- Research the major ecological processes and the evolutionary patterns exhibited by organisms that inhabit your ecosystem.
- Understand anthropogenic threats to its functioning.
- Understand the value of the ecosystem services it provides.
Students will explain what they have learned in terms of a written essay.
The paper is expected to have a bibliography of at least 10 peer-reviewed scientific sources. A strong thesis statement, regarding a process in ecology or evolution, should be argued on the basis of evidence from the scientific literature. Papers could be 3-5 pages long (12 pt. 1.5 spaced), counting a single page of references, but better papers are not necessarily longer ones. Papers that engage with the material will receive higher grades than those that try to simply reach a page limit. Great papers go beyond the prompt and answer questions of their own. Grades will be primarily based on how well students construct their arguments and utilize scientific sources. This is a research exercise, and the quality of research is a major factor in the grading of these assignments
(1) Cite your sources in APA format. You are expected to have several peer reviewed scientific sources (the amount needed to get the job done, but at least ten). Use these sources to support your arguments, rather than including superfluous ones (that is, having sources that are inappropriate will earn you a lower grade). Cite sources that make sense for your argument. Cite scientific papers and book chapters. NOT websites. Especially do not utilize Chegg or Course Hero. When citing a paper you looked up online, cite the PAPER, not the url. (2) Use in-text citations; and again, enough to get the job done. The papers you read should provide adequate example of how to do this. (3) Write clearly, and make sure all your facts are relevant and accurate. (4) Do not copy any significant section of text from another source, including any internet source. If you paraphrase anything at all, cite your source. (5) Do NOT paraphrase an entire research paper(s) you have read, and do NOT rely on the use of block quotes to glue several together. Your objective is not to write a book report; rather, it is to synthesize scientific information. (6) Most of these papers imply developing a thesis statement. The best papers will have a story to tell or an argument to give beyond the simple restating of facts.
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