Undergraduates and Graduate Students

The objectives of your preparing this report are to acquire familiarity with techniques and research in modern mineralogy by reading current literature, to apply what you have learned in class to interpreting, summarizing and even critiquing the articles, and to learn to cope with concepts and technical details that you have not yet studied or that go well beyond your studies. The following guidelines apply to these reports. (Grading of the report will refer explicitly to these points.)

This semester's report is to be based on a (new) mineral description article in the American Mineralogist, or Canadian Mineralogist, or similar journals, such as the European Journal of Mineralogy, or Mineralogical Magazine. These are available from the NDSU library in hard copy or electronic form, through Interlibrary Loan, or from individual journal websites. Check with me if you have any doubt about the suitability of the article you choose.

Provide a 3-5 page summary of the article that can include photocopies of key figures and tables integrated into your text, if this is essential to your report. It is to be written in your own words. If quotes are necessary, they should be properly identified and referenced. Make it clear by your writing style that you are reporting what the authors found, i.e., do not write in the active voice/present tense as if you had done the work. Instead say "x and y (201x) found that," or "the authors measured the ..."

Your introduction should include a complete reference to the article.

You are encouraged to use other sources (texts and journal articles) to define, clarify and elaborate on material brought up in your article. Do not use a technical term that you don't understand without an accompanying definition or explanation! Reference these alternate sources properly.

Give the formula of any mineral name that you cite if we have not studied that mineral. Put lengthy lists of unfamiliar minerals into a table. Fleischer's Glossary of Mineral Species may be consulted, as may online resources such as,, and the International Mineralogical Association website at

Your report must contain comments on how the article related to what you have studied in class and what the article has done to help you see the application of material studied in class. Note any parts of the article that you did not understand and about which you could not find any explanatory background.

Your "References Cited" section should use the style of references in the journal from which you choose your article.

Use correct grammar, sentence structure and spelling. With the long lead time, you should be able to produce a "well polished" technical report.

Be sure to attach a copy of the article to your report, or submit a .pdf of it to me.

Graduate Students in Geology 620 - Mineralogy

Length of Project: 6-8 pages of text, plus illustrations and appendices.

Course Points: together with Mineralogy Literature report assignment: 10% of course grade.

Completed Papers Due: Dec. 13, 11:59 p.m.

Our objective during the last section of the class is to "consolidate our gains" in mineralogy knowledge and broaden our experience on the applications of this knowledge to your graduate research project.

Topic Selection: Select a topic that addresses an aspect of your graduate research project. The topic should contain some component of mineralogy or material science so that you can apply what you have learned in this class.

Citation and Reference System: All statements used in this report that are not derived from your own research are to be properly referenced. A "references cited" section that lists those materials that you actually used and cited is to be given at the end. Citation format is to follow exactly the format used by the journal American Mineralogist.

You are encouraged to use a diverse series of source materials, including your own research, government reports, journals and books. Creativity is encouraged.

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B. Saini-Eidukat
Geology 420/620