The Western Diamond-backed Rattlesnake
I. The Introduction Section
A. Organism Introduction
1. The common and scientific name of your organism. Please see this link to help with scientific names if needed: How To Write Scientific Names
2. Where you observed your organism (country, state, park, zoo, etc.)
3. A brief discussion on why you chose your organism
4. If possible, a picture and/or video of you safely observing your species in the field. If not possible, search the Internet for an image (and remember to cite your source for the image) in a typical habitat.
II. The Body
A. Physical Description
1. You must include a brief physical description. You can use your personal observations. If you cannot safely observe your organism, you must research.
a. Size, Coloring, etc.
B. Life Cycle and Reproduction
1. Life Cycle: describe the life cycle of your organism. The life cycle refers to the series of changes that happens from the beginning of life as your organism develops and grows into a mature organism. Please see here for some hints on the Life Cycle. If you have any questions please feel free to ask!
2. Reproduction: You must discuss the reproductive strategies of your organism (e.g. release of gametes by a fish or hermaphroditic reproduction in earthworms), mate choice, mating displays, mate competition and mating systems.
C. Structure and Function
1. Please select one organ system of your organism that you find to be particularly interesting and describe both the anatomy and physiology of that system.
2. If your organism is an animal, here are a list of the general animal organ systems
D. Energy Ecology
1. If you can observe these, that is best. If not, research.
2. What are the food sources? Types? Amounts? Temporal pattern of feeding? Specific handling or processing of food items by the organism (e.g. the way a squirrel manipulates an acorn)
1. Where your organism lives. This does not refer to a city or state, but rather the natural environment in which your organism lives.
2. You should consider abiotic factors, such as soil, water, etc., as well as biotic factors, such as predators, hosts, etc.
III. The Conclusion Section
A. This section should contain four to six points that sum up the main points from the body of the outline.
B. Start your conclusive section with one sentence summarizing some basic information about your chosen organism (name and geographical distribution).
C. Continue with a brief summary (1-2 sentences) about the life cycle and any particular body structures.
D. Include a brief summary (1-2 sentences) about the ecological role of your chosen organism in its ecosystem.
E. Wrap up the conclusive section with a closing note that provides brief information about a unique fact and/or behavior of your chosen organism.
IV. The Reference Section:
A. This is not just the reference page; rather, referencing should occur throughout the outline as it will in your presentation. Therefore, your outline should include both a separate reference page containing a minimum of five sources listed in proper APA reference list format AND internal citations throughout the outline where appropriate. Please be sure to see the resources below for assistance regarding in-text citations and reference list formatting, and/or ask me if you have any additional questions. Improperly cited and referenced work may not be accepted for credit.
Please make note of the following tips and tricks:
- I understand that this is a rough draft and, as your research and writing continue over the next few weeks, details may be added or changed. Although you do not have to resubmit it to me, I recommend that you update this outline to help you best complete Assignments 3.
- Write your outline so that it has detailed bullets that you can easily then flesh out into sentences for the narration of your presentation (Assignment 3).
- After your outline is complete, I recommend that you next draft your introductory and conclusion sections for your outline. This will ensure that all the main points of the outline are incorporated in these two framing sections of your final presentation.
- Please note that less than 10% of your outline or presentation (Assignment 3) should contain direct quotes.
- All internal citation references should be listed on the reference page, and vice versa. Improperly cited and referenced work may not be accepted for credit.
- Sample outline
- Use MS Wordâ€™s Outline Function. Use a MAC? Here is a video link (captioning included on the link) that you may find useful that reviews formatting in MS Word. (Setting up APA headers in Word).
- Also, please see the resources below at The Owl at Purdue site for more information on how to develop an outline:
- For more information on how to format in-text citations and references lists, the links below: