Undergraduates and Graduate Students

The objectives of this assignment are to 1) acquire familiarity with techniques and research in modern mineralogy by reading current literature, 2) apply what you have learned in class to interpreting and summarizing the research, 3) learn to cope with concepts and technical details that you have not yet studied or that go well beyond your studies, and 4) present your summary as a Wikipedia article. The following guidelines apply.

Your article is to be based on an officially recognized mineral for which 1) a Wikipedia page does not yet exist, and 2) its discovery, description, and characterization is available in a recent scientific journal article.

Choose from a mineral name in red color on any of the pages linked from

Locate the original (new) mineral description article in the American Mineralogist, or Canadian Mineralogist, or similar journals, such as the European Journal of Mineralogy. These are available from the NDSU library in hard copy or electronic form, through Interlibrary Loan, from individual journal websites, or even from authors themselves by email.

Check with me about the suitability of the mineral and article(s) you choose. All topics must be approved by the instructor.

See below for hints on how to search for appropriate articles

Create a well organized and complete Wikipedia article on the mineral you choose. It is to be written in your own words.

You are encouraged to link to other Wikipedia pages to define or clarify material brought up in the primary sources you use. Link to a definition or explanation of any technical term you don't understand, or, provide a definition yourself and reference these sources properly. Link to other minerals that you cite in the article.

Information on the mechanics of editing Wikipedia, and details on the timeline for submitting portions of the assignment, will be provided to you separately.

How to find literature on your mineral

Search IMA (International Mineralogical Association) database

Go to
Find your mineral on the left side
The citation for the first article describing the mineral is in the right side.
If appropriate, acquire the article (see below)

Acquire the article
Go to
Click on the tab "ejournals"
Click on "Browse all eJournals in HerdSearch"
Check to see if NDSU has a subscription to the journal in hardcopy or electronically. If yes, acquire the article.

NOTE 1: NDSU has American Mineralogist in storage. To obtain these:

Go to
Click on the tab "Services"
Click on "Request from storage annex"
Log in if necessary
Submit the "Pull Service Request Form"

If NDSU does not have the journal:

a) Use Interlibrary Loan (ILL) to acquire the article Go to Click on tab "Services" Click on "Borrow from other libraries (ILL)" Log in to ILLiad, the interlibrary loan system (you may have to create an account). Fill in the form and request the article

b) Search the web for your article, maybe it's available for download

NOTE 2: American Mineralogist articles pre-2000 are available for free download from the journal website. To obtain these, go to

c) Email the corresponding author, politely requesting a copy

Other useful sources:

Graduate Students in Geology 620 - Mineralogy

In addition to the Wikipedia article, graduate students are required to submit a written paper.

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

Course Points: together with Wikipedia assignment: 10% of course grade.

Completed Papers Due: Dec. 14, 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. Topics must be approved by the instructor.

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