Good title: The effects of three levels of cadmium on the production of thyroid stimulating hormone in Richardson’s ground squirrel, Spermophilus richardsoni



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  • Scientific Paper
  • Good title:
  • The effects of three levels of cadmium on the production of thyroid stimulating hormone in Richardson’s ground squirrel, Spermophilus richardsoni,
  • Too long a title:
  • The effects of levels 13, 27 and 40 nmol of cadmium on the pre- and post-lactation production of thyroid stimulating hormone in small fuzzy mammals as exemplified by studies on captive populations of Richardson’s ground squirrel, Spermophilus richardsoni.
  • Scientific writing is more structured and economical than non-scientific (e.g. writing for Arts/Humanities courses)
  • e.g. this is from an essay in a Biology course at Mt. A.
  • When most people think of algae, they either think of the “slimy” green stuff in a lake, or the masses of seaweed that float aimlessly in the sea. Chlorine companies make millions a year producing products that would prevent the build up of algae in a swimming pool. However algae, although it might seem as a nuisance to some, undoubtedly is very important to the ecosystem. It is also of substantial economic use to human society. We have learned to exploit algae’s natural properties and use it for our own beneficial needs., Throughout this paper, several areas of algae will be covered, which will include: physical characteristics, reproduction, types of algae, and their economics uses in society.
  • Types of Writing
  • Scientific writing is more structured and economical than non-scientific (e.g. writing for Arts/Humanities courses)
  • e.g. this is from an essay in a Biology course at Mt. A.
  • When most people think of algae, they either think of the “slimy” green stuff in a lake, or the masses of seaweed that float aimlessly in the sea. Chlorine companies make millions a year producing products that would prevent the build up of algae in a swimming pool. However algae, although it might seem as a nuisance to some, undoubtedly is very important to the ecosystem. It is also of substantial economic use to human society. We have learned to exploit algae’s natural properties and use it for our own beneficial needs., Throughout this paper, several areas of algae will be covered, which will include: physical characteristics, reproduction, types of algae, and their economics uses in society.
  • A gentle critique
  • Essays
  • Essays are more difficult to assign rules (beyond style and grammar) but a few things to keep in mind
  • An essay should have a well-defined theme to it. Its not just an arbitrary collection of facts on a topic.
  • 2. An essay should have a fairly narrow theme to it. If you wanted to do an essay on “The behaviour of beavers”, you’re already in trouble. An essay on “Maternal behaviour in beavers and its consequences for offspring survival” would be much better because you have already focussed the topic.
  • 3. Avoid extraneous, “off-the-topic” material. You would not put information on how beavers build dams or the effect of beaver dams on farmland in the essay above.
  • 4. Generally, follow the rules for writing introductions and discussions of scientific papers. The only thing to keep in mind is that the “data” you use in support of whatever arguments you are making comes from the literature and not from your own experiments
  • Scientific Paper
  • Literature cited:
  • Few people appreciate that there is a difference between a “Bibliography” and “Literature (or References) Cited”
  • Bibliography is all the reference material you looked up on a subject whether you cited it in the text of your paper or not
  • Literature (or References) Cited are ONLY those references that appear in the text of your paper
  • Scientific Paper
  • Literature cited:
  • There are a great number of stylistic differences in how references are cited but there are a few general rules that apply to most papers:
  • All cited literature goes in alphabetical order of first author at the end of the paper.
  • All references used in the paper must be cited at the end.
  • References from the non-professional literature (e.g. National Geographic, newspapers, popular magazines) are generally frowned upon
  • Websites are terrible reference material. Never use them!
  • The only exception to (4) is electronic peer-reviewed journals
  • For a summary of ways to cite various kinds of articles:
  • http://www.mta.ca/~raiken/Courses/4401/citation.html
  • Essays
  • Essays are more difficult to assign rules (beyond style and grammar) but a few things to keep in mind
  • Avoid dramatic, cute or flowery writing
  • e.g. In our maternal behaviour in beavers example:
  • A really bad introduction is:
  • Beaver mothers, like all other mothers in the animal kingdom, give their babies a great deal of care and affection
  • A really bad conclusion is:
  • So we have seen how beaver mothers work hard to make sure their babies will have a successful life. Perhaps we, as humans, can learn from their example and build a better societies for all of us to live in.
  • Aiken’s
  • Use-These-Words-Incorrectly-And-You’ll-Die
  • List
  • Effect and affect - effect is a noun, affect is a verb
  • Impact - it’s a noun - don’t use it as a verb (better still, don’t use it at all)
  • Amount and number - amount refers to continuous quantities, number refers to discrete quantities (i.e. “number of people” not an “amount of people”)
  • Varying - it means changing or fluctuating - it does not mean “different”
  • Basically - overused and drifting to being meaningless
  • Data - it’s plural - “data are” not “data is”
  • Compare to - the proper expression is “Compare between”
  • Between/among - between refers to two objects, among to more than two
  • Which/that - this is tricky but “that” is restrictive, which means it tells you a necessary piece of information about its antecedent. “Which” is non-restrictive: it does not limit the word to which it refers.
  • http://andromeda.rutgers.edu/~jlynch/Writing/index.html
  • Aiken’s
  • Use-These-Words-Incorrectly-And-You’ll-Die
  • List
  • AND JUST FOR BIOLOGY
  • Genus - the plural is genera not genuses
  • Species -singular and plural are the same word
  • Italics - either underline or put in italics the genus and species name (= the binomial) for any organism - e.g. Homo sapiens or H. sapiens
  • Methodology -”-ology” on the end of a word means “study of”. For example, Biology is the Morphology study of life. Methodology is the study of methods and morphology is the study of
  • Etc. structure. Use “methods” and “structure”
  • Aiken’s
  • Use-These-Words-At-All-And-You’ll-Die
  • List
  • quite,
  • very,
  • extremely,
  • as it were,
  • moreover,
  • it can be seen that,
  • it has been indicated that,
  • basically,
  • essentially,
  • totally,
  • completely,
  • therefore,
  • it should be remembered that,
  • it should be noted that,
  • thus,
  • it is imperative that,
  • at the present moment in time.
  • The dragonfly confuses many people because it’s unknown when exactly they originated. The dragonfly is a representation of the first successful group of flying insects as the end of the ancient Paleoptilota line of development (Arnett 1985). The wing venation makes the dragonfly the second order of primitive winged insects. Odonata is the order with Odous meaning “a tooth” in Greek. This represents the well developed mandibles that are present in dragonflies. The suborder is Anisoptera which means unequal wing. Modern advances in the dragonfly are the forward placement of legs in adults, their very large acute eyes, and their courtship and mating habits. The lifecycle is incomplete metamorphosis.
  • Due to the lifecycle, there are different methods in feeding between the larvae and the adults. The larvae live and develop in the water and the adults are aerial insects. The feeding in larvae is especially interesting. The labium, lower lip, is very long and has a hinge in the middle that allows it to bend (Voshell 2002). This is referred to as a mask. When searching for food, the larvae will wait for its prey to pass and will extend its lower lip to capture its prey and feed on it.
  • In the adults the mouthparts are made for biting and chewing (refer to Figure 1 in appendix). The dragonfly captures prey with their legs while flying, if the prey is small the dragonfly will continue to fly and eat the prey. The larger the prey, the dragonfly will land and consume its food (Voshell 2002). Dragonflies are carnivorous; they eat other insects, worms, crustaceans, fish-fry and tadpoles (Comstock & Comstock 1907).
  • The ruff Philomachus pugnax is a lek-breeding shorebird that exhibits three mating strategies in males, one of which has only recently been discovered (Jukema and Piersma 2006). As ruffs are a lekking species, they are highly sexually dimorphic with most males displaying elaborate plumage ornamentation. Male mating strategies consist of territory-holding independent males, satellite males that associate with independents and interfere with copulations to gain their own, and faeders. The latter are recently documented males that morphologically mimic females, thereby gaining access to lekking grounds to sneak matings.
  • Although sneak matings are widespread among animals with a variety of mating systems (de Bruyn et al. 2011, Westneat 1987), there are relatively few documented cases of males that morphologically mimic females. The pupfish Cyprinodon elegans exhibits an array of mating tactics among males, analogous to those found in the ruff. Territorial males have the highest reproductive success, whereas satellite males station themselves at territories and attempt to interfere with copulations of territorial males and sneak their own. Sneaker males in pupfish are similar to the faeder strategy of ruffs; these males are cryptically colored to resemble females, and sneak copulations both on and away from territories defended by dominant males. Territorial males may make aggressive action towards sneaker males (Gumm 2012). Reproductive success in sneaker pupfish is lower than that of territorial and satellite males, and unlike ruff faeder males, it appears that this strategy is adopted opportunistically and doesn’t have a genetic basis (Kodric-Brown 1986).


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