American Military University North American Bison Presentation Outline

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  submit an outline to organize your thoughts and main points. Your outline should be formatted in the specified way and must contain the following elements as described below.

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Be sure to add your name and course number to your outline.

The Outline Format:  Your outline must be formatted as described and exemplified in the example linked above – an alphanumeric outline created with MS Word and saved as a .doc or .docx file type only.  Please note that this format will be assessed in your grade:

Use an alphanumeric sequence

Sections should be indented and aligned

Follow the suggested order of the required topics/subtopics

Use brief but detailed and descriptive phrases (e.g., Mate in April or May, viviparous, polygynandrous)

The required topics/subtopics: Depending on the type of species you have chosen, you will address different sets of questions.  Please see the category that corresponds to your selection below in the colored boxes. (Scroll down!) Your outline should contain the following topics/subtopics in this order, and please note that some of these should be your personal observations, if possible. Also, remember that your Final Presentation (Assignment #3) should only be 10-15 slides, so you need to be concise and clear with your information.

Please make note of the following general tips and tricks for your Outline:

  • I understand that this is a rough draft and, as your research and writing continue over the next few weeks, details may be added or changed.  Although you do not have to resubmit it to me, I recommend that you update this outline to help you best complete Assignment 3.
  • Write your outline so that it has detailed and descriptive phrases in bulleted format that you can easily then flesh out into sentences for the audio narration component of your Final Presentation (Assignment 3).
  • After your outline is complete, I recommend that you next draft your conclusion section for your outline.  This will ensure that all the main points of the outline are incorporated in this framing section.
  • All internal citation references (in-text-citations) should be listed on the reference page, and vice versa. ** Work that is improperly cited and referenced or lacking either proper citations or references may not be accepted for credit. **

*Writing Expectations:  Apply scientific concepts and use scientific terminology correctly.  Utilize proper spelling, grammar, and punctuation.

Additional Resources:

Use MS Word’s Outline Function.  Use a MAC?  Here is a video link (captioning included on the link) that you may find useful that reviews formatting in MS Word. (Setting up APA headers in Word).

Also, please see the resources below at The Owl at Purdue site for more information on how to develop an outline:

Types of Outlines and Samples

Four Main Components for Effective Outlines

Why and How to Create a Useful Outline

  • The Introduction Section
  • Organism Introduction
  • The common and scientific name of your organism. Please see this link to help with scientific names if needed: How to Write Scientific Names of Organisms

Where you observed your organism (country, state, park, zoo, etc.)

A brief discussion on why you chose your organism

If possible, a picture and/or video of you safely observing your species in the field. If not possible, search the Internet for an image (and remember to cite your source for the image) in a typical habitat.

The Body

Physical Description

You must include a brief physical description. You can use your personal observations. If you cannot safely observe your organism, you must research.

size, coloring, etc. (e.g., Differences between male and female, juvenile and adult.)

Life Cycle and Reproduction

Life Cycle: describe the life cycle of your organism.  The life cycle refers to the series of changes that happen from the beginning of life as your organism develops and grows into a mature organism.  Please see here for some hints on the Life Cycle. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask!

  • Reproduction: You must discuss the reproductive strategies of your organism (e.g. release of gametes by a fish or hermaphroditic reproduction in earthworms), mate choice, mating displays, mate competition, and mating systems.

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.

Energy Ecology

  • If you can observe these, that is best. If not, research.

What are the food sources? Types? Amounts? Temporal pattern of feeding? Specific handling or processing of food items by the organism (e.g. the way a squirrel manipulates an acorn)

  • Habitat

Where your organism lives. This does not refer to a city or state, but rather the natural environment in which your organism lives.

  • You should consider abiotic factors, such as soil, water, etc., as well as biotic factors, such as predators, hosts, etc.

The Conclusion Section

  • This section should contain four to six points that sum up the main points from the body of the outline.

Start your conclusive section with one sentence summarizing some basic information about your chosen organism (name and geographical distribution).

Continue with a brief summary (1-2 sentences) about the life cycle and any particular body structures.

Include a brief summary (1-2 sentences) about the ecological role of your chosen organism in its ecosystem.

Wrap up the conclusive section with a closing note that provides brief information about a unique fact and/or behavior of your chosen organism.

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