the topic of this paper must be about wildlife adaptations to urban environments
Citations must be done in AAG style (Annals of the Association of American Geographers Citation)
charts and graphs are allowed but do not count toward the page count
This 4-5 page research essay will entail investigation into avenue of research
in geographical biogeography based on a review of a minimum of 5 peer-reviewed scientific articles. The
subject of your investigation must fall within the broader topics that we discuss this semester (see
syllabus topics). The purpose of the assignment is for you to conduct an in-depth investigation and
prepare a concisely-written report on an area of research that is new to you. You cannot choose a subject
that you have written papers on for other classes (this will be considered plagiarism!) or already studied
in depth. Each student must have a unique research subject. See the Requirements and Tips section
below for more info and the Part 2 Paper Rubric on the last page of this handout for more info on how
this assignment will be graded.
Your paper that you write up for Part 2 of this assignment must be drawn from and reference at least five
(5) peer-reviewed scientific articles. Figures and tables are encouraged, but do not count toward the page
total. A bibliography is required, and also does not count toward your page total. Your bibliography
should be in the standard citation format most commonly used in Geography, AAG style, and you should
include in-text citations.
Your report should be organized like a standard research paper and include ALL of the following:
1. Introduction: “hook” to get readers attention, descriiption of problem/questions and why we
should care, preview to what paper is going to cover. Limited in-text citations, only if specific facts
are mentioned in order to get reader’s attention.
2. In-depth explanation of what we know/avenue of research: expanded definition of research
avenue based on scientific literature, history of studying avenue of research, why anyone should
care to conduct research in this area. Cited references in this section should only be from published
scientific articles or books.
3. In-depth discussion of what we don’t know or where this avenue of research is headed: where
does this avenue of research appear to be headed in the future, how might it change as a result of
climate change or increasing global interest in sustainability, your opinion as to where this research
should go and why. Cited references in this section can be from scientific articles and books as well
as non peer-reviewed sources as long as they are high quality (e.g., U.S. Geological Survey website).
4. Conclusion: Brief recap of what you just told us in paper, eloquent statement to leave reader with
the final thought “yeah, this is worth studying.” There should be no need to cite references in this
section because it’s all your own words and ideas.
Some mechanical and organizational guidelines for your paper:
Does your introduction clearly state the purpose of the paper and what you will be covering?
Does your paper have subheadings that help organize it?
Are your pages numbered?
Have you given your paper a creative and/or illuminating title?
Have you proofread your paper carefully to catch grammatical and spelling errors?
Is each paragraph designed to have a thesis statement and several supporting statements? Do
you have transition sentences so that the ideas flow logically throughout the paper?
Try to be clear and concise in your explanations and discussions. Are some sections too wordy
or awkwardly phrased?
One of the best strategies for writing a good paper is to write it and then leave it alone for a
few days. Then come back to the paper and revise it. Having this space usually helps you catch
errors and make improvements to the paper.
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