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An investigation of an principle problem, pattern, or process that involves
animal behavior. What was the most interesting aspect of behavior that you
learned during the term.
- We want you to write a proposal -- not an essay.
- Justify why you want to know something.
- Read the literature.
- Given what you have read, what is it that you would like to investigate
- Then propose a specific experiment and formulate hypotheses and experimental
tests of the hypotheses that will answer your question.
Your paper should follow this format:
- Title page with author (no page number).
- Why is phenomenon "x" interesting (or significant) as an
evolutionary principle, problem, pattern, or process?
- Start with: What is phenomenon "x"?
- What has be done to investigate"x" in the past?
- Is this information adequate (critical or praise)?
- If not, what would you do to test phenomenon "x"? As a matter
of course, your term paper should include some sort of proposed test of
the issues that you are considering. Papers that do not include a proposed
test of the issues will receive a very poor grade!
- Be conceptual!!
- Be concise
- Formatting for draft and final version: 5 pages (final version-not including literature cited), 12 pt. font Times New Roman, 1.5 line spacing, 1" margins.
- In the text cite (Author, date) (author1 & author2, 3 or more authors
reads author1 et al.). The citation should read: Blowfly, I.B. & U.B.
Wingnut. 1859. On the origin of feces. Evolution 123: 1520-1528.
What we do not want:
- This should not be everything you learned about "x".
- This paper should not be an elaborate exposition, and description of
experimental design, methods, and statistical test. Any paper that puts
the grader to sleep will fail.
- but we want you to propose an experiment to test the ideas.
Start thinking about your term paper early. As you read papers during
the term, think about how these authors have justified the problems they
address, and the mode of analysis.
We will be asking you to turn in a brief 1 page draft of your term
paper before the end of the semester. We will make comments on style and
the structure of the arguments that you can then use to improve your final
BIOLOGY 140 TERM PAPER GRADING
Outline and Rough Draft (10 points total)
- Rough draft (5)
- Comments taken into consideration (5)
Introduction (25 points total)
- Clearly stated/described behavioral category of interest with appropriate
- Factors observed to be potentially important to specific processes
being investigated (5)
- Specific question(s) being addressed (5)
- Species of study: interest, selection rationale, Genus species (5)
Experiment Proposal (25 points total)
- Detailed description of experimental methods (10)
- Appropriate selection and justification of methods, feasibility (10)
- Ability of proposed experiment to address stated hypotheses (5)
Discussion (25 points total)
- Consideration of potential results both supporting and rejecting your
- Relationship of results to the behavioral category examined (5)
- Discussion of significance of study (5)
- Directions for future research (5)
References (5 points total)
- Inclusion of at least 5 primary literature sources (2)
- Bibliography, included and properly formatted (3)
Comprehensive / discretionary points (10 points total)
- Organization (2)
- Clarity of writing and expression of ideas (6)
- Aesthetics (2)
Points off: over page limit, incorrect formatting and lateness
Total: (100 points total)
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