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SA 3124 - Animal Behavior (Shenko)

Assignment Information

Group Research project

As scientists, you will be asked to answer questions about the workings of the natural world. Now is a good time to start figuring out how to do that.

You will be required to design and complete an independent investigation of animal behavior as a major component of this class.

Together with your group, you need to research an  area of animal behavior that interests you, decide on a way to investigate that topic, carry out that investigation, and then analyze the results. 

Your group may choose any topic, but the investigation must be observational only. You may not  experiment on any living creature, only observe its behaviors!  (Doing otherwise involves way more paperwork than you want to do.) The organisms in question have to be easily observable and readily available, they will not be provided for you.

Project Paper

You will be responsible for writing a formal paper of your research and creating a presentation for your peers. The paper should be at least 6 pages in length and contain at least 4 peer-reviewed articles. It must be double-spaced, 12 pt font of Times New Roman and have 1” margins.

The paper should consist of an Abstract, Introduction, Methods, Results & Analysis, Discussion, Conclusion, and Literature Cited sections.

The Abstract section should be a concise statement of the questions being investigated, brief summary of known information, and a short account of your investigation with results.

Within the Introduction, you are expected to consult scientific journals for peer-reviewed research into your topic. Testable hypotheses should also be included in the introduction.

The Methods section should outline the steps you took to carry out your investigation (past tense – not a list of directions for someone else). It should also include the types of data analysis you plan to carry out.

The Results & Analysis section should include raw data collected, any tables created for analysis, and any pertinent graphs.

The Discussion section should discuss the results of your data analysis, revisit testable hypotheses, and relate that analysis to overall ideas in animal behavior. It should include ecological and evolutionary causes, and possible consequences.

The Conclusion should be a brief overview of background information and the major ideas put forth by your research.

The Literature Cited section must include all sources used, in proper Chicago-style format (consult the Research  Guide). 

Project Presentation

During the last lab, you will give a 25-30 min presentation of your research to the class, plus an additional 10 min for questions. This is your chance to showcase why your topic is interesting and what you have done for the semester. PowerPoint is required. You should cover the same sections as your project paper, but in presentation format. You will be graded by a presentation critique rubric provided by the instructor. Your participation in the critiquing process is also part of the overall exercise. 

Peer Evaluation

At the initial stages of your group project, you will be required to create and sign a peer contract for this project. You will use this contract when assessing your group members and they will use it in assessing you. Each individual will (anonymously) rate all other members of their group, assigning the portion of 25 points they feel are deserved. Individual peer evaluation scores will be the average of the points received from other members of the group.

Finding Testable Hypotheses

Finding Local Animal Populations

You may already have a contact in the local community or know of a local animal population that you would like to study. If not, these resources can help you identify local wildlife populations. 

Finding Scientific Literature

You must find 4 original articles which will guide you in the construction of your observational study and in the writing of your paper. Use the databases below to identify potential articles. 

Interlibrary Loan

If a book or article you want is not available, use Interlibrary Loan (ILL). The Library can order books and articles from other libraries. This process takes few days but is completely free for DelVal students, faculty, and staff.

Before you submit an ILL, check Google Scholar or Summon to see if we have immediate access or if it is freely available online.

Identifying Peer-Reviewed Literature

Checklist for Peer-Reviewed Research Article

  Did the author(s) of the article do the actual research?
  Can you find a statement about when the article was accepted for publication?
  Is there a sizable list of references?
  Do the authors assume you are familiar with their topic?
  Is it challenging to read?

If you have answered "yes" to these five questions you have probably located a scientific article.

Formatting your Bibliography

Chicago Style for the Sciences

Chicago Author-Date style may also be referred to as:

  • Author-Date System/Style
  • Parenthetical
  • Chicago Scientific

These are all the same thing!

In-Text Citations

When the author's name appears in the sentence, it does not need to be repeated in the citation.

Recent literature has examined long-run price drifts following initial public offerings and other factors (Ritter 1991). Fisher (2009) reaches more or less the same conclusion.


Several studies have shown that "F. oxysporum isolates collected as nonpathogenic or pathogenic to other hosts that have very similar or identical elongation factor 1α and mitochondrial small subunit genotypes as banana pathogens were shown to cause little or no disease on banana" (O'Donnell 1998, 2044).

More than one author 
(Smith and Johnson 1998, 14) 
(Smith, Johnson, and White 2001, 42)

More than three authors
(Smith et al. 1998, 203)

No author
(Plagiarism and You 2002, 142) 

Journal Articles

Last name, first name. Year. "Article Title." Journal volume (issue, if available): pages. URL or DOI. 

Novak, William J. 2008. "The Myth of the 'Weak' American State." American Historical Review 113:752-72. doi:10.1086/ahr.113.3.752

Journal article with multiple authors
Include all authors, regardless of number, in the References List.

Last name, first name, and First name Last name. Year. "Article Title." Journal volume (issue, if available): pages. URL, if no DOI available. 

Choi, Stephen J., and G. Mitu Gulati. 2008. "Bias in Judicial Citations: A Window into the Behavior of Judges?" Journal of Legal Studies 37 (1): 87-129. doi:10.1086/588263.


Last name, First name. Year. Title. Publisher's location: Publisher's name.

Pollan, Michael. 2006. The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals. New York: Penguin.

Books with multiple authors
Include all authors, regardless of number, in the References List. Word order and punctuation are the same as for two or three authors. 

Last name, First name, and First name Last name. Year. Title. Publisher's location: Publisher's name.

Heatherton, Joyce, James Fitzgilroy, and Jackson Hsu. 2008. Meteors and Mudslides: A Trip through the Earth. New York: Knopf. 

Chapter in an Edited Book

Last name, First name of chapter author. Year. Chapter Title. In Book Title, edited by Editor, pages. Publisher's location: Publisher's name.

Gould, Glenn. 1984. "Streisand as Schwarzkopf." In the Glenn Gould Reader, edited by Tim Page, 308-11. New York: Vintage. 

Birds of North America

Marti, C. D. (1992) Barn Owl. The Birds of North America (A. Poole, Ed.) Ithaca: Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology; Retrieved from The Birds of North America:

Government reports

Last name, first name, First name Last name, and First name Last name. Year. Title. Report submitted to Department on date.

McKenna-Foster, Andrew, Lou Perrotti, and Elizabeth Sorrows. 2015. American Burying Beetle (Nicrophorus americanus) Survey on Nantucket Island, Massachusetts. Report submitted to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on October 22, 2015.


If there is no title, include a description of the image instead. 

Artist or creator. Year. "Title." Digital image. Website title. Access date, if no publication date available. URL

Ryder, Malcolm. 2006. “Driving Action with Values.” Digital image. Orchestra. Accessed April 11, 2017.

"Cassowary on Beach." 2019. Digital image. Guinness World Records. Accessed March 4, 2020.

Legal Documents

Citations in predominantly legal works generally follow one of two guides: (1) The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation; or (2) the ALWD Guide to Legal Citation. Chicago recommends using one of these systems for citing legal and public documents.

14.276 Cases or court decisions
"Full case names in citations including the abbreviation v., are set in roman in notes; short forms in subsequent citations are italicized (as are full case names mentioned in textual sentences). Full citations include volume number, abbreviated name of the reporter(s), the ordinal series number of the reporter (if applicable), the abbreviated name of the court (if not indicated by the reporter) and the date together in parentheses, and other relevant information. A single page number designates the opening page of a decision; an additional number designates an actual page cited. In a shorted citation, at is used to cite a particular page; absence of at implies reference to the decision as a whole."


United States v. Christmas, 222 F.3d 141, 145 (4th Cir. 2000).

Profit Sharing Plan v. Mbank Dallas, N.A., 683 F. Supp. 592 (N.D. Tex. 1988)

14.282 Laws and statues
"Bills of joint resolutions that have been signed into law - "public laws," or statues - are first published separately, as slip laws, and then collected in the annual bound volumes of the United States Statues at Large (abbreviated in legal style as "Stat."), where they are referred to as session laws. Later they are incorporated into the United States Code (U.S.C.). "


1. Homeland Security Act of 2002, Pub. L. No. 107-296, 116 Stat. 2135 (2012).

2. Homeland Security Act of 2002, 6 U.S.C. § 101 (2012). 

Letters, Emails, and Conversations

Personal communications, including email and text messages and direct messages sent through social media, are usually cited in the text only; they are rarely included in a reference list.


(Sam Gomez, Facebook message to author, August 1, 2017)

Newspaper Articles

It is usually sufficient to cite newspaper and magazine articles entirely within the text. If, for some reason, a reference list entry is needed, the year of publication is separated from the month and day. 

Last name, first name. Year. "Title." Newspaper, Month day, pages if available. URL if available. 


Carey, Benedict. 2008. "For the Brain, Remembering is like Reliving." New York Times, September 4. 


If no author is available, begin citation with title.

Last name, First name if available. Year. Title. Publisher's location: Publisher's name.


Lifestyles in Retirement, 1996. New York: TIAA-CREF. 

Presentation Abstract


van Ballegooie M, Mears S, wilson K. 2017. Deep Dive into KBART [presentation abstract]. N Am Seria Inters Group.

Tables and Figures

If there is a photographer or illustrator use his or her name in place of the author. If there is a caption, use the caption in place of the title of an article, or add the caption title in quotation marks with proper capitalization. Add a page number where the image is found.

Last name, first name. Year. "Article Title." Journal volume (issue, if available): page, figure or table name. URL


Talbot, David. 2007. "Saving Holland." Technology Review 110, no. 4: 52, figure 3.


When citing (not reprinting) an illustration from a book, article or other sources, cite the source first, then provide the page number where the illustration is located in text citation, preceding the figure number, with a comma between them. When citing illustrations, the abbreviation fig. may be used for figure, but table, map, plate, and other illustration forms are spelled out.


... (Anderson 2018, fig. 8.1)...

(Smith 2019, 123, fig. 3)


If you are including a figure or table in your paper, not just referring to it, it requires a credit line. A credit line usually appears at the end of a caption of a figure, or in a source note of a table. Figures and tables must be numbered consecutively in Arabic numerals (1, 2, 3, etc)  in the order in which they appear within the text, i.e. the first figure is labeled "Figure 1", the second "Figure 2", and so on. 

Refer to each figure or table in text by their number, e.g. figure 1, table 4, etc.

If you are WRITING FOR PUBLICATION (for a journal, conference paper, thesis, website, etc) you must obtain written permission from the copyright owner to include the figure or table in your work, and state the permission in the source citation as 'Reprinted with permission from ...' While students don't usually require publisher permission to include figures or tables in assignments, you should still include the credit line with copyright statement.

If the work being credited is listed in the reference list, only a shortened form needs appear in the credit line.


Figure or table number. Figure or table name. Reprinted from Author (Year, page).

Figure 1. Surgical mask (left) and N95 mask (right). Reprinted from Doyle and McCutcheon (2015, 24).

Theses or Dissertations

Titles of unpublished works appear in quotation marks, not italics. 

Last name, First name. Year. "Title." Thesis type, Academic institution. Database name, if available. URL, if available.


Choi, Mihwa. 2008. "Contesting Imaginaires in Death Rituals during the Northern Song Dynasty." PhD diss., University of Chicago. ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global.

Vedrashko, Ilya. 2006. "Advertising in Computer Games," Master's thesis, MIT. 


Organization or author name. Year. "Webpage title." Owner of webpage. Access date, if last modified date is not available. URL. 


Microsoft Corporation. 2006. "WD2000: Visual Basic Macro to Assign Clipboard Text to a String Variable." Microsoft Help and Support. Last modified November 23, 2006.

Evanston Public Library Board of Trustees. 2008. “Evanston Public Library Strategic Plan, 2000-2010: A Decade of Outreach.” Evanston Public Library. Accessed July 19, 2016. /strategic-plan-00.html. 

Is the example you need missing?

Contact the Library at to request a new example and citation help!

Setting up RefWorks


RefWorks is a new way to collect, manage, and organize research.  You can read, annotate, organize, and cite your research as well as collaborate by sharing collections.

From simple bibliographies to papers formatted with in-text citations or footnotes, RefWorks handles it all. ​To learn more about RefWorks, use our RefWorks research guide.

To create a RefWorks account:

  1. Go to the link below and click Create account
  2. Fill in your information, making sure to use your DelVal email address.  
  3. Go to your inbox and click the email link to complete the activation process. 

Already have an account? Just go to the link below and click "Log In"

Online Tutorials

RefWorks screencasts are available 24/7 on ProQuest's YouTube Channel. 

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