Option A: Term Paper on a Freshwater Topic (of your choice)

The Option A paper should not exceed 5 printed pages (double spaced, Arial or Times New Roman, 11-12 pt font).  Please include a title page with your name and date and assign page numbers to your document. The complete assignment will consist of 3 parts submitted on different dates:  a proposal and two drafts (one preliminary draft, one final draft). 

The proposal must identify the title of your paper and list a minimum of 5 independent sources of information to be used for background information. 

Your paper should be structured (more or less) using the following sections…

Title–        A concise title describing your paper

Abstract- The abstract should provide a brief synopsis of the background and conclusions of your paper and should be independent of the main body (i.e., readers should be able to obtain the essentials of your paper from the abstract without having to read the rest of the paper).  The first sentence (or so) of the abstract should introduce the topic and states the reasons for writing the paper.  The next few sentences summarize the most important results.  The last sentence (or so) provides the conclusion and synthesis.  Again, the abstract should stand alone from the body of the paper.  Literature is not cited in abstracts. 

Introduction- The introduction should consist of a concise paragraph describing the general factors motivating your selection of the topic of your paper, followed by an additional paragraph or two containing a brief and concise review of available information that is unmistakably related to the general intent of your paper.  This literature review should be highly focused and should quickly inform readers about recent activities and findings of others involved in scholarly activities that are directly relevant to your statement concerning the motivation for writing the paper.  The final paragraph should contain a concise and unambiguous statement of your specific goals for writing the paper (e.g., an outline of a review, a problem or controversy that the paper seeks to explore, or a question that you wish to answer) and indicates what the reader will expect to take away from the paper.

Body- The body of the paper contains findings that allow you to fulfill your specific goals for writing the paper.  Examples include a detailed literature review (if your goal is to review information about a specific topic) or the information required to solve a problem or answer a specific question.  Use citations appropriately and consistently.

Synthesis- The synthesis should be in the form of one or two concise paragraphs that provide a broad interpretation of the findings of your work and places them in the broader context of Freshwater Biology.  Was the evidence at hand adequate for your purposes?  What critical information is presently unavailable?  Do you have any suggestions for future research?  Before concluding the synthesis, refer to your statement of specific intent, as provided in the introduction.  Was your intent successful?

Acknowledgment- Individuals and institutions that aided in your study should be acknowledged by name and institution, if appropriate.

Literature cited- Make sure that your selection of literature is appropriate, sufficient, and formatted correctly.  All literature used in producing your manuscript should be included.  Each citation should appear as either (Jones & Smith 1999) or Jones & Smith (1999), depending upon how it is used in a sentence.  Arrange multiple citations by year of publication (e.g., Jones 1940; Smith & Jones 1960; Jones 1990; Smith 1990).  Cite papers with more than two authors as name of first author followed by “et al.” (“al.” = alii, Latin for all); e.g., Atkinson et al. 2013.  For two citations by the same author (or authors) in the same year, add a letter to the year of publication: Atkinson et al., 2013a, 2013b.  There are many formats for presenting literature cited.  The following is the format used by the BioScience, the journal of the American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS; http://www.aibs.org).  Please follow this format.  Note the differences in format for journal articles, book chapters, books and online articles.

Journal Article: Bryant PJ, Simpson P. 1984. Intrinsic and extrinsic control of growth in    developing organs. Quarterly Review of Biology 59: 387–415.

Book:      Ling GN. 1984. In Search of the Physical Basis of Life. New York: Plenum Press.

Chapter in a book: Southwood TRE. 1981. Bionomic strategies and population parameters. Pages 30–52 in May RM, ed. Theoretical Ecology. Sunderland (MA): Sinauer Associates.

Technical report: Lassister RR, Cooley JL. 1985. Prediction of ecological effects of toxic chemicals, overall strategy and theoretical basis for the ecosystem model. Washington  (DC): Government Printing Office. Report no. 83-261-685. Available from: National Technical Information Service, Springfield, VA.

Meeting paper:           Kleiman RLP, Hedin RS, Edenbom HM. 1991. Biological treatment of minewater—an overview. Paper presented at the Second International Conference on Abatement of Acid Drainage; 16–18 Sep 1991; Montreal, Canada.

Online article: Grissino-Mayer HD. 1997. Ultimate Web pages about tree rings and tree-ring research. <www.valdosta.edu/~grissino> (4 Nov 1997).

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