As a biologist with research interests on human origins, you are writing an article for the “Perspectives” section in the journal Science. Your topic is recent developments in human ancestry. Your discussion may revolve around the placement of Australopithecus sediba, or Ardipithecus ramidus (“Ardi”) in the family tree, or DNA analyses that indicate the presence of Neanderthal and Denisovan DNA in modern humans. A ‘Perspectives” article explores and evaluates the recent literature from the perspective of the writer, and provides a list of references.
Learning Goals: Researching a topic from multiple sources; comparing perspectives; developing a scientific “voice”; clarity in expression of ideas; appropriately citing sources.
HOMO ERECTUS IS THE SPECIES NAME OF THE HUMAN ANCESTOR I’VE CHOSEN.
The Review/ Perspectives article has a distinct format. Check that yours follows it:
1 – Introductory paragraph that introduces the topic and highlights its importance.
2 – Intermediate paragraphs that discuss the research articles on the human ancestor being evaluated. (Some compare and contrast of ideas from the different articles can be included.)
3 – Concluding paragraph that offers personal insights/your perspective on the field of research – and suggests a future direction for study. We avoid using first person – and imply opinion by using phrases like: “It seems likely that ….”; “These studies indicate that …”
4 References – numbered in the order they are written about in your review.
Here are some basic components for a Review/ Perspectives article:
1. INTRODUCTION: Introduce central idea, and the significance of this type of study. (Why is it important?)
2.INTERMEDIATE PARAGRAPHS: Relate the central idea to other studies. (Some compare and contrast between studies.)
3. CONCLUSION: Writer’s perspective/evaluation on the field of study, and suggestions for future research. (Although this is largely opinion – we avoid using 1st person – and phrase ideas to infer opinion. Example: “It seems likely that … “it probably indicates that ….”
4. REFERENCES: Sequenced/ numbered in the order they are discussed in the writing. (NOT alphabetically). (In-text citations are given as numbers in parentheses (1) or superscript 1.
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