Conduct a review of scientific literature to understand what is known about the evolution of your chosen organism.

Please use the following description below. The ouline is attached. Please ensure you are taking into consideration the feedback that was given on the outline before writing the paper.


Your Abstract should contain the following parts that are listed below.

  • Topic Sentence: your abstract must contain one sentence that clearly and concisely introduces the topic of the profile paper.
  • Content Sentences: your abstract must mention the following five main topics of the profile: background information about the species, life cycle of the organism, structure and function of one organ system of the organism, evolutionary topic, and an additional interest. This is challenging to write!  These sentences should not be too specific, but reflect broad strokes summaries of each of these main topics.
  • Conclusion Sentence: Abstract contains one sentence that mentions key conclusions and/or findings.


Here is a link that may help: Advice on writing abstracts: (Please note that you do not have a methods section in this paper.  Despite that difference, this is a great resource with great tips).


I.             The Introduction: this section must contain

A.   The scientific name of your organism. Please see this link (How to Write Latin Names) for help if needed.

B.   The common name of your organism.  What do most people know it as?

C.   The area of residence in which you and your organism are (country/state/city).

D.   The specific biome of where your organism lives.  Please see this link on biomes for help if needed.

II.           The Body: this section should contain

A.   Background: include a general physical description of your organism

B.   Life Cycle: describe the life cycle of your organism.  The life cycle refers to the series of changes that happens from the beginning of life as your organism develops and grows into a mature organism.  Please see here for some hints on life cycle.

C.   Structure and Function: please select one organ system of your organism that you find to be particularly interesting and describe both the anatomy and physiology of that system.

a.    If your organism is an animal, here are a list of the general animal organ systems.

b.    If your organism is a plant, here are a list of the general plant organ systems.

c.    If you have selected a bacteria or a fungus the concept can be more complex.  Please contact me directly for more directions if needed.

D.   Evolution: Evolution is best understood as heritable change over time, or descent with modification.  Please be sure to discuss the evolution of your organism using the following guidance:

a.    Conduct a review of scientific literature to understand what is known about the evolution of your chosen organism.  Search key words like evolution, fossil, ancestor.  Also, refer back to your results from Assignment 1.

b.    Conduct a review of scientific literature to understand the family tree or phylogeny of your organism.  Phylogeny is defined as the history of organismal lineage as they change through time. Search key words like phylogeny, phylogenetic and genetic analysis.

c.    Use the Tree of Life Project to help you identify the lineage and related species.

E.   Additional Interests: The diversity of biological organisms is vast and interesting! Identify at least one unique fact or behavior not covered in the life cycle, structure/function or evolution and discuss it.  For example, does your organism have an interesting parental care strategy or mating system? What about an adaptation or co-dependence with another species?

III.         Conclusion section: this section should contain four to six bullet points that sum up the main points from the outline.

IV.         Reference section: this is not just a separate section; rather referencing should occur throughout the outline as it will in your paper.  Please be sure to cite any language within the outline that should be cited.  Proper citation and referencing were reviewed in Assignment 1; please look back at those resources and/or ask me if you have any additional questions. Your paper should also have a final reference page listing the sources used throughout the outline.


Please make note of the following tips and tricks:

  • Please note that less than 10% of your paper should contain direct quotes.
  • Avoid bulleted lists within the body of your paper.
  • Do not write in first or second person.
  • One last reminder: be sure to properly cite your work, both internal to the paper as well as within the reference page.
  • Please see the sample profile below!
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