Extinction of Hector’s dolphins

Purpose: The paper is all about researching data collected by other scientists and synthesizing it into a coherent review of the information on your chosen topic. This paper is NOT an argument or opinion piece. A scientific paper presents facts and data in an unbiased, straight forward manner. Your paper should not be an argument for or against an issue.

The purpose of this assignment is to:

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Learn as much as you can about your topic
Evaluate the benefits and pitfalls of using a combination of primary and secondary sources (references).
Draw conclusions as an informed member of society.
Learn how to write a concise, grammatically correct, non-plagiarized review paper.

Writing Assignment. You must write a SCIENTIFIC JOURNAL STYLE paper on the species/biodiversity crisis. Please use the Short Guide to Writing About Biology as your guide and the information contained within this assignment.

You can either choose a specific species that is threatened or endangered or you may choose a group of species, like frogs, coral reefs ,bees etc. as an endangered group. It is up to you which endangered or threatened species/group you choose to do your paper on (check out http://www.iucnredlist.org , http://www.fws.gov/endangered , http://www.worldwildlife.org/species/index.html for ideas). It should be an example of your best efforts at written communication. Part of your grade will be based on form, style, and grammar, while the content of your report will carry the heaviest weight towards your grade. The length of the write-up should be 4-6 pages (please no more than 6 pages! But a minimum of 4 FULL pages, Minimum of 1500 words (not counting citations), 12pt. times new roman or Arial font, double spaced, and word processed (approx. 1500-2000 words). Shorter than 1500 words will be marked down on a percentage basis, e.g. 1,235 word paper: 1235/1500= 0.82 (other words 82%) NOT INCLUDING OTHER ERRORS. Any paper below 1000 words will receive and F. Number of words in the body of the text (not including abstract or literature cited) must be indicated in the upper left side of the 1st page.

You must follow all of the format requirements set forth in this document. Beyond that, the tone and style must be scientific and professional. Do not include personal opinion or “I”, “Me”, statements and never use slang. Make the paper about the facts you have researched and are now delivering in a comprehensive and efficient manner. This is not an argument paper, an Op-Ed piece or a poetic essay. It is a scientific, professional grade paper. Do not include “cute” pictures of your organism or maps of its habitat do not belong in your paper. Graphs are acceptable if there is an explicit reason why the information could not be explained via the written word.

Please utilize the book Pechenik, Jan A. A short Guide to Writing About Biology and check out the SJSU Writing Center http://www.sjsu.edu/writingcenter/ for additional help with general English writing structure and grammar. This paper must have the all the attributes of a well written paper. This includes having a good sentence structure, excellent grammar and a logically, well thought out overall flow.

FORMAT: – You do not need to place underline headers in your paper

1. Abstract: a clean, concise synopsis of the entire paper of less than 100 words

2. Introduction: describe the topic, indicate the scope and give any history and/or background information that is appropriate. (Cite literature)

3. Body: Include current information/arguments drawn from a wide array of literature sources and text. Connect the issue to some aspect represented in the text (In

other words what have you learned in the class that has enabled you to write on this issue). Develop your ideas sequentially. (Cite literature)

4. Conclusion/Discussion: Pull together the information and ideas to make a coherent picture. Give some idea of the importance of the topic and its role in its

community (if applicable). Also, indicate what the future may hold. (Cite literature)

5. Literature cited: Follow the form as given at the end of these instructions. Note: all scientific names are in italics!

For example, if we were doing our paper on black-footed ferrets, it might look something like this:

Introduction: Introduce what the black-footed ferret is, where it is found, what it current status is (endangered/threatened?), how many are left in the world.

(Cite literature)

Body: Why Black footed ferrets are important to the health of the ecosystem, what has caused their decline, what is being done to help conserve the species

(Cite literature)

3. Conclusion/Discussion: wrap up all points into a coherent closing; give ideas/hopes for the future (Cite literature)

4. Literature cited: Follow the form as given at the end of these instructions.

NOTE: Always give credit for ALL information you have gained from someone else. If it did not come from your brain or is not common knowledge (like the sky is blue), then you must cite your source. In science, direct quotes are seldom used. Instead, information is summarized and the sources indicated. Citations occur in the text in the following format (Author last name, year article written) NOT as footnotes. DO NOT PUT DIRECT QUOTES FROM YOUR SOURCE. It will recognized that as plagiarism and you will receive a zero on your paper. You must REPHRASE the information you have gathered. You MUST follow the literature cited format as stated below. You must cite all your sources both within the body of the paper AND at the end, in the literature cited section.

Use this format for your Literature citations within text:

(Single Author)

Alligator lizards are active during the day (Jones, 1984) while desert geckos are nocturnal (Smith, 1982)

(Two Authors)

Alligator lizards are active during the day (Jones and Davis, 1984) while desert geckos are nocturnal (Smith and Kirk, 1982).

(More than 2 Authors) Alligator lizards are active during the day (Jones et al., 1984) while desert geckos are nocturnal (Smith et al., 1982).

(Websites) Alligator lizards are active during the day (worldwildlifefund.org, 2008) while desert geckos are nocturnal (nature.org, 2008).

If you have used a reference multiple times within the same paragraph, you may cite your reference at the end of the last sentence in your paragraph. Otherwise, site your source at the end of the thought/idea of which you are using their information.

These references are then included more fully in the Literature Cited section at the end of your report, in the following format. If you have used the Latin abbreviation et al., (and of course you have italicized et al.) within the body of your paper you MUST spell out each authors name in the literature cited section.

Use this format for your Literature Cited section: – Your literature cited section should be alphabetized by first authors last name. No numbers or bullets, all left justified with each citation single spaced and separated from the next citation by a double space.

For journal articles and books:

Jones, V.W. 1984. Activity periods of alligator lizards. Journal of Lizard Research. 34(2):182-189.

Smith, I.M. 1982. The Life of the Gecko. College of the Desert Press, Tucson. 333pp.

For citation of a website:

World Health Organization. Malarial mortality in Africa. 3 July 2001. http://www.who.int/rbm/Presentations. [accessed 2013 May 5]

Your sources must be diverse! You must have at least 10 reputable literature sources, and only a maximum of two can be from a online only website, maximum of 2 books and a maximum of 2 secondary literature resources such as magazines. The rest must be primary literature articles. You MUST HAVE PRIMARY, PEER REVIEWED ARTCILES CITED IN YOUR PAPER. You may have NO Wikipedia resources! If you use multiple pages from a single website, it is still considered just one website-one source. When you access journals from the library through the internet, these are considered NON-WEB resources because they are simply electronic versions of hard copy papers that have been published in paper form elsewhere. Most libraries know store journal articles in electronic form. A “web” resource, is a website that does not exist in a published, printed format anywhere. If you access an electronic copy from a library database, treat it as a journal – do not put any info on what database you accessed it from.

If this is your first time writing a scientific paper I find it helpful to start with excellent secondary resources and work from there. For example, if you wanted to write about polar bears but knew nothing about them, you could start by reading articles in National Geographic. National Geographic is a well respected magazine and although would not count towards your primary literature requirement, would help you to gain knowledge about your subject in a more palatable manner. This would then arm you with the foundation to continue your research and may give you some great ideas/leads on what to research when you visit the library for primary journal articles!

Part I. By Sept 23rd 2020, submit the following online via canvas: {10 points}

In a paragraph form (no more than a quarter of a page), state your intended topic (organism) that you will be addressing in your paper. In this paragraph state the common name and the scientific name (Genus and species) of the organism you choose. Also in the paragraph include the conservation status (threatened, endangered or critically endangered) of the organism as well as where the organism is found. Lastly, in your synopsis paragraph include why you are choosing this organism to write about and anything else unique about this orgasm you chose to discus that might have lead to its current situation (conservation status) Also include a in your proposal, list at least three references (using complete bibliographic citations in APA format) that you have consulted other than your textbook. Remember: You can do any endangered species, it does not have to be a mammal (think fish, amphibian, insect) and it doesn’t need to be an animal! (Think plants!). Lots of endangered species out there – get creative!!!

Check out http://www.iucnredlist.org/ for ideas on which species to choose

Topics that you may NOT do are (any species of): Lions, Tigers, Leopards , Whales, Giant Pandas, Elephants, Rhinoceros, Polar Bears, Gorillas, or California condors.

If your paper is written on an unapproved topic your will lose a minimum of 40 points from the final grade.

Part II. Full Paper Due October 28th 2020: Submit a copy online via canvas {200 points}

You will upload your paper onto the canvas site under the assignments term paper module as a .doc or .docx file (NO EXCEPTIONS, I will NOT accept papers that are written as a .pages file)!

Note: Penalty for late papers is 5 points off per day (including weekends) No papers will be accepted after 7 calendar days past the due date. If your paper is late, it will be marked late as of when it was submitted online. There will be NO opportunity to make up the points allotted to this assignment.

Your paper should be between 4-6 pages long (minimum of 1500 words) plus a separate page for Literature Cited, please no longer- your literature cited section does not contribute to your minimum word count. If you include drawings and diagrams these are not included in your page count. Remember that papers must be typed, double spaced, 12 point times or times new roman font with 1 inch margins on ALL sides and submitted to the class website. Check carefully for spelling and grammatical errors. Absolutely no binding material will be accepted and no cover page is necessary – save some trees!

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