Are you planning on writing a research paper on air pollution for a graduate or undergraduate course? There are a lot of variables that you need to take into consideration.
Air pollution is a very sensitive subject. Recent estimates suggest that it is responsible for 11.65% of all global deaths, but many people still dispute its significance. It may not be as controversial as climate change, but there are still a lot of polarized views on the subject. You need to be familiar with the different positions and the general expectation when structuring your paper. You also need to be aware of the existing body of research and know how to include it in your own paper.
Here are a few things that you have to take into consideration before starting a paper about air pollution or another sensitive environmental topic.
Consider the end goal of your research paper when writing about air pollution
The structure of your paper and the depth of the research that you need to conduct is going to depend on your goals. If you are planning on writing a research paper that is going to be published in a major journal, then you need to make sure that you follow their submission guidelines and meet the content requirements. Elsevier has a set of guidelines for authors submitting papers on atmospheric pollution.
On the other hand, if you are only writing a school paper about air pollution for an undergraduate course, then you just need to listen to your professor and follow the recommendations. At the end of the day, the most important thing is to make sure that you do your research and write a good paper. However, it is still important to understand the goal of your paper and the intended audience before starting.
Narrow the scope of your paper
You probably won’t be able to write a paper on air pollution in general. That is a very large topic.
You will want to talk about air pollution in a specific area or narrow your topic to a particular cause or outcome of air pollution. For example, you can talk about the growing problems with air pollution in Delhi.
Be aware of the general research on the topic before starting your paper
You don’t want to write a research paper without being familiar with the general research on the topic first. Therefore, it is important to make sure that you are aware of the existing research on air pollution and don’t make any controversial claims that you can’t support. Of course, air pollution has a major effect on people and the environment, but you need to be detailed with your research.
According to one of the experts we talked to from Essaysforme, it is important to write a paper that covers recent research. Here are some important facts that you don’t want to contradict in your paper, unless new research comes forward:
- Environmental pollution levels have worsened by an average of 8 percent in urban areas around the world in recent years, which has had clear consequences in terms of disease and mortality in the affected populations, according to 2016 data from the World Health Organization (WHO).
- In May 2016, the WHO presented the most comprehensive database ever produced on air pollution. They revealed the air pollution levels in 3,000 urban centers in 103 countries, some of which are cities with more than 9 million inhabitants and others with populations of at least 20,000 residents.
- Overall, more than 80 percent of people living in the urban areas analyzed are exposed to pollution levels that exceed the WHO-recommended limits that are considered the international standard.
- It has been scientifically proven that the impact of this situation on human health is direct, since the risk of stroke, heart disease, lung cancer and acute respiratory diseases, such as pneumonia, or chronic diseases, such as asthma, increases the worse the air quality is.
- The recognition of the extent of this problem has pushed cities to install or multiply their air quality measurement stations, the experts explained.
- Extrapolating from the data, it can be argued that more than half of the urban population lives in cities with a pollution level 2.5 times higher than the recommended level and that only 16 percent breathe air that meets the standards.
You will probably need to take all of these variables into account when writing a research paper. Research on air pollution continues to evolve, but most of these statistics have been fairly consistent over the last few years. Therefore, you don’t want to say anything that deviates from these claims unless you have more recent research to back it up.
You should also consider adding quotes from other experts to support your position, such as the following:
- “the good news is that there is growing interest in relation to this problem and the risk it represents for public health,” the director of the WHO Department of Public Health and its Social and Environmental Determinants, María Neira, told the press.
- “Cities are putting in place data collection systems, which allows people to be informed and at the same time increases the social demand for corrective measures to be taken,” commented Neira.
Finally, it is a good idea to incorporate the findings stated by the WHO and other leading environmental authorities into your paper. You can find some of the most important details from the WHO on air pollution below:
- The WHO attributes more than 7 million deaths a year to air pollution, caused by the high concentration of particles, which the smaller and finer they are, the easier it is for them to enter the lungs and bloodstream, causing damage to the vascular system.
- At a press conference to present these data, WHO specialists declined to mention the countries where the situation is most serious or those that can serve as an example for others, arguing that many of those that have improved notably started from a very bad situation.
- They also explained that some of the world’s most polluted cities do not even appear in the WHO database because they lack systems to measure air quality.
- However, the names of some cities in Colombia – such as Bogotá, Medellín and Calí – or Brazil – Curitiba – came to the fore because of the progress they have made since 2008.
- Emissions from motor vehicles, waste incineration and air conditioning systems that run on fossil fuels are the biggest contributors to air pollution on a global scale.
- In the specific case of Europe, agriculture, through the use of fertilizers and other chemicals in areas close to urban areas represents a major source of air pollution.
All of these factors may help improve the quality of your research paper on air pollution.
Create an excellent paper on air pollution for your undergraduate or graduate course
Air pollution is a very sensitive environmental topic. If you are taking an environmental course, then you may need to write a research paper about it. You will want to do your due diligence and write a high-quality paper that will impress your professor or any journal that you intend to submit it to.