Topic: The Theory of Dinosaur Extinction
Please be concise. Humorous titles
may be fun, but they are not appropriate for scientific writing. Your
title should provide a basic description of your topic. A good title
might be, “The foraging behavior of the Brown Pelican”.
– Place this on a title page including title, your name and date – or –
simply include this information on the first page, centered at the top.
Introduction – Provide a general introduction to your topic [1-3 pages].
– This is the meat of your paper. Describe the details of your topic;
include data tables, graphs and/or illustrations as appropriate [3-5
pages] and double space.
Conclusion/Discussion – Summarize the importance of what you discovered about the topic [0.5-2 pages].
Please list all reference sources used, even if not cited. Three is
the minimum…the bare minimum. Use at least one primary source. A
primary source is an original description of research completed by the author, or authors. Examples of a few journals with primary articles include: Science, Nature, Ecology
or the Journal of the American Medical Association. Many of these
courses are not available in full-text versions via the SPC Library
Online. [ HYPERLINK "http://www.spcollege.edu/central/libonline/" http://www.spcollege.edu/central/libonline/ ]. List your references alphabetically, such as the hypothetical example below:
Smith, John V. 1999, Strangler fig growth rates in elevated carbon dioxide environments. Science 256: 34-37.
Vinson, Heidi L and George, Shannon A. 1997. Mutualistic relationships
between strangler figs and the trees they strangle. Ecology 88:344-375.
How to cite material –
Please use a standard format such as
MLA and be consistent. While I will be happy for you to use a standard
scientific format such as what you will find in the journal, Ecology,
most of you will not be writing science in the future, so use a format
that you already know if you wish. Direct quotes are seldom used in
scientific writing, but it is important to cite your source for
information that is paraphrased, i.e., In studying the relationship
between cabbage palms and strangler figs, Vinson and George (1997) found
that cabbage palms benefit from the presence of figs due to increased
nutrient levels associated with fecal material produced by birds
attracted to the figs.
Please proof your paper before turning
it in. Better still, ask a friend, relative, or classmate to proof
your paper. Spell checking and grammar checking software are great, but
they don’t catch everything. In some cases, only you can
make the appropriate choice. Make sure that you write your paper in an
organized fashion. Good organization leads to higher grades.