Zoology Research Paper Writing: Recommendations for College Students

Writing guide
Posted on February 4, 2019

A Zoology research paper is a form of written communication in which the author succinctly presents and interprets information gathered during the process of investigation. Writing a research paper in Zoology is similar to the writing papers in many other scientific disciplines except that the format of the project and the grading criteria will differ. Make sure to use the following zoology research paper guide as well as refer to the writing recommendations provided by the course tutor.

Pre-Writing Stage

Before you write your Zoology research paper, build a solid outline that will logically present the info that supports each of your conclusions. Make sure to organize the data into tables and figures to ensure all the evidence is provided in a logical order. Some researchers prefer to create a draft by simply putting down all of their ideas with a little regard to the sentence structure and to fix them later. Others tend to revise their content as they proceed.

Paper Format

The format of the Zoology research paper is usually based on the scientific method and is organized to provide the reader with an opportunity to comprehend the key points of the research. The traditional format required in all Zoology classes consists of the Title, the Abstract, the Into, the Methods, the Results, the Discussion, and the Literature Cited segments. The heading of every section (the introduction, the abstract, the results and so on) should be capitalized, centered and placed with the body of every section immediately following.


Place the title of your project along with your name at the top of the first page. If any of other classmates took part in the research process, you should also list their names. The latter should be included below your name. Plus, scientific titles should also reflect your results. If there are no results found during the research, ensure that your title clearly demonstrates that.

For instance:
‘Unexpected Diversity within the
Javan Slow Loris Trade: Implications for Slow Loris Taxonomy

By: John Smith
Michael Boners, Blair Williams and Tora Jones’

Here, the title of the Zoology research paper clearly states three things: the specific organism being measured (Javan Slow Loris); the response of the organism (Taxonomy) and the current situation that was observed (implications).


The abstract is a brief summary of the research. The segment should be one paragraph long and include no more than 250 words. Abstracts are usually comprised of a sentence of background, short and clear statements of the hypothesis, some precisions, the two sentences that describe the methods and the results of the research. The final sentence goes about the conclusions of your research.

In case of the Zoology research paper with the ‘Behavioral Responses of Whales and Dolphins to the Dead Conspecifics’ title, the Abstract would look pretty much like the following:

‘The scientific study of death within the taxa-comparative thanatology is dedicated to the psychological, behavioral and physiological responses to the dead conspecifics, as well as a range of processes that stand behind these responses. Some of the species that inhabit the cetaceans are known to take care of, be aroused by, attend to or be interested in the dying or dead creatures. We’ve studied the patterns and variation in cetacean responses to the dead conspecifics all over the clade. We’ve examined 85 records reported between 1980 and 2018, including 20 of 88 extant cetacean creatures. We have taken a properly weighted comparative approach in order to monitor the chosen cetacean species and found that toothed cetaceans (odontocetes) were much more likely than baleen whales (mysticetes) to attend to the dead or dying individuals. According to the research results, dolphins (93% of all records) had the greatest occurrence of the so-called attentive behavior in contrast to the average of all other cetacean clades.’

Choose Your Zoology Research Paper Topic: Tips from Our Experts

The diversity of the topics makes Zoology the kind of science where every high school, college and university student can find something relevant to his/her studies and related to his/her interests. In the list given below you will be able to find the most suitable topic and generate original work based on one:

  • The Industrial Pollution: Zoological Implications on Species Development in N Region. Whether you prefer Gloucestershire, Nevada, Rio de Janeiro or Edinburg – ensure to pick the region and talk about the zoological implications on species development there.
  • Psychological Effects of Animals Taken from Natural Habitat. What are they? How to help the natural habitats to get accustomed to the completely new environment?
  • The American Buffalo: The Impact of Western Historical Expansion. If you think you can easily handle the History paper, go on and blend it with the Zoology aspects!
  • Understanding Animal Behavior among Predators. No matter how cruel the issue may seem to you, the topic will be interesting for your college mates.
  • Evolution of Turtle. These magnificent creatures come in many different sizes and face the threat of extinction. Contact the passionate researchers, who work with the sea turtles and definitely have something to say about the long path these animals have come.
  • Brain Size and Species Intelligence. Do you think there is a certain connection between these parameters? If yes (or no), tell your target readers what you (or the scientists) have to say.
  • Herbivorous vs. Carnivorous Animals. How can we recognize them?
  • Vegetarians. Should People Stop Eating Meat for the Sake of Animals? Do you think you can survive without your favorite bacon pizza? Provide a detailed research paper, if you do.
  • Reasons Why Nowadays Many Areas of Animal Life Are Preserved in Museums. Sad but true. Many magnificent animals of the past can be seen only in museums at the moment. Use your research to give the reason why.
  • Are Dogs Really Our Best Friends? If you happen to be a cat person, you definitely have something to say.
  • Hunting: Yay or Nay? The reality is that this barbarian habit is still allowed all over the globe. The question is about the animals that are not killed for food, but for fun only.
  • Parasites and Disease: Reveal the Connections. Without a doubt, this topic isn’t quite appetite provoking, but you’ll have many interesting discoveries while conducting your research.


The introduction section concisely describes the key purpose of your research, as well as informs your readers on why you’ve actually done this work. Your task here is to briefly review the past research on the issue with enough background info needed to orient your audience (you accomplish this by a literature search of primary, peer-reviewed materials). Keep in mind that the background info provided must be properly referenced (check the how to cite references section). Check out the following right and wrong Zoology research paper introductions to ensure you got the idea:

The right way to compose an introduction:

‘Over 3 000 years ago a strange looking but very useful animals were domesticated by people of Arabia. It was the Arabian camel – a huge beast having long legs and one hump on its back. The ungainly animal could cross hot desserts without drinking much water and, what was especially useful, it could carry heavy loads without getting tired for a long time. The Bactrian camel that has two humps and lives in the central Asia was also domesticated long time ago. The animal turned out to be sturdier than the Arabian one and could easily carry heavier loads.’

The wrong way to create the introduction:
‘Many years ago people decided to domesticate camels. They were huge and had humps that enabled them to cross deserts and didn’t need much water.’

From this broad introductive part, you’re required to focus down to the specific research topic on the chosen topic:
‘According to the most recent researches, the substantial shared genetic variation was found in modern camels except for a single genetically distinct animal that has been isolated on the territory of Eastern Africa.
The researchers found that domesticated camels’ populations originated from the wild populations – extinct at the present moment – on the Southeast coast of the Arabian Peninsula that tallies with previously performed archaeological researches.’

The Body

The body of a Zoology research paper includes the development of the argument provided together with the essential information needed to sustain a reasonable conclusion. Ensure to divide the body of your project into the separate sections. It’s up to you to decide how many of those you think it’s appropriate to provide. Think about what these paper segments should be and start each with a clear indication if its purpose.

The proper use of headings will provide your text with helpful signposts to the target audience. Ensure you’re consistent in the use of the headings. Provide examples to support the points you’re trying to make as well as include your own comments to let the readers know why this or that point is important. Quotations are a must for a Zoology research paper, but an academic project that looks like a list of quotations won’t help you to get the desired grades.

The key is to be highly selective when it comes to the quoted materials and carefully choose the issues you think you should provide in your assignment.

Make sure you don’t just jump around the issues raised by your research question. If you find yourself doing this, ensure to take the other look at your plan to find out whether there’s an adjustment to it that you can make to avoid this.

The key aspect you have to keep in mind lies in the fact that all statements must be backed up by authority or evidence. That’s an absolute must when it comes to the Zoology research paper writing.

Finally, you need to make certain the information of the body section reflects exactly what you have pointed out in the introduction. If you see that it doesn’t, it’s time to revise one of the other…or both if needed.

The Conclusion

Now it’s time to draw the threads of your argument together. Remember that in a conclusive section you’re not supposed to repeat the arguments provided before or re-state the introduction. The final part of your Zoology research paper should be focused on the question that you’ve specified and inform the readers on how you have answered the question. Avoid any new argument in the conclusive part of the paper.

The good example of the conclusion for the Zoology research paper on ‘Parasite Load & Disease in Wild Animals’:

In addition to the increased mortality from the causes that are possibly more painful, parasites tend to decrease the quality of life of their hosts, from minor malnutrition to serious tissue damage. A range of metrics (especially the experimental manipulations of parasite levels) suggest that animals are better off not having been parasitized. Moreover, they appear to be ubiquitous – the majority of wild animals have those all the time. Due to this, while there’s still much to learn about the parasitism, the impact and scale of it suggests that in wild life parasitism is one of the most significant causes of suffer. Easing the animals suffering from parasitism seems probably controllable as a cause area in its own right and should be taken into consideration when investigating the other measure to ease wild-animal suffering.

A Few Last Zoology Research Paper Tips to Avoid Common Errors

When you use Latin Names (you’re going to deal with a lot of those when working on any Zoology project), it’s highly important to pay due attention to the formatting of those when using Latin:

  • Ecology issues: Species and genus of every organism should be always underlined or provided in italics. Species is not capitalized while genus is always capitalized. For instance: Pomacea canaliculata.
  • Molecular issues: The formatting specifications for genes and their products tend to vary from species to species. Make sure to use the correct formatting for the species of interest throughout the project.

It is recommended to also consult websites that are devoted to specific species and provide the formatting information, such as The National Center for Biotechnology Information.

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