Integrative Biology 445 - Chemical Ecology

This class will be taught in Fall 2010


IB445 Chemical Ecology term paper guide



There is no maximum or minimum page limit on the term paper--it must, however, be long enough
to cover the topic in a reasonably thorough manner.   Generally, "A" papers have averaged around 8-10 pages
in length.



The topic is limited only insofar as it must relate to some aspect of chemical ecology; your best hope
of writing a good paper is to pick a topic that interests you!  You can get your inspiration from class lectures, but
please don’t simply provide the content of a lecture back in the form of a paper—choose one aspect of the lecture
and explore that topic in greater depth.  We can provide examples of papers from past years, if you’d like to see
how others handled the challenge.


Citing references

Your term paper should include a minimum of three references from a primary source (preferably journal
articles).  Encyclopedias are not considered primary sources.  Within the text of your paper, you
should cite a source if you have used it for a specific bit of information that is not generally available.  References should be
cited in parentheses as (Last name of author, date) -- i.e., There are over 800,000 named species of insects (Berenbaum, 1995).
  In your bibliography, use the format to write your reference that is used in "Bugs in the System".  Examples follow:


Cowan, F.  Curious Facts in the History of Insects.  Philadelphia:  J. B. Lippincott & Co., 1865, 396 pp.


Meinwald, J. and T. Eisner, 1995.   The chemistry of phyletic dominance.  Pages 29-40 in Chemical
Ecology (T. Eisner and J. Meinwald, eds.).  Washington: National Academy Press.  


Britton, E., 1984.  A pointer to a new hallucinogen of insect origin.  J. Ethnopharmacol. 12: 331-333.

For web sites, please provide a complete URL and a date.  You can use as many web sources
as you'd like, but at least 3 references must be from a peer-reviewed source (journal, book, etc.). 

Handing in your paper

The papers are due December 7 (the penultimate day of class).  All you need to do is to staple the pages
together in the upper left corner; please don't submit your paper in a ring binder or plastic folder. 


Copying anyone's words verbatim, even if you cite your source, is considered plagiarism unless
you use quotation marks to indicate that the words are taken from elsewhere.  If you want to use exact wording
written by someone else, use quotation marks and cite your source! 


Also, when you insert a quoted phrase into your text, make sure it is integrated into a sentence. Do
not simply quote an entire freestanding sentence in your text; by doing so, you’re effectively getting someone
else to write your paper. If because of content, you’d like to include an entire quoted sentence, preface it with a
phrase such as “According to Jones (1995),” and then insert the quoted phrase. 


Pet Peeves:

1. Number your pages!

2. Do not call insects “bugs” unless they belong to the order Hemiptera.

3. Do not use “man” as a synonym for “human” (and leave out 50% of the species).

4. Remember, order names and family names are capitalized but not italicized; common names
are not capitalized unless they contain a proper name (e.g., “Mediterranean fruit fly”); genus names are capitalized,
species names are not, and scientific names are italicized.

5. Common misspellings to avoid:

cocoon, pheromone, affect/effect, there/their, its (THERE IS NO APOSTROPHE IN “ITS” UNLESS

6.  The proper phrase is “to get bitten,” NOT “to get bit.”

7.  The word “off” is a preposition and does not need to be followed by another preposition. Thus, one “falls off a log’” one does not “fall off of a log.”

8.  “Honey bee” and “house fly” are TWO WORDS.  General rule of thumb—if the insect is
accurately described by the common name, then its common name is two words. Hence, “house fly” (a true dipteran) vs
“firefly” (one word, because it’s not a dipteran, it’s a coleopteran).

9. “Hopefully” means “full of hope.”  So, don’t start a sentence with “Hopefully” if you
mean “it is to be hoped that.”

10. Number vs amount.

11. “However” and “but.”



E-mail to May Berenbaum

E-mail to David Seigler

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