Organism Profile Summary and Outline
Assignment Instructions: To help prepare you for the Organism Profile which is due Week 5, you will submit a 4-6 sentence summary of what you will be covering in your paper and an outline of your organism profile. The summary should be written first, letting your professor know what you plan to cover in your Organism Profile. This is NOT a formal paper but your thoughts should be clear and your writing free of spelling/grammar errors. Once you have a summary of what you want to discuss, you should start organizing the general and specific information you want to include in your paper by creating an alphanumeric outline. You can review instructions on how to develop such an outline as well as see a sample alphanumeric outline at http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/544/03/.
Your Organism Profile Summary and Outline should include, but not be limited to, the following topics:
4. Evolution of the organism – Evolution is simply heritable change over time. Sometimes changes from one generation to the next can give individuals an advantage. Specifically a trait that increases reproductive success or survival ability could be advantageous. Include a section in your profile paper about your organism’s evolution. Here are possible ways to research the topic:
a. Conduct a review of scientific literature to understand what is known about your organism’s past evolution. Search key words may include evolution, fossil, ancestor. Often technical reports from wildlife and conservation agencies have descriptions of an organism’s evolution.
b. Summarize research on any adaptive traits. Search key words include adaptation, evolution, trait, and character.
c. Find an article on the family tree or phylogeny of your organism. Summarize the information describing related species. Search key words might include phylogeny, phylogenetic, and genetic analysis.
d. Use the Tree of Life Project to describe the phylogeny of your organism. Start at species, if possible, and trace back to the root. In addition to your summary, include any interesting patterns or unknown data.
**Still have questions about how to research for the evolution section? Click here for a hypothetical example.
5. Additional interests – The diversity of biological organisms is vast. Therefore, if your organism has a particularly interesting aspect about its biology that is not covered in the life cycle, structure and function, and evolution add a section to your paper on that aspect. For example, if your species has an interesting parental care strategy or mating system (i.e., protrandry/protogyny, polygymy, promiscuity, monogamy) you can include that in your paper.