • Who's the intended audience? Is it the general public, a student, a researcher or industry?
  • Is the level of information too basic or too advanced for your needs?

Authority: Source of the information

  • Is the author/authoring body (individual person, or institution, or organisation) established and reputable?
  • Are their qualifications, credentials, expertise, experience, educational background and previous work (if any) relevant and do they add credibility to the source?
  • Has the piece been published by a well-known and respected publisher or organisation?
  • Do references to other sources support the writing ie is a Bibliography or Reference List provided?

Accuracy: Reliability and correctness of the information

  • Where does the information come from, and is it supported by evidence?
  • Does it have a Reference List or Bibliography so you can easily find and verify the sources used?
  • Are there any spelling, grammar, or other typographical errors?

Purpose: Reason the information exists

  • What is the purpose of the information? Why was it written?
  • Does the point of view appear objective, unbiased and impartial?
  • Is the viewpoint of the author's affiliation/ sponsors reflected in the message or content?
  • Does the author acknowledge alternative versions of the issues or facts?

How to Develop a Research Question From a Claim

ONESearch

The ENTIRE collection of resources provided by the BBC Library can be searched on ONE single, powerful search platform, which retrieves print books, eBooks, database articles and websites. Click HERE for assistance.

Useful Databases

Useful Subscription Journals

Best Earth Science Websites

An American website that aggregates press releases and publishes lightly edited press releases about science

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United States Geological Survey - One of the most prestigious geology websites

Advantages / Disadvantages of Google Scholar 

CLAIM: As the principle of uniformitarianism suggests, change is constant and uniform