sexual selection and the concept of aesthetics evolution in birds

BIOL 4111 Evolution: Thinking essay assignment
Due: Thursday 11/10 (submit on canvas before class; will be scanned for plagiarism)
20% of your grade
• Ask a good, difficult, and unresolved ‘How’ question in evolutionary biology. The question must require more
information/research than has been presented in class to solve/answer.
• Perform the literature review and research to present a possible solution
o Cite at least 8 primary research articles; review articles are OK
o A total of at least 12 scientific sources cited (research articles, books, scientific and reputable internet
• Organize your essay into three sections:
o Why the question is relevant and important (20 points)
 Discuss why this is a relevant and important question in evolutionary biology
 Provide a historical perspective, and review the scientific progress in the area
 Discuss the current state of the problem, and what remains to be solved
o The possible solution (35 points)
 Using the research you’ve conducted, discuss a possible answer to your question
 Do this methodically, citing good, relevant sources
 This section must show a synthesis of ideas and critical evaluation. Original thinking must be
o Testing the solution (15 points)
 Describe an experiment which can support the solution you proposed. Describe the
experimental design (hypothesis, methods, data collection, analysis) in detail such that the
experiment can be completed
 Discuss how the experimental data and results can be used to assess the solution you proposed
• General requirements (10 points)
o No title page
o 11 font at 1.15 spacing throughout
o 8-10 pages of words (not including the Works Cited page)
o At least 12 scientific sources cited
o Follow the CSE guidelines for citations
• Overall quality (20 points)
o A good, difficult question was proposed
o Critical, original thinking demonstrated
o Information framed, and flowed effectively; ideas conjoined to create a complete, critical evaluation of
the topic
o Clear, scientific exposition
o Please do not plagiarize

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