Table of Contents
Vegetation Ecology / 植群生態學
As a part of the final evaluation, you need to choose a topic related to vegetation ecology, write an essay on that topic, and present it in the class. At the same time, two of your classmates will be assigned to read your essay and write an evaluation (and possibly ask the question during the discussion, but this is not required). I may also ask you some questions related to the essay during the final examination.
Topic: any topic related to the class is allowed. I do not expect that you will choose a single paper and write the essay solely about that paper; instead, I hope you choose a (narrow or wide) topic and elaborate on it (e.g. search several scientific papers related to the topic). The topic must be related to vegetation ecology, but not necessarily to any of the materials, we talked about in the class. Ask me if you have doubts whether the topic you have chosen is appropriate.
Instructions for preparing final essay
Format: the essay does not need to have a structure of the scientific paper, but it still needs to have a scientific background and include proper references to literature sources. It allows you to freely express your opinion about the topic, but this opinion must be based on clearly articulated arguments.
Required length: 3-5 standard manuscript pages. Standard manuscript page: in Word, use Times New Roman (or similar) font of size 12pt, paragraphs with double-line spacing and standard page margins. Start with your name, student ID, and title of your essay. Please, do NOT OVER 5 pages! From these, at least three full pages must be text. By this I mean - I won't accept essay which is composed of entirely only figures or pictures, but you are welcome to include some figures or pictures in limited number if they are relevant for the story. The main part of the essay is written text, not illustrations. Start with your name and the essay title. If you include figures or pictures, insert them into the text or append at the end of the essay together with captions. Cited literature will be in the section References at the end of the essay. Please, format the references according to the reference style APA 6 (see details here). If you got inspiration or help from somebody, insert section Acknowledgements and mention him/her.
When the essay should be finished: at least two days (48 hours) before the final class where you will present it, so as the others have time to read it and possibly ask you some details (it will be read by David, TA and assigned reviewers). Note that you will need to upload the essay to CEIBA, and after this deadline, I will let all the essays available to your classmates so as they can read it if they wish.
Please, bring one printed copy of your essay for the presentation!
Instructions for the essay presentation
You will have up to 10 minutes to present your essay. You can prepare a presentation (PowerPoint, pdf) if you wish, but it is not necessary, you can present without any slides. If you decide to prepare the presentation, make sure that it includes only the initial slide with your name and topic, and then only slides with figures (or schemas) (with no more than 5-10 words per slide). Slides with text only or figure + too much text (> 10 words) are not allowed. Let's avoid “standing and reading PowerPoint slides” type of presentation! Of course, you are free to write notes (or even the whole presentation) on a paper and use it while presenting.
Try to think about how to present your story in 10 minutes so as everybody (or at least most of us) in the classroom can understand what you mean. After 10 minutes, I will give you max 1 minute to conclude, and then we have a short time (~ 5 minutes) for discussion. Please, do not over 10 minutes!
Instructions for the essay review and evaluation
The presentation is divided into two classes, which means that half of you presents in the first class and half of you in the second. In each class, those who are presenting will be “presenters”, those who are not presenting will be “reviewers”. Each reviewer will get randomly assigned two essays, which she/he needs to read and evaluate.
Evaluation is based on four criteria: 1) Quality of written essay, 2) Quality of presentation, 3) How interesting is the topic, and 4) How was the discussion. The form for evaluation with detail instructions can be downloaded here (you don't need to print it - each of you will get two forms in the class to fill).