[SOLVED] Natural selection and sexual selection..

[SOLVED] Natural selection and sexual selection..

Reading Response Paper #1 (max 5 points)
Format: 400-500 words (2 pages, double-spaced).
Submission: In order for your work to be considered as on time submission, you will need to submit
your document file (pdf. only) through Canvas before it is due, as indicated in Canvas. Please be aware
that all works turned in after that point will be treated as late works regardless of the reasons.
Content: Natural selection and sexual selection are two mechanisms of evolution, through which certain
traits can spread in an animal species. On this topic, study “Materials for Essay #1” in Canvas Modules,
under “Week 1 to 3.” Then answer Questions 1 to 9 on Essay #1 Worksheet. Write your response as a
series of answers, not in paragraphs.
Minimum requirements: A paper that fails to satisfy any of the minimum requirements will be
returned to students for re-write for 3.5 points credit.
• Minimum length: 400 words in total with all answers.
• Sources: All answers need to be based on our course materials and in-class discussions, except
for your own example for Question 5. This example must be from external source(s), from your
own research.
• Citations: You must use appropriate in-text citation(s) for Q5 and add a list of sources at the end
of the paper.
Other Guidelines:
• Write your answer as a self-contained information, capable of standing on its own and being
understood by first-year college students who lack knowledge about the course materials.
• Cite the source using both in-text citations and a list of sources, using APA or MLA style. You
do not need to cite the course materials, as these are for general explanation of the well-known
theories. You only need to cite the external source(s) for your own specific example.
• Use clear and concrete language that is appropriate for an information piece for general
• Proofread for grammar and mechanics so as to ensure that remaining errors (if any) do not
obstruct reader’s understanding.
Grading Rubric
Category Point
• All concepts are adequately and clearly explained.
• An example is described with sufficient and specific details.
• The response does not contain off-topic content.
• The paper has accurate and appropriate in-text citation and a list of
(No use of external source re-write for 2.5 points)
up to -2.5
• Text shows good control of grammar and mechanics. Errors do not
obstruct reader’s understanding.
• Responses are written in academic English.
up to -2.0
Kataoka 1
Your Name
Instructor Name
Ling 123-Section XX
Due Date
Essay 1: Explaining natural selection and sexual selection with examples
An explanatory synthesis
0. Instructions
In this paper, you will (1) explain Darwin’s theories of natural selection and sexual selection, (2)
describe traits that can be explained by these processes, and (3) discuss similarities and differences
between these two processes and the traits that develop from them. To earn full credit, your paper needs
to address all questions in Essay 1 Worksheet, and indicate each question using square brackets and
(For example, your paragraph would look like this: [Q3: your sentences] transition [Q4: your sentences])
Use of sources: The purpose of this assignment is to write a simple, short, yet informative paper in your
own original writing. It is not to present mere summaries or paraphrases of sources. Therefore, carefully
select only directly relevant information and present them in your own words. Be careful not to let the
source texts dominate your paragraphs. Also, all of your answers, except for your own examples in Q5
and Q10, should be in accord with our course materials.
Sources: Use external sources only for your examples asked in Q5 and Q10.
Length: Your essay needs to be between 900- and 1200-words long for the main texts (paragraphs). At
the end of the last paragraph, please include word count. Note: An essay that is shorter than 900 words or
longer than 1200 words will be returned for rewrite to earn up to 7.5 points credit.
Manuscript Format: Leave 1-inch margins all around the text and double-space the main texts. You do
not need to follow a particular manuscript style.
Title: You need to create your own original and descriptive title of your paper.
In-text citations: Indicate information from external sources by using any of the standard style (MLA,
APA, etc.).
Works Cited/References: Add this section with a section heading. In-text citations and list of references
need to be in the same style (e.g, both in MLA, APA, etc.).
Submission: In order for your work to be considered as on time submission, you will need to submit
your document file (pdf. only) through Canvas before it is due. Please be aware that all works turned in
after that point will be treated as late works regardless of the reasons.
Saving your work: Our computer might crush when it is least expected. Consider saving your works in
multiple places (both in your computer and a memory stick). Or consider using a Google doc. and work
on-line, so that your work is automatically saved.
* Note: An essay that deviates the guideline considerably (e.g., many worksheet questions are
unanswered; questions are addressed but presented in a completely different order; exposition is
heavily based on external sources) will receive either 3.75 points or 5.0 points depending on the
extent of deviation.
Kataoka 2
1. Organization
1.1 Short Intro (about 100 words)
• Introduction of general topic—variety of traits (Essay #1 Worksheet Q1)
• Question (e.g., “How did these traits come about?”)
• Purpose and organization of the paper (Q2 & 3: e.g., “This paper will explain …”)
1.2 Body 1: Natural selection theory: how survival traits evolve through the natural selection
process (Q4).
1.3 Body 2: One example of natural selection traits in a frog or a songbird species (Q5)
Transition: The theory’s problem, leading to the sexual selection theory (Q6).
1.4 Body 3: Sexual selection theory: how conspicuous traits evolve through the sexual selection
process (Q7-9).
1.5 Body 4: Example of sex-appeal trait: either a frog mating call or a bird song (Q10)
1.6 Discussion and Conclusion (about 200 words)
• Discussion: Similarities and differences between natural selection and sexual
selection processes (Q11).
• Concluding remark. (e.g., what do the two theories together achieve; what does the
sexual selection theory does to the natural selection theory, etc. Make just one
concluding remark.
2. Grading Rubric (max 7.5 points)
The essay that is less than 900 words or longer than 1200 words in length will not be graded, and
returned to students to re-write to earn up to 5.0 points credit.
Category Grading Factor Point
• All elements are accurately, sufficiently, and precisely addressed.
• The paper does not include off-topic contents.
• All technical terms and concepts are adequately explained in a way
appropriate for naïve external readers.
• Information is presented in author’s own words.
• Accurate in-text citation and bibliography in appropriate format
• No citation—F (Plagiarism)
Up to -3
or F
Document / Paragraph Writing
• Paper reads as a coherent, stand-alone paper, where ideas flow
smoothly and logically.
Up to -3
Sentence Writing
• Text shows good control of diction, grammar, and mechanics;
errors do not obstruct reader’s understanding.
Up to -3
Linguistics 123
Reiko Kataoka Essay #1 Worksheet
Note: In your Reading Response and Essay, all questions can be answered in one or two
sentences unless otherwise specified in each question. Some questions contain sub-questions,
each of which can be answered in one sentence.
Note: Use citations just for sources of specific examples in Q5, and Q10. You do not need to cite
course materials for other questions because these contents are general explanations of the
natural selection and sexual selection theories, which are “well known” theories.
Part 1. Introduction
1. What is trait (in biology)? What are some examples of physical traits? What about behavioral
traits? (No need to do research; just name some examples that you think are common
2. What do we mean when we say that traits evolve?
3. What are the two mechanisms of trait evolution that you are going to explain in your essay?
Part 2. Explaining Natural Selection
4. (about 150 words): Briefly explain how a trait evolves through the natural selection process.
In doing so, use the following two steps:
a. First, give a general idea of natural selection briefly, in one or two senetences.
b. Then explain how it works, including the idea of (1) individual variation in traits, (2)
differential survival rate, (3) differential reproduction rate, and (4) inheritance, as they
lead to (5) change in trait frequency over generations. Be sure to explain them in a
plain language appropriate for general audience.
5. (150-200 words): Offer one example of traits in a frog or a songbird species that can be
explained by natural selection. In doing so, use the following two steps:
a. First, state in one sentence what kind of trait the natural selection generally produces.
b. Then give one specific example found from external source. Name the species and
the trait, and describe how this is an adaptive trait. Be sure to use appropriate
6. According to Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection, are conspicuous traits such
as bright color of peacock’s feather1 expected to evolve? Why or why not?
Part 3. Explaining Sexual Selection
7. According to Darwin’s sexual selection theory, however, these traits are expected to evolve.
How so?
1 In this essay, we will focus on “sex-appeal” traits, excluding “competition traits” from the topic of our essay.
Linguistics 123
Reiko Kataoka Essay #1 Worksheet
8. For the sexual selection process, which factor makes more effect on trait evolution, survival
risk or mating advantage?
9. Through the process of sexual selection, which sex usually show more exaggerated trait?
Why? What is the term used for this situation that two sexes having different traits?
10. (This question is for Essay only: 150-200 words) Give one example of an elaborate frog
call or a bird song as an example of sex-appeal traits. You need to include (1) the scientific
name of the animal and (2) description of the sounds of call/song. Then explain (3) risk
factor (how it can jeopardize survival of males?) and (4) mating advantage of that trait
(which males have greater mating opportunity?). Be sure to state how calling/singing is a
sexually-dimorphic behavior (which sex does it?)
11. (This question is for Essay only: 150-200 words) Sexual selection can be considered as a
special case of natural selection. Explain similarities and differences in these processes in the
following steps:
a. First, explain the basic commonalities in the two processes.
b. Next, identify crucial differences in these two processes and explain how these
differences lead to different kinds of traits.
For Reading Response, just list your answers with a question number “Q1”, “Q2”, etc. You do
not need to write a paragraph but be sure to write your answers in full sentences. Answers
written in phrases do not receive full credit.
For Essay, address all Questions and write an information piece in an essay format. [Q1: In
your essay, indicate the sentence(s) that correspond to questions 1 to 9 using square brackets as
shown in this sentence.]
Reading Response #1 & Essay #1
to explain
Natural Selection and Sexual Selection
Reiko Kataoka
Linguistics 123
San José State University
By now, you have learned
• Traits as characteristics of animals
• Traits as gene’s expressions (video Great Transformation)
• Basic idea of evolution (video Great Transformation)
You are learning the following new materials in Canvas:
• “Evolution 101 by NOVA” (video)
• “Evolution by Natural Selection” (web page)
• “Sexual Selection” (Article in Course Packet)
• “Seductive Frogs and Sexual Selection” (web article)
• “How and Why Birds Sing” (web page)
Essay #1–Natural Selection and Sexual Selection:
Compare, Contrast, Connect
• Objective: To explain similarities and differences
between natural selection and sexual selection
– Explain natural selection theory
• How it works (process)
• Example (survival trait)
• Theory’s problem
– Explain sexual selection theory
• How it works (process)
• Example (sex-appeal trait)
• (competition trait is excluded)
– Discussion: Similarities and differences
Essay #1
RR #1
Trait and Trait Evolution
• Trait: features such as appearance, behavior, cognition,
etc. (Q1)*
• Trait evolution: changes in gene frequency within
population gene pool (= change in traits frequency within
species over generations) (Q2)
Note: “Q1,” “Q2,” etc. indicates the corresponding worksheet
questions. Your task is to translate/explain these abstract ideas
using more concrete expressions for general audience.
Natural Selection and Sexual Selection as
Mechanisms of Trait evolution (Q3)
• Natural Selection: Darwin’s first theory (Q4)
• survival and reproduction for the fittest.
See the web page “Evolution by Natural Selection”

(Q4) Natural selection (Evolution by Natural Selection)
“ Natural selection is the process by which certain inherited
traits—[e.g., color of a fish]—are favored within a
population” ( Can you “translate” it in your own words?)
– Traits persist in a population if they contribute to the success of
the organism.
– Traits are eliminated if they detract from the success of the
organism. (Evolution by Natural Selection)
(Q4) Natural selection (Evolution by Natural Selection)
Conditions for natural selection
– individual variation in traits
– different survival rate
– different reproduction rate
– Inheritance of trait by genes
(Evolution by Natural Selection)
Quick web search (Q5)
• Can you find one example of natural selection traits
(=adaptive trait for natural selection) in a frog or a bird
• How does it contribute to the survival of the animal?
Q6: The problem in Darwin’s theory of natural selection
• Natural selection should favor traits that increase
survival. But…
• Conspicuous traits abound in nature. His first theory
doesn’t explain how these traits evolve.
Read “Sexual Selection” by Ayala in “Required Readings”
↑ In our essay, we will focus on this type.
Darwin’s Answer: Sexual selection
Based on “Sexual Seelction” by Ayala, you can answer the
following Qs:
• Q7: How do conspicuous traits still evolve?
• Q8: Survival risk vs. mating advantage, which is greater?
• Characteristics of sexually selected traits
– Conspicuous
– Sexually “dimorphic” (Q9)
• Two types of sexually selected traits
– Q10: Sex-appeal traits (frog calls/bird songs)
– Competition traits (weapons, size in males)
(not addressed in our essay)
(Q10) Your examples
This question is for Essay 1 only. Reading Response will not
cover this question.
There is an Discussion Board 1 activity on this question.
• Scientific name
• A sex-appeal trait
• Risk factors
• Mating advantage (which males get more mating
than others?)
(Q11) Compare, Contrast, Connect
Only for Essay 1, not for Reading Response
• Similarities in Conditions:
• variation in traits → different reproduction
• Inheritance of traits by genes
• Differences in determining factors:
– Main factor of natural selection? What kind of traits evolve?
– Main factor of sexual selection? What kind of traits evolve?
Any questions?

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