Tuesday, July 25, 2006



I have had a couple of emails, which suggest that there is still some things unclear and an expression that "I cannot find any information on my topic", well clearly the producers of the video material had no problems finding material so you need to think of this as an essay. So if your essay topic is to review the Diversity of Dinosaurs that occurred in North and South America - you watch the videos supplied - and this should get you started with an Internet search for material. Alternatively I have given you an environment like Grasslands to explore the biodiversity that exists in it so what are the conditions existing on the Grasslands? What plants and animals have evolved? What are some of the drivers for the evolution of these plant and animal forms? (Climate, Fire, Nutrients, etc)? You can use some of the plants and animals they have reviewed in the Video to start your research - since they have provided the names (just start by typing in the name of the animal or plant in Wikipedia). Now get more information on their classification or re-construct the habitats that they lived in if they are now extinct, What food do they/or did they ate? or what eats/ate them? It is up to you to obtain references and they should not just be Internet ones - use the various Journal Search engines that are available to you at CSIR such as EbscoHost and I think Science Direct and their use are described in Chapter 6 "Library Methods" of the Scientific Methodology

This is about YOUR initiative - you need to work independently - the topics I have given are very large with thousands of Journal Articles and so there is considerable information to be found on each topic, be it animal migration of life in caves.

so to re-state my original instructions.

Make sure that you prepare an essay THAT INCLUDES MORE THAN THE contents of the video material you have reviewed, so PLEASE obtain extra material and ensure your essay is comprehensively referenced (AT LEAST 5 EXTRA REFERENCES). Images extracted from the Video and others from the Internet must also be comprehensively referenced.You report should be a MINIMUM of 6000 words, split into about 5-10 Sections with each section have 3 to 8 pages. Your Report should have at least 30 IMAGES (please see Karen's its 6700 words and 34 images).

As it appears most of you have not started I would like to add that at least THREE OF THE FIVE extra reference should be peer-reviewed Journal Articles. This is not an unreasonable request - most Departments do not except ANY references that are only Internet-based and further I provoided guidelines on suitable material for searches and referencing in my posting - in this posting I clearly stated that you needed to get more than Internet references and should be working to use Journal Articles and Book Chapters in fact I stated...

To help you assess what references to use and those not to use. First prize: A
hard copy, peer-reviewed publication Second prize: An electronic peer-reviewed
publication(eJournal) Third prizes: Published Books, Conference Proceedings with
higher value being attached to those that are peer-reviewed and a peer-reviewed
web resources such as Wikipedia

It is important that you go back and review courses that you have already done - these were designed to help you with assignments that you may be expected to do in the more subject-specific areas.

Finally some have reported that their videos do not work - again please ensure you have the K-Lite Codec installed before attempting to load these videos and make sure that you have configured your K-Lite as per instructions that I have already given to you plus the instructions on how to save images . See , if they do not load on one PC try another PC (may be the DVD drive itself) and then copy over - I have duplicate DVDs here and all videos work with no problems (the video files are the ones with extensions such as *.avi, *.mov, *. mpeg, *.wmf, *.rn but those with an extension such as *.zip or *.rar or *.par are NOT video files so ignore these, further the Video files are very large files of around 375 Mbytes. If all else fails and your video really doesn't load contact me directly at my UWC email account (NOT my GMAIL) and I will provide links to download the material if it is still availble from the hosting sites (e.g. Rapidshare), this is where I got them and I had to learn to download, unzip and combine them.