Rainforest Ecosystem Species Paper

Rainforest Ecosystem Species Paper

ECOLOGY CITATIONS Paper Grading Criteria and Guidelines Content: 50%. This is the most important part of your paper. As the author of a review paper, you job is to synthesize the current literature on a topic of interest. Make sure that you build a strong argument and that you convey important information to the reader. Be certain to focus on the environmental issue and its relevance to ecology. Your paper should not be about how humans are impacted by your topic! Support your topic sentences with main points/conclusions drawn from articles found during your literature search. Avoid filling your paper with “fluff”, unimportant information that takes up space but is not relevant to your main points. You should not summarize one article for more than one paragraph and you should not go into too much detail describing the methods used in the papers unless absolutely necessary. You should have a minimum of 10 sources cited in your paper. Style and Organization: 20%. Part of writing an effective paper is learning how to write clearly and concisely. Avoid using flowery language, as it can be awkward and often times misused. Colloquial language is inappropriate for a scientific review article. Avoid repetition of the same word/phrases. You want to write your paper in a similar style and tone as the research papers you are referencing. Do not use quotes in your paper. You should paraphrase and give proper credit by citing the author(s); direct quotes are not commonly used in science writing. Also, copying sentences (word for word, in part or whole) from a scientific article and citing the source is still considered plagiarism and will result in point deductions at the very least. You need to write the ideas in your own words! Each paragraph should convey a singular message that should not be detailed anywhere else in the paper. Jumping back and forth between points confuses the reader and obscures the valuable information contained in your paper, so make sure that your writing in a logical progression. The use of section headings and subheadings can be extremely helpful in structuring a paper, and will make it easier for people to read. Use transitions between paragraphs so that you writing does not appear choppy. Within paragraphs, sentences should be properly constructed (e.g. subject-verb agreement). Watch out for run-on sentences and fragments. The sentences that are easiest to read are the simplest — don’t try to use overly complex wording. Each sentence within your paragraph should support the thesis and flow in a logical order. Grammar: 10%. Make sure you know when and where to use commas, apostrophes, semicolons, colons, quotation marks, etc. If you are not sure, look it up. Students in this class frequently have points deducted in this section because of subject-verb agreement errors, misspellings, and incorrect word usage. Be sure to perform a sentence-by-sentence edit before submitting your final draft (and before submitting the optional draft). Having someone else read your paper for grammar errors can be extremely useful. Literature Cited: 15%. As a college student and budding scientist, it is critical that you learn how to properly cite the sources from which you obtain information. A complete citation includes the reference to the source in the text of your paper (in text reference) and the full reference given in the “Literature Cited” section at the end of the paper. In general, having more sources is better because it shows you’ve done extensive research, but avoid including little bits of unimportant information from a variety of sources just to drive up your numbers. You must have at least 10 citations for your final paper with at least 8 citations from the primary literature. Additional sources from secondary and tertiary literature (e.g. books, government documents) may be used, but these do not count toward the eight minimum primary sources. Do not cite web-based resources using links. This will result in point deductions. If you find something relevant on the web or your textbook, you must follow its source to the original work and cite the original reference. Cite references correctly in the Literature Cited section and in text (See below). In this class, we will use the format for the journal Ecology. This may be different than other formats you have learned, so follow it carefully. Refer to the Literature Searching and Citations document on blackboard for proper citation format. Format: 5%. Page length: 8-10 pages, double-spaced. This length does not include figures and tables (optional) and the Literature Cited section. Page format: 1-inch margins and 12-point Times or Times New Roman font Organism names: scientific names (genus and species) go in italics and common names are lowercase; family names do not go in italics, but start with a capital letter. Section order: (1) Paper title with your name, your group topic, and section number; (2) the Introduction; (3) the Body of the paper (organized with section headings); (3) Conclusions and Directions for Future Research; (4) Literature Cited section; and (5) an Appendix of figures and tables (optional) GRADING RUBRIC FOR FINAL PAPER Here is the rubric by which final papers will be graded. Note that this provides a general guideline for grading which may be adjusted by your TA. Name Content-Intro Content-Body Content-Conclusion points possible Clear introduction with overview of the topic Statement of purpose/goals Content matches introduction Provides background information on topic Detailed ecology of problem described and supported with research (at least 8 citations) Addresses effects to biodiversity Possible solutions addressed and supported Summarizes main points (briefly) points 8 14 8 References Style and Organization Grammar Format Discusses broader implications and importance of the topic Provides at least 2 specific recommendations for future research (supported by citations) Correctly formatted in text and in Literature Cited Proper use of citations At least 10 sources from primary literature Sentence construction and flow Wording choice (neither too informal nor too flowery) Overall organization of topic (separation of ideas into sections and paragraphs) Spelling, Grammar, and Punctuation Format (pages, spacing, font, etc) Total: 9 12 6 3 60 Important tip for doing well on this assignment: Ecological papers do not get published unless they contain detailed and useful information about the ecology of the system being studied. You should be able to find this in any published paper, including review papers. If you want to receive a good grade on your research review paper, your paper must also contain detailed and useful information on your study system (the study system consists of your threat and how it affects the ecosystem you have researched). Additionally, it must be demonstrated that you have a firm understanding of this information, as you should be very knowledgeable about your topic by the time you have completed this paper. You will demonstrate your understanding by explaining the relevant research for your topic in your own words.

Paper Grading Criteria and Guidelines

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Content: 50%.  This is the most important part of your paper. As the author of a review paper, you job is to synthesize the current literature on a topic of interest. Make sure that you build a strong argument and that you convey important information to the reader. Be certain to focus on the environmental issue and its relevance to ecology. Your paper should not be about how humans are impacted by your topic!  Support your topic sentences with main points/conclusions drawn from articles found during your literature search. Avoid filling your paper with “fluff”, unimportant information that takes up space but is not relevant to your main points. You should not summarize one article for more than one paragraph and you should not go into too much detail describing the methods used in the papers unless absolutely necessary.  You should have a minimum of 10 sources cited in your paper.

 

Style and Organization: 20%.  Part of writing an effective paper is learning how to write clearly and concisely.  Avoid using flowery language, as it can be awkward and often times misused.  Colloquial language is inappropriate for a scientific review article.  Avoid repetition of the same word/phrases.  You want to write your paper in a similar style and tone as the research papers you are referencing.

 

Do not use quotes in your paper. You should paraphrase and give proper credit by citing the author(s); direct quotes are not commonly used in science writing. Also, copying sentences (word for word, in part or whole) from a scientific article and citing the source is still considered plagiarism and will result in point deductions at the very least. You need to write the ideas in your own words!

 

Each paragraph should convey a singular message that should not be detailed anywhere else in the paper.  Jumping back and forth between points confuses the reader and obscures the valuable information contained in your paper, so make sure that your writing in a logical progression.  The use of section headings and subheadings can be extremely helpful in structuring a paper, and will make it easier for people to readUse transitions between paragraphs so that you writing does not appear choppy.

 

Within paragraphs, sentences should be properly constructed (e.g. subject-verb agreement).  Watch out for run-on sentences and fragments.  The sentences that are easiest to read are the simplest — don’t try to use overly complex wording.  Each sentence within your paragraph should support the thesis and flow in a logical order.

 

Grammar: 10%.  Make sure you know when and where to use commas, apostrophes, semicolons, colons, quotation marks, etc.  If you are not sure, look it up. Students in this class frequently have points deducted in this section because of subject-verb agreement errors, misspellings, and incorrect word usage.  Be sure to perform a sentence-by-sentence edit before submitting your final draft (and before submitting the optional draft).  Having someone else read your paper for grammar errors can be extremely useful.

 

Literature Cited: 15%.  As a college student and budding scientist, it is critical that you learn how to properly cite the sources from which you obtain information.  A complete citation includes the reference to the source in the text of your paper (in text reference) and the full reference given in the “Literature Cited” section at the end of the paper. In general, having more sources is better because it shows you’ve done extensive research, but avoid including little bits of unimportant information from a variety of sources just to drive up your numbers. You must have at least 10 citations for your final paper with at least 8 citations from the primary literature.  Additional sources from secondary and tertiary literature (e.g. books, government documents) may be used, but these do not count toward the eight minimum primary sources.  Do not cite web-based resources using links.  This will result in point deductions. If you find something relevant on the web or your textbook, you must follow its source to the original work and cite the original reference. Cite references correctly in the Literature Cited section and in text (See below).

 

In this class, we will use the format for the journal Ecology.  This may be different than other formats you have learned, so follow it carefully.  Refer to the Literature Searching and Citations document on blackboard for proper citation format.

 

Format: 5%.

Page length: 8-10 pages, double-spaced. This length does not include figures and tables (optional) and the Literature Cited section.

Page format: 1-inch margins and 12-point Times or Times New Roman font

Organism names: scientific names (genus and species) go in italics and common names are lowercase; family names do not go in italics, but start with a capital letter.

Section order: (1) Paper title with your name, your group topic, and section number; (2) the Introduction; (3) the Body of the paper (organized with section headings); (3) Conclusions and Directions for Future Research; (4) Literature Cited section; and (5) an Appendix of figures and tables (optional)

 

 

GRADING RUBRIC FOR FINAL PAPER

Here is the rubric by which final papers will be graded.  Note that this provides a general guideline for grading which may be adjusted by your TA.

 

Name   points possible points
Content-Intro Clear introduction with overview of the topic 8  
  Statement of purpose/goals  
Content-Body Content matches introduction 14  
  Provides background information on topic  
  Detailed ecology of problem described and supported with research (at least 8 citations)  
  Addresses effects to biodiversity  
  Possible solutions addressed and supported  
Content-Conclusion Summarizes main points (briefly) 8  
  Discusses broader implications and importance of the topic  
  Provides at least 2 specific recommendations for future research (supported by citations)  
References Correctly formatted in text and in Literature Cited 9  
  Proper use of citations  
  At least 10 sources from primary literature  
Style and Organization Sentence construction and flow 12  
  Wording choice (neither too informal nor too flowery)  
  Overall organization of topic (separation of ideas into sections and paragraphs)  
Grammar Spelling, Grammar, and Punctuation 6  
Format Format (pages, spacing, font, etc) 3  
  Total: 60  

 

Important tip for doing well on this assignment:

Ecological papers do not get published unless they contain detailed and useful information about the ecology of the system being studied.  You should be able to find this in any published paper, including review papers.  If you want to receive a good grade on your research review paper, your paper must also contain detailed and useful information on your study system (the study system consists of your threat and how it affects the ecosystem you have researched).  Additionally, it must be demonstrated that you have a firm understanding of this information, as you should be very knowledgeable about your topic by the time you have completed this paper.  You will demonstrate your understanding by explaining the relevant research for your topic in your own words.