Biological Evolution

Biological Evolution Spring 2018 WRITING ASSIGNMENT (200 POINTS) DUE DATE FOR WRITTEN ASSIGNMENT: APRIL 29TH 2018 CASE STUDY IN EVOLUTIONARY BIOLOGY–For this writing assignment you will pick a peer-reviewed scientific study in the field of evolutionary biology and analyze it in depth. In this assignment, you will write a concise abstract of the chosen work, an introduction on the overall topic within evolutionary biology the study is focused on, and a discussion on how the presented methodology and results of the research advanced (or not) our knowledge within the area of evolutionary biology the study is focused on. Writing this assignment will help you learn to read primary scientific literature and to combine the results from the literature and your ideas into a thoughtful analysis of research in evolutionary biology. Your written analysis should follow the guidelines and formatting below. AVOIDING PLAGIARISM: The assignment must be your own and in your words. There are numerous ways to communicate similar thoughts. So, you should take from various authors, process the information, produce something that is clearly your own product, and use citations to give credit to the original source for BOTH conceptual ideas AND any data that you present. Lack of proper attribution and/or plagiarized text/figures will result in severe grade penalties. TOPIC IDEAS: For topic ideas try key word searches in a database search engine (e.g., Web of Science, Google Scholar, or PubMed, see below). Some journals that you may want to scan for topic ideas are more generalized journals with many broad papers including “BMC Evolutionary Biology”, “PLOS ONE”, and “Nature: Scientific Reports.” This is by no means an exhaustive list, and because interesting evolutionary biology research is found in nonevolution specific journals, I encourage you to use Web of Science or Google Scholar as well. I am happy to talk to you in or out of class or by email about topics that you are interested in. It is highly recommended that you talk to me about your ideas if you are unsure whether your chosen topic fits the assignment. Page 1 of 5 Biological Evolution Spring 2018 RESOURCES: Library and Research Resources: General library research resources are available at: Searching for Scientific Literature: The search engines most useful to you will most likely be Google Scholar, PubMed, and SCSU Library Databases. To access SCSU Library Databases go to guide.phpsubject=databases&_ga=2.72959635.1427582946.1509550654-1742056851.1 496248952 To access Google Scholar go to and enter search terms. To access PubMed go to, choose “search PubMed” and enter search terms. All search engines use boolean criteria [and, or, not etc…] to combine search terms. NOTE: in Web of Science and Google Scholar you can look at the papers that were cited in a given paper, as well as all the papers that have cited that paper since its publication. Retrieving Scientific Papers: In SCSU Databases you can use the “Download PDF” button to go directly to PDFs of journal articles that interest you if SCSU has access. 1) Determine if SCSU has access to the journal of interest for the publication year. Link to E-journals from the library home page, and search for the title (e.g., “Evolution and Development”). 2) If SCSU does not have e-access, the hard copy may be in the stacks. Link to Catalog: Books & more from the library home page and search for the journal title. Check that the volume and issue numbers match the article you need. 3) A great service of the SCSU library is electronic document retrieval. If the library has the article you need in the stacks, you can have it scanned and retrieve it as a PDF. If the library does not have the article you need, you can request an electronic copy. The library will find another library with the article, have it scanned, and you will be able to retrieve it as a PDF. These services usually just take a couple of days and can be found under the “Request Materials” link from the SCSU library home page. Page 2 of 5 Biological Evolution Spring 2018 The SCSU Writing Center: The SCSU writing center (The Write Place) is another great resource at the university. They are there to help you not only with your grammatical problems but also with the logical structure of your term paper and presentation. Please don’t hesitate to take advantage of this resource. To learn more about this click here:

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