When writing a scientific paper, it is helpful to outline your ideas before you start writing. Outlining can help you organize the sections, help you relate different ideas and parts of your writing to each other, and ensures that you incorporate all the important parts of each section. Use this guide along with the writing guidelines to help you start writing. Throughout the semester, we will work on outlining specific sections, which may not always occur in the same order as they are presented in this worksheet. This outline follows the order of the term paper. You can work with others when discussing ideas, BUT everything MUST be in your own words.
At the end of this guide is an “Areas for Feedback” table- you can use this when reviewing your own, or others, outlines/written work.
NOTE= this is in writing order, not in the order your term paper is in. Your term paper order will be Title -> Abstract -> Introduction -> Methods -> Results -> Discussion -> References. See the writing guidelines for specific writing instructions.
Introduction (UWIN 3 Post Lab):
Write this section first. Remember, a good introduction includes relevant background information, importance of the overall study system/topic, your specific research question/research objectives, and a rationale for why you are doing your specific research. This will be the section that has most of your citations, so as you fill these questions out and have summaries from citable sources, write a citation note next to your bullet point, so you can easily add citations when you write your paper. Note: this does not necessarily need to be the order you write about these points.
- In bullet point form (aim for about 2-4 points), write why this research topic (i.e., studying urban wildlife) is important.
- It is critical for the maintenance of biodiversity.
- Ecosystems based in urban regions aid in the regulation of flooding, prevention of pollution, provision of suitable habitats for a myriad of wildlife species, and they help to promote human health.
- It is necessary to comprehend why there is an impact on wildlife population distributions because a decrease in the number of wildlife has the potential to lead to a decreased species diversity which translates into an unhealthy ecosystem. It is thereby crucial to keep an eye on the movement of wildlife for the purpose of evading serious ailments like plague.
- A decline in the population of herbivores and carnivores will lead to a decline in species diversity which may lead to an unhealthy ecosystem.
- State your specific and testable research question(s). Double check that you included your independent and dependent variables. Only include what you will do in your analysis, not all of the things that we measured for the class.
How does human population size surrounding a park affect herbivore and carnivore percent daily use throughout an urban gradient along Colfax Ave. in Denver, CO?
- Give 2 hypotheses for your question, and provide rationale for both.
- Urbanization could cause the reduction of wildlife species (Fischer et al., 2017) as a result of competition for resources with humans. The people that move in toward wildlife regions may be involved in economic activities such as farming, fishing, and mining which could lead to the reduction of such resources. As a result this will lead to a scarcity of food and resources leading to the starvation and eventual death of both carnivorous and herbivorous species. Other human activities such as fishing could see carnivores dependent on aquatic life lose their source of food.
- Urbanization could lead to the destruction of food sources for wildlife because erection of buildings would require the clearance of vegetative cover. Economic activities will lead to the construction of buildings and to do so would require the clearance of vegetation- a direct source of food for herbivores and an indirect source of survival for carnivores.
- In bullet point form, give the background information that would be needed to understand your research question (think about your dependent and independent variables).
- Construction could lead to the destruction of wildlife habitats since these projects may encroach into wildlife ecosystems, thus requiring the constructing parties involved to clear land inhabited by herbivores and carnivores for the purpose of making way for buildings.
- Habitats that run continuously could potentially be sub-divided into single portions as a result of construction activities. Fragmenting wildlife habitats could lead to the alteration in species distribution, affecting wildlife habitats and leading to the disruption of migrating species (Ripple et al., 2015). Such disruptions have the potential to result in the degradation of forest ecosystems, which has the implications of reducing the quantity of wildlife in Verbena Park.
- What topics or keywords would you use to find primary literature?
-Impact of urbanization in biodiversity
-Competition for resources between humans and wildlife
-Effects of human activities on the distribution of wildlife (carnivores and herbivores)
- In bullet point form, give reasons why your research question is important.
- My research question is extremely significant because the population of wildlife and daily use of human population size surrounding a park affect herbivore and carnivore percent daily use throughout an urban gradient along Colfax Ave. in Denver, CO by these species could adversely be affected due to urbanization. Thus, it is crucial to possess such information so that future generations can be able to look back and avoid making the same mistakes made by past generations.
- The waste associated with urbanization and construction contain hazardous substances and could potentially end up inside water sources utilized by herbivores and carnivores in Colfax Ave. in Denver,CO.
Methods(UWIN 3 Post Lab):
Write after you have written the introduction. The methods section should give a clear overview of what was done to complete your research. A good portion of the methods was already selected, so you will have to summarize these portions in your own words. Do not copy and paste from any sources, including your lab manual and do not use quotations in your work. You can include subsections, as suggested in the writing guidelines. If you have summaries from citable sources, write a citation note next to your bullet point, so you can easily add citations when you write your paper.
- In bullet point form, describe some relevant information/basic ecology of the study area (i.e., study area within Denver, CO)? What is climate like? Population growth? What kinds of habitats occur naturally? Etc, etc.
There is an increased rate of human activity around Verbena Park, and as a result the wildlife in and around the said area could experience human disturbance.
- The park is visibly artificially managed, as the area has been maintained and is highly had landscaping done on it.
- The climate of the region is denoted by arid conditions with precipitation being recorded at 8 to 14 inches worth of precipitation.
- The land has been used to develop a suburban setting
- In bullet point form, describe how/why the camera sites were picked in the UWIN methodology?
- To collect data that related to the research question
- The camera will be located in places that have easy access to species
- In bullet point form, describe UWIN’s methodologies used in the study (i.e., cameras/set-up) so that the design of the study can be completely understood and replicated.
The camera was put at the Denver park area that was picked to address the research question
- State your independent variable(s) and your dependent variable(s) for your research question.
Dependent variable: daily use of the park by herbivores and carnivores
Independent variable: urbanization (human population)
- In bullet point form, state how the independent variable for your research question was/will be measured.
- The independent variable will be measured by observing the area of study to ascertain how many buildings and people can be seen.
- In bullet point form, state how the dependent variable for your research question was/will be measured.
- The dependent variable will be measured by looking at how urbanization through the construction of buildings affects species from the herbivore and carnivore sub-category.
- The dependent variable will also be measured by looking at how human economic and social activities such as fishing and farming can potentially impact on the population of wildlife (herbivores and carnivores) .
- Describe the figures or tables you need to create to summarize/illustrate your results. For each graph, state what the axes will be. For each table, state what the column and row headers will be. If you want, you can sketch the figures and tables out (can draw out predicted relationships/ data).
- I will develop tables which display the impacts of urbanization and human encroachment on the movement of herbivores and carnivores in Denver and environmental variables for the following herbivores and carnivores throughout the various camera locations.
|Species||Camera Location||Land-use intensity||Plant Quantity||Humans signs||Number of buildings||Intensity of noise|
In regards to the graph, the bar graph will display the percentage of buildings as a result of increased human population against the population of species visible. The percentage of buildings will be placed on x-axis whereas the population of visible species will be placed on the y-axis.
Title (UWIN 3 Post Lab):
Write afteryour introduction and Methods– you might consider revision, as your work progresses.
- Write down your research question/specific research objectives.
How does human population size surrounding a park affect herbivore and carnivore percent daily use throughout an urban gradient along Colfax Ave. in Denver, CO
- Write down where your study is taking place.
The study is to be conducted within Verbena Park.
- Using the writing guidelines, write out how you will present the authors under the title.
- Incorporate the above information into a concise and informative title that reflects your study.
The Influence of Urbanization on the Movement of Herbivores and Carnivores within Verbena in Denver
Results(UWIN 4 Post Lab):
Write this section after you create your visualizations of the data (tables or figures). Only present data that is relevant to your research question/objectives. Only present specific data once, do not make multiple figures/tables that show the same exact data, and do not show gratuitous data (data that does not contribute to the conclusions you make)- present the representations of data that visually helps the reader see the data the most clearly.
- Show your 2 results figures here . Make sure each one has a label (Table 1, Figure 1, etc.), a title, an informative caption explaining the figure/table, that all headings, axes, colors, etc. are correctly labelled, and it is professional looking. Use figures and tables that you see in primary literature as models for how yours should look.
- In bullet point form, list and summarize the relevant numerical results of your data analysis, emphasizing important patterns (but don’t interpret them). In parentheses, state the figure/table that the result is shown.
Discussion (UWIN 4 Post Lab):
Write this section after the results section. The discussion should explain the significance of the results you presented, along with any speculations, potential errors, potential contributions, and potential future directions. There is potential to compare your results to similar previous studies as well.
- State the overall “problem” that your study attempts to address in order to reintroduce the topic to readers briefly. Then, restate your objectives to remind the reader of what you are doing and why.
- For each of the numerical results (figures/tables) you have decided to report- make a list of them and briefly state what each means, and why it might be important. Try to list them in the order you will present them in the results section. When you write your discussion fully, you will restate the the main point of the figures and table and interpret them each both in light of your research question.
- List any assumptions, limitations, and/or potential issues that could have influenced your results. For each assumption, limitation, or potential issue you list, explain how/why it is problematic or how/why it impacts your study and validity of your conclusions.
- Write down how confident you are in the results. In what ways could you increase your confidence level in future studies?
- How would you change the study design in order to better address your specific question? Propose the next steps (assuming you have the time, resources, and technical ability to follow through) that should be taken to address your question.
- What is the overall conclusion that you can make based on the study you conducted?
- What is the significance of your findings in terms of the “bigger picture”? (How does your study contribute to the field of urban ecology?)
Abstract (UWIN 5 Post Lab):
Write LAST. Everything in the Abstract must be in the main text somewhere. Write down some bullet points or notes for the following questions that you should pull out of other areas of this guide or your written paper.
- What is the main rationale/importance statement you give for your study? In other words, what did you say to answer the question “Why was the study done?”
- What is/are the main objective(s) of your study?
- In bullet point form, summarize the methods- what was done for your specific study?
- In bullet points, list out your results.
- In bullet points, what did you conclude in your discussion section?
References Section (UWIN 3+ Post Lab)
Add to this section electronically as you are writing. Use CSE name-year citation formatting. This is an important section for readers to see what you have referenced, in order to do further reading on the subject. References must be BOTH in the text (with in line citation formatting) and in the References section (full citations in alphabetical order). Anytime you write about someone else’s work, it must be cited. Please review the plagiarism resources in Canvas.
- Provide the link(s) to the Annotated Bibliography(s) that you have contributed to on Google Drive
- Generate a list of full citations in alphabetical order following the CSE name-year citation format
Ripple W, Newsome T, Wolf C, Dirzo R, Everatt K, Galetti M, Hayward M, Kerley G, Levi T, Lindsey P et al. 2015. Collapse of the world’s largest herbivores. Science Advances 1:e1400103.
Fischer JD, Schneider SC. DiversityCategorizing wildlife responses to urbanization and conservation implications of terminology. onlinelibrary-wiley-com.aurarialibrary.idm.oclc.org. 2017 [accessed 2018 Apr 4]. https://onlinelibrary-wiley-com.aurarialibrary.idm.oclc.org/doi/abs/10.1111/cobi.12451
Table of “areas for feedback” for each section
|Section||Areas for Feedback (for the outline and/or the term paper)|
|Title||Is the title Specific? Concise? Able to tell what the research is about?
Is the formatting for authors correct?
|Abstract||Are all major parts of the paper summarized? (Intro, Methods, Results, Discussion)
Is everything in the Abstract also in the paper? Make sure there is no new information presented here.
|Introduction: Background||Put a star next to the information you found valuable.
Put a triangle next to any information you thought was not necessary.
What are questions you have that the background info didn’t answer?
|Intro: Importance||Is this rationale of importance compelling? Why or why not?|
|Intro: Research Question||Is the question Specific? Testable?
Is the rationale for the question compelling? Why or why not?
|Methods||Is the site description adequate? If not, how you would you improve it?
Did the methods provide the data needed to address the question? Why or why not?
Could you replicate the data collection for the specific question given the information provided here? If, not, what is missing?
|Results||Is the data summarized?
Are all figures/tables referred to?
Do all figures/tables have the necessary components? If not, what is missing?
Can you state all the figures and tables main objective?
Do you need any clarification on any of the figures/tables?
Is only relevant data presented? Point out data that doesn’t seem relevant
Does any data seem missing?
|Is the topic reintroduced?
Are the results interpreted? What does the the data show?
Are only the important findings/patterns/trends focused on?
Put a star next to the conclusions you found valuable
Put a triangle next to the conclusions you thought were not necessary
What questions do you have about the conclusions?
Are assumptions, inconsistent results, issues, and limitations addressed?
Is the significance of the findings addressed in terms of the “bigger picture”? (How does the study contribute to the field?)
Are future directions of how to further study the question addressed?
|References||Are citations compliant with CSE name-year formatting?
Are all citations both in the text and in the References section?
Is there any evidence of plagiarism?