life-cycle instructions

Life Cycle Analysis – Instructions and Evaluation Criteria
Geog 101
Geog 101
Life Cycle Analysis (LCA)
If selected, this assignment counts for 25% of your total course grade (outline-5%; final report-20%).
The purpose of this assignment is to: i) strengthen your academic writing capabilities; and ii) raise awareness of
the environmental impacts associated with all the stages of a product's life, from “cradle to grave”. Specifically,
this assignment will:
 familiarize you with the many stages of a product’s life (raw material extraction, materials processing,
manufacture, distribution, use, repair and maintenance, disposal or recycling)
 inform you of the potential environmental impacts associated with the different stages of a product’s life
 strengthen your ability to structure and write a clear, concise academic paper
 familiarize you with the APA style of referencing
Choose a common (or not-so-common) everyday product from an advertisement and if possible, one that claims
to be a “green” product (keep it simple). Plastic bags and plastic water bottles are not allowed as it can be too
tempting to plagiarize the many online LCAs for those products.
Familiarize yourself with what's covered in a LCA (Google ‘Life Cycle Analysis’). A good site to start is the
Global Development Research Center's page on LCA:
Conduct research on the environmental impacts at each stage of the life cycle of your chosen product from
“cradle to grave.” Possible sources include:
 academic journals (see search resources in library) and books (see on-line library catalogue)
 non-government organization (NGO) web sites on the more generic aspects of a given class of
products' ecological and social impacts
 specific manufacturers
 employees or people familiar with a particular product or industry
Assignment Details
Part 1) Product Choice and Outline (5%): February 6th (submit to me in Thursday’s class or e-mail by
the end of the day). If e-mailed, label your file using the following format with YOUR name:
Write about a page describing the product that you have chosen and the list of ingredients that make up your
product and that you will researching for your LCA, including packaging. Also, explain why you have chosen
your particular product and give three initial references.
Part 2) Final LCA (20%): Due March 20th (submit to me in class on Thursday or by e-mail by the end of
the day). If e-mailed, label your file using the following format with YOUR name:
Writing a strong paper requires a solid outline that creates the structure of the paper. In your final LCA, you
should have a clear beginning (Introduction), middle (subheadings) and end (Conclusion). For this assignment,
please use APA parenthetical style (see For additional materials on paper-writing, see
Academic Writing Guide (1):
Academic Writing Guide (2):
Research Paper Outlines:
Title Page: Your title should give a clear indication of your topic as well as include your name, course and date
Life Cycle Analysis – Instructions and Evaluation Criteria
Geog 101
submitted. Use a title that is informative and lets the reader know what the report is about.
Introduction: The introduction should start out by describing in general terms how your paper fits into the
bigger picture of your topic. The end of your introduction should conclude with the thesis statement that clearly
outlines what the rest of the paper will be about. For your outline, write a brief introduction with a clear, concise
thesis statement (see
Discussion with subheadings: The subheadings of the middle of your paper will follow from your thesis
statement and will be the bulk of your outline and paper. You can include any headings you would like but the
body of your outline and paper should address at least the following stages:
 Raw material extraction
 Manufacture
 Distribution and Product Use
 Disposal or recycling
Conclusion: The last paragraph or two should sum up your findings and then apply those findings to the broader
picture in general.
References: please use APA standards for both the reference list and in-text citations. Additional resources:
APA Style Guide (1):
APA Style Guide (2):
Technical Requirements:
1500-1800 words
11 pt Times
1.5 spaced
Include at least one image or figure, properly captioned and referenced.
A minimum of 3 references
The final report will be evaluated based on its thoroughness of research, quantity and quality of references,
quality of writing, originality, and how well-organized and structured it is. Illustrations and maps, if relevant, are
encouraged and at least one visual is required (e.g. image of product). Parenthetically reference all sources in the
body of the paper (in-text citations) in addition to the list of references at the end of the paper.
Environmental Impacts