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
o Clear, scientific exposition
o Please do not plagiarize
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