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Scientific Writing Skills

Research Project
During the semester you will be required to complete two research projects and present
your findings to the class. Each research project will be worth 150 points, 75 for the
written report and 75 for the class presentation. The project (both written and presented
portion) will be conducted in groups of 4. Students may form their own groups, but any
group with fewer than 4 members will be assigned students who have not yet joined a
group. The purpose of this assignment is to help develop and strengthen
● Research and information gathering
● Scientific writing skills
● The ability to find and cite sources
● Organizational skills
● The ability to effectively collaborate
● Public speaking skills
The written report and presentation will be submitted through Dropbox on Beachboard
and only one of the group members needs to submit the file. However, each student will
fill out a survey on Beachboard following the submission of their report and presentation
on the individual contributions of their teammates. Based on the rating your teammates
give you, your overall grade will be scaled accordingly. For example, if your teammates
indicate that your contribution to the project was 0%, you will receive 0% of the points.
The topic of each research project will be on an insect family of the group’s choice. No
families may be repeated. The focus of the research will be to provide a useful overview
of the family to your peers that will assist them in understanding that family (further
details below).
Written Report
Each research project will feature a written report on the insect family of choice. The
written report must contain the following:
● The names of all participating group members
● At least 10 cited references
○ Use APA citation style
● 12 page minimum
● Single space
● 1 inch margins
● Times new roman size 12 font
● Diagrams may not exceed 25% of the total space (you can have big diagrams, but then
the # of pages must increase as well)
● A section on
○ Life history and ecology
○ Key characteristics and how to identify this family
○ Collection methods
○ Relevance to humans
All reports will be submitted to dropbox by a single group member elected by the group.
Each group will be presenting their findings to the class during lab time. A week’s worth of lab
will be set aside for each round of presentations, with half the groups going on one day and the
other half on the following day. Groups that present on the first day will be graded slightly more
leniently to account for the extra time that groups going on the second day are afforded. The
requirements for the presentation are as follows:
● Presentation must be viewable by the class (most likely through screen share on Zoom)
○ This means one group member will likely be responsible for slide transitions
unless the group can offer seamless transitions between screen sharing.
● The presentation should be approximately 20 minutes in length
○ With an additional 10 minutes for questions
● All group members must speak during the presentation and contribute equally to
delivering the material
● The presentation should be designed to deliver the information contained within the
written report in a digestible way that the audience will understand. Therefore the
presentation should include:
○ Life history and ecology
○ Key characteristics and how to identify this family
○ Collection methods
○ Relevance to humans
Teammate Evaluation
Following the due date for both the report and presentation, group members will submit a rating
for the contributions of their teammates in a Dropbox folder. Ratings will be from 0-100% which
will affect the percentage of points earned. For example, a group member who received a 50%
rating will receive 50% of the points that the written report earned.
Examples of ratings:
Contributed fairly or extensively to the
completion of the report and deserves full
Helped on the project but did not contribute
as much as their other teammates, nor did
they attempt to.
Their contribution was greatly outweighed by
their other teammates and they did not make
an effort to match their teams contributions.
Contributed little to nothing to the report
and/or was an overall disruption to its

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