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Writing an Animal Report
(plus a Rubric)

Getting Started:
First, get to know about your animal. Read as much information about the animal as you can find. Try both the Internet and the library; try a good search engine, an encyclopedia, and individual books on animals.

As you're reading about your animal, take notes on key information, such as where your animal lives (its range), what type of biome it lives in (its habitat), how big your animal gets, what it looks like, what it eats, what eats it, how long it lives (if this is known), etc.

The Structure of the Animal Report:
Start your report with an introductory paragraph that states the main ideas that you will be writing about. Then write at least four to five paragraphs that clearly describe your animal and how it lives. Each paragraph should cover one topic (for example, you should have one paragraph that covers the animal's anatomy). End the report with a closing paragraph that summarizes what you wrote and learned.

Finally, cite your references (see the section below on formats for your bibliography).

Check that your grammar, spelling, and punctuation are correct. Make sure to use complete sentences and write neatly! Define any technical terms that you use. Proofread your report for errors before you hand it in -- do not hand in a rough draft.

Topics to Research and Include in Your Report:
When you write your report, try to answer as many of the following questions as you can (unfortunately, not all of these things are known for all animals):



Citing Your References: When you write your bibliography, list all of your references. Formats for each type of publication follows (there are different formats for different media): Author(s) are listed last name first, first name or initials (as cited in the publication).

For example: ZoomWhales.com would be cited as follows:

Col, Jeananda. ZoomWhales.com. http://www.ZoomWhales.com 1999.

Another format for Internet sources is as follows:

Last name, First name of author. Title of Page. Name of the publisher (EnchantedLearning.com in our case). Date the page was created (at Enchanted Learning, this is the earliest date on the copyright notice located at the bottom of each page), Date of revision (at Enchanted Learning, we do not keep track of page revisions).

Some teachers also request that you include the date of access; this is the date (or dates) that you went to the web page (or pages).



The Following is a Rubric For Assessing each Part of Your Research Report:
. Beginning
1
Developing
2
Accomplished
3
Excellent
4
Score
Introduction Disorganized, no information on what is to come Gives too little information. Summarizes report Concise, well-written introduction .
Research Part 1 (name, anatomy, locomotion, diet, habitat, range, adaptations) Does not cover all appropriate topics Covers some of the appropriate topics. Covers most of the appropriate topics. All appropriate topics covered well. Also includes interesting facts.
Research Part 2 (life cycle/reproduction, behavior, defense/offense, enemies, species survival status, classification, etc.) Does not cover all appropriate topics Covers some of the appropriate topics. Covers most of the appropriate topics. All appropriate topics covered well. Also includes interesting facts. .
Spelling/Grammar Many spelling and grammatical errors A few errors Only one or two errors Spelling and grammar perfect .
Presentation Illegible, messy Almost illegible Legible writing, accompanying illustrations Well organized presentation, typed or written using a word processor, accompanying illustrations .
References No references A single reference, incomplete citation Several references with incomplete citations Many references, listed in appropriate format .
Timeliness Over a week late A week late A day or two late Handed in on time .