Writing Assignment: Disproved Scientific Theories

Writing Assignment: Disproved Scientific Theories
The Story: In class we learned about how Ptolemy (and many cultures all around the world)
thought that the Earth was the center of the Universe, but this was eventually proven to be
incorrect. The Geocentric Theory was thus replaced by the Heliocentric Theory, because people
took observa$ons, analyzed data, concluded that old theory must be wrong, and came up with
a new theory. We have since proven the new theory to be correct.
The Assignment: There are many other scien$fic theories which have also been proven wrong
over the years. Write a paper exploring a different scien$fic theory (not the Geocentric Theory)
that was once believed to be true but now we know is wrong. The theory does not have to be
about astronomy, it can be about any scien$fic topic. If you are having trouble finding a theory,
try Googling “disproved scien$fic theories,” there are several lists online.
Include as much of the following as possible:
• What is the theory?
• Who came up with the theory and when?
• How long did people believe it?
• Why did people believe it? What is the evidence that the theory was true?
• Who proved the theory wrong and when?
• What is the new theory that replaced the old one?
• What scien$fic phenomena was the old theory unable to explain that the new theory
• Are we sure the new theory is correct now? How do we know?
The Details:
• Deadline: submit on Blackboard before class Thursday Sept 22.
• Length: 850 words (about 3 pages double spaced)
• Cita$ons: give the URLs of any websites, or provide any other sources you use, at the
end of the paper
• Grading: First draX will be 25% of the final grade. Final draX is 75%.

The Purpose of this Assignment: In this assignment you will demonstrate your understanding
of the scien$fic method by describing how observing the world, taking data, and making logical
conclusions helps us discover pa\erns, come up with theories, and learn about the universe.
Disproved Theories WriBng Rubric
Evalua$on Areas Points Descrip$on
Clarity, Coherence, and Flow 4 Does the wri$ng make sense? Are the sentences
easy to understand? Does the writer
communicate well? Does the paper stay on topic,
and not wander?
Paragraphs and Organiza$on 4 Is there a introduc$on, body, and conclusion?
Does the paper flow chronologically? Are there
good transi$ons between paragraphs? Does each
paragraph represent a main idea?
Requirements 4 Do you fulfill all of the assignment requirements?
Details and Descrip$on 4 Do you provide details and explain them clearly?
Plagiarism 3 Plagiarism less than 15% (as reported by TurnItIn)
Length 3 Meet or exceed word count: 3
80%-99% of word count: 2
50%-79% of word count: 1
less than 50%: 0
Spelling/Grammar 1 Are there few spelling/grammar mistakes?
Cita$ons 1 Are there URLs at the end of the paper? Are the
cita$ons relevant?
Total Points: 24