Botany and Zoology
Zoology and Botany are two oldest branches of biological sciences, which were completely transformed by the advances in molecular biology and genetics in the last several decades. These traditionally descriptive disciplines now operate by genomic data that allow to trace evolutionary history of species and build classifications and theories based on genetic ancestry. Writing a good essay on these subjects would inevitably involve a literature research in the recent peer-reviewed publications. Appropriate publication databases should be searched for relevant articles and reviews. Usual web search is unlikely to produce a comprehensive overview of existing body of knowledge since these days many scientific articles are simply not available in the free access.
Clear well-defined structure with logical and coherent flow of information is critically important. Your essay should tell a “story”, which would include basic well-established facts, recent findings (which might, on some occasions, contradict the existing dogmas), their interpretations and relevant scientific theories (either old or newly formulated), gaps in knowledge and potential future research directions needed to fill these gaps. Although botany and zoology are well-established scientific disciplines, lots of new findings published these days challenge many existing views.
Reviewing up-to-date information would help to demonstrate not only your ability to learn the things taught at the classes but also to research and interpret new data. The latter is the most important skill for any independent researcher and something that, in the short terms, would bring you excellent marks.
Evolutionary aspects are very important when writing on almost any topics in zoology and botany. Species of plants and animals do not exist in isolation – they went through long and complex evolutionary history, which includes not only genetic changes but also changes in global environment, local habitats, areas of species distribution, patterns of behaviour and interaction with other animals and plants. All these factors shaped the species we observe today, and understanding these aspects is critical in making sense of the experimental data and observations. These make modern botany and zoology multidisciplinary branches of science that commonly use the methods of genomic analysis, ecology, paleontology, behavioural science and molecular evolution in the analysis of experimental data. This also means that proper literature research for your essay should take into account all these aspects of the research problem which you analyse.
Research data and examples selected for essay should follow the logics of your essay. They should be not just relevant, but arranged in an order that helps to illustrate the right points at the right time. This would make the essay easily readable and understandable. Ability to communicate your thought clearly is always one of the points your essay will be marked for.
Obviously, the structure, depth and complexity of essay depend on the particular task at hands. The requirements for short undergraduate work and postgraduate dissertation are very different. But the major “selling” points mentioned above are always highly appreciated.