The overarching goal of this course is to synthesize connections between evolutionary science, technology and society. Therefore, your final term paper is composed of three main parts.
In Part 1, you will introduce readers to the utility of using physical characteristics to establish a hierarchy of evolutionary relatedness by describing the taxonomic position of a species.
In Part 2, you will describe advances in genetic tools that are helping delineate our understanding of evolutionary relationships.
In Part 3, the focus shifts to the usefulness of genetic tools toward understanding evolutionary issues in modern society.
You must demonstrate your ability to use evolutionary biology terminology and concepts from our course in combination with your critical thinking skills. If you are unfamiliar or inexperienced with formal scientific communication practices, please refer to the Scientific Communication Skills modules for guidance. Note: Unlike the Peerceptiv assignments, you do not need to highlight thesis statements in bold font.
Term Paper Sections
An introductory paragraph that describes the overall theme of the paper and subsequent subsections.
In 400-600 words, discuss the utility of using a hierarchical taxonomic system to characterize evolutionary relationships by focusing on an organism of your choice. For your chosen organism, identify its taxonomic classification at the Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus and Species levels. Include an explanation of (a) “shared characteristics” by identifying two such characteristics of your chosen species at each of the Phylum, Order and Genus classifications, and (b) “derived characteristics” by identifying sister clades at each of the Class and Family classifications and describing two derived characteristics that differentiate the clade of your chosen organism from the sister clade at the given classification level.
In 400-600 words, provide a survey of at least three technological methods used to assess phylogenetic relationships at the scale of molecular genetics. For each method, include a brief description of how the method assesses molecular genetics (what aspect of genetics is measured and how?) and an example of an important discovery about an evolutionary relationship that this method contributed toward.
In 400-600 words, describe how genetic tools based on evolutionary principles are beneficial toward societal progress in addressing contemporary medical, agricultural and/or conservation issues. You must address three such ways in which humanity is linked to important evolutionary questions and research. For each linkage, identify the underlying genetic principle and discuss how that principle applies to the human condition.
A concluding paragraph that summarizes the main points of the paper, highlighting the expanding nature of technological tools that help integrate evolutionary processes toward advancing society.
“References” section (excluded from the word count).
This section must include at least 6 references that are cited within the text of your document using APA citation style. At least THREE of your references must be from the peer-reviewed literature.
The document format for your Term Paper should adhere to the following:
Word limit: No fewer than 1250 and no greater than 1950 words
Term Paper Title at the top of the first page (no need for a separate title page, nor your name anywhere in the file)
Include titles for each of the three subsections
11-pt Times New Roman, Calibri or Arial font
1-in margins on top, bottom and both sides of each page
Page number on the right in either the header or footer
No need to include your name or any course information (e.g. Instructor name, course #)
Word Limit Penalty: If you go over or under the limit by more than 100 words, there will be a 10% grade deduction, and for every 100 additional words over/under the limit, there will be an additional 10% deduction.
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