Principles of ecology paper | Ecology | Arkansas State University

Coral Reef Perspective


The title of a scientific paper should tell the reader what kind of work is being reported. If possible, it should reveal the organism or system studied, the particular aspect or system examined, and the variable(s) manipulated. 


The introduction should present the question being asked (refer to your title) and place it in the context of what is already known about the topic. This could be a quick review of the concepts in your sentinel paper.  The final sentences may describe your question being asked and how the study addresses the question.  Be sure you cite your original paper that you are describing. 

Supporting Literature

This is the section that each student can write a few paragraphs on his/her paper that they have chosen to support or contrast or expound on the original paper.  Be sure and use citations correctly.  You could even use additional citations that are found in the paper that you have individually chosen.  Again be sure NOT to plagiarize.


Work together to bring all these papers together.  Do they all support what the sentinel paper has said?  Do some support and some contrast the paper?  Bring it all together here.  If a reader is in a hurry and doesn’t want to read the whole paper you are writing, he might skip to the conclusion to see if he wants to read the rest.  So bring it all together here and do not forget to use citations here!!

Literature Cited

All published work mentioned in your paper must be listed in this section. List your citations in order of the last name of the first author. In cases of more than two authors, use “et al.” in the text of your paper (Jones et al., 1972), but in the literature cited section, all authors must be named. 

I chose APA citations

Bellwood, D. R., Streit, R. P., Brandl, S. J., & Tebbett, S. B. (2019). The meaning of the term ‘function’ in ecology: a coral reef perspective. Functional Ecology, 33(6), 948-961.

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