Investigate how basic research in Animal Behavior provides information about important evolutionary-related issues.
To do this, you will investigate and research behavioral questions about the animal you chose, summarize in writing (in a research paper) the question you asked and your evaluation of the answers you found, inform your classmates about the questions and what you are learned, and participate in presentations and discussions on other student-designed topics.
Written Project (150 points) Presentation (20 points)
• You will have about 7 minutes to present your power point presentation, and about 3 minutes to answer questions and provide clarification.
• For your presentation, you will be evaluated based upon: your choice of an appropriate topic, demonstration of your understanding or your selected topic and how well you communicate that information to your classmates, how well you help your classmates understand the material, how thoughtfully you respond to questions and incorporate others’ ideas, and how clearly and confidently you speak.
Discussion Participation (15 points)
• Audience – Your participation will be evaluated and scored over the course of all your classmates’ presentations. Your goal is active listening, questioning, and participating in discussions.
1. Identify your topic and questions (this is the idea/topic you have been working on all semester).
2. Organize your final paper:
• You must include at least three basic, peer-reviewed research-based articles as part of your sources. Acceptable sources are ONLY: peer-reviewed journal articles, correlational studies, meta-analyses, review articles, book chapters, and books. Please note that you will most likely need more sources to provide enough information on your topic.
• This is where your Annotated Bibliography and Literature Review assignments should be helpful. Be sure to review any comments and suggestions that I made when grading those.
• Remember, articles MUST BE from peer-reviewed journal articles or books. NOTE: You can often find articles that pertain to your topic by looking at the
• articles referenced in other articles…
• Consult a librarian if you have difficulties locating and evaluating sources.
3. Format of your paper:
• Note that your research paper should be in traditional APA-style, and it should
consist of the following sections:
Title Page, Introduction, Background (from Literature Review), Discussion, Conclusion, and Reference page (Do not include URLs for the articles you reference).
When writing your paper, you should clarify your questions and summarize why they are important for understanding the particular animal’s behaviors – what part of their development and/or evolutionary history does each of the behaviors help us understand and what does the literature say about it? Is your question motivated by real world concerns? For whom does finding an answer matter most? Are there solid answers or is there still research to be done? If so, what needs to be investigated?
VERY IMPORTANT: Be sure your Discussion section includes why these behaviors are adaptive and how they have enabled the successful evolution of the animal you chose. Remember that from textbook readings and lectures you have learned about a lot of different hypotheses that explain animal behaviors, and you should discuss which of these are appropriate to these behaviors.
Also, see the Research Paper Grading Sheet provided for more specifics on what your paper should include and how your paper will be graded (how points will be allotted). This should help you when organizing and then writing your paper.
NOTE: Be sure to cut and paste all the abstracts with citations for any articles that you cite in this paper and place them at the end of the paper.
See the guidelines on the first page under “Grading.”
5. Due Date:
Your final paper is due no later than the end of the day
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