(Threatened Eastern Prairie Fringed Orchid)
Instructor: Jim Dooley - BSC 428;
dx 8227; firstname.lastname@example.org
Course Meetings: TBA
Overview: This course serves two groups of students. It is the terminal Biology Senior Seminar course for students that will not be engaging in research. It is also the first of three courses that Biology and Conservation students in order to complete senior research for either the Conservation Science or Biology degrees.
The first challenge we face is to get everyone moving very quickly on developing a solid research proposal. In order to facilitate this objective, we will begin the semester with a "fast start" emphasis on proposal development and writing.
A major goal for this semester then is to produce a formal research proposal (15 pages of text and an additional references cited section) that:
How to Develop a Research Proposal:
The ability to peruse the literature, synthesize information, and write a research proposal that clearly defines the objectives and goals for a body of research is one of the most important and arguably one of the most challenging aspects to developing a successful research project.
OK so how do we start into this task of developing such a beast? Let's start with considering what a good proposal has in it in terms of both structure and content.
A research proposal
has three major sections: Introduction, Methods, and Literature
Cited. You should plan that your
proposal will be a minimum 12 double space pages in length
excluding the literature cited at the end
I. The Introduction section should:
III. The Literature Cited Section is
simply a listing of literature cited in the body of the
proposal. All citations should follow the APA (American
Psychological Association) standard.
How to get started:
Now that we've outline what a proposal is and what sort of form it might take, we need to move next to a consideration of how to get going. In many ways, taking the first step can seem like one of the hardest parts. What you have to do to get going is reflect a bit on what parts of conservation science you find particularly interesting. Here are some practical steps:
1) You might want to start by returning to your major course texts: flip through them and consider what ideas or issues leap out to you as particularly compelling or interesting. Once you find a few general issues you are interested in, you are ready to move on to more primary sources for information: scholarly journals, technical reports, and topical books.
2) Your next step should probably be the campus library. The good news is that you can do much of your "searching" from any computer on campus. Muskingum does not have an extensive collection of scientific journals here on campus (however, there are some important exceptions such as Science, Nature, and the Journal of Wildlife Management) however, it's important to note that you can obtain hard copies of just about any journal article you might need (and not be able to download through the electronic journal facility) through interlibarary loan. You will be charged per page for hardcopies, but the price is very reasonable.
3) You can access the library via the Muskingum Home Page or more directly through (http://muskingum.edu/~library/):
Through the library, there are a number of options for electronic database searches that can be initiated through the Muskingum Library home page.
Absence Policy: Unless you are seriously ill, we will
expect you to attend all of class meetings. Unexcused absences
or persistent lateness may result in a docking of final grade.
Course grades will be based on the following
|Participation in Discussions
& Quiz Grades & timely response to emails
|1st Oral Report|
|Introduction Section of Proposal||25%|
|2nd Oral Report
A Word About Commitment: This semester you will be developing a research proposal and learning a great deal about experimental design and data analysis. Those students who plan to go on to actually conduct research (all CVSC 437 students and some Biol 420 students) need to understand that undertaking a research project is a serious commitment. There are two more graded research courses after this one. In some cases you may actually need to undertake data gathering at odd times: e.g., during the summer, on weekends, during breaks. Field projects often have a limited window for gathering data and you'll need to consider whether you can follow through in all ways necessary before deciding what work you want to do. During key points of the project, your commitment to your research project may need to come before your commitments to work, athletics, and your personal life. Careful planning is the key to successfully navigating this challenge and we will expect that this sort of planning has taken place.
If you are
a senior taking Biol 420 you will also be expected
to fully participate in all Biology Department assessment
activities. Participation in these critically
important activities will be reflected in your participation
|1||Meeting with student and determination of common time for group meeting.
Overview: Course, Syllabus & Timeline.
Review: Example Proposal on Blackboard - Horn 2002
Discussion: Writing Research Proposals
Reading: Pechenik: Writing Research Proposals pages: 219-229
Due: Description of Proposal Topic
Reading: Pechenick - Locating Useful Sources: 21-32
Demonstration: Use of literature data bases (Science Citation Index).
Discussion: Reading Papers, Note Taking & Plagiarism
Read: Pechenick - The Basics of a Strong Proposal: Reading, Note Taking, and Plagiarism: 33-50
proposal [4411"] (pages
1-10 only -stop when
you reach the education section) - what is the mission
of each paragraph?
Read: Pechenick - Citing Sources and Listing References: 71-81.
||Due: Proposal Prospectus (Outline of Introduction Section and List of 25 citations from the scientific literature germane to the topic)|
||Reading: Pechenick - Writing Essays and Review Papers: 137-147.|
||Due: 6 pages from Introduction
to Proposal and a References Cited Section with 40 citations in APA style. Please submit these electronciallyas one document.
||Discussion: Revising Reading: Pechenik - Revising - 82-126|
|| Reading: Pechenick - Reading and Writing About
Statistical Analyses: 51-70.
Powerpoint Presentation: Introduction to Dytham - from Questions to Methods
|| Reading: Pechenick - Reading and Writing About
Statistical Analyses: 51-70
Preparing an oral presentation
Reading: Pechenick - Preparing an oral presentation: 237-247.
Final Proposal Due