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Doing a brilliant A2 Biology Coursework in Ecology.
The A2 coursework builds on what you did at AS, but with some added twists:
all your marks must come from one investigation (no pick & choose!),
you need to state a proper hypothesis,
you must use a correct statistical test for the higher marks,
you must bring together relevant concepts from different topics for a new skill `E'.
Follow these guidelines stepby step, & keep thinking ...
What you must do Explanation / example criterion
Research the idea you have been Find out: E
given. General info about your species,
Info about the habitat,
What abiotic factors affect your species,
What biotic interactions may affect it.
Think backwards to clarify your Sketch the graph you would like at the end, with All!
ideas! labelled axes (units!) for your input & output
variables.
Don't skimp this stage or you'll Sketch a results table for the right data, and
regret it later (e.g. when 10 Choose the right statistical test NOW!
hours worth of data can't be put Jot down all other variables you will need to
into a statistical test!) take into account, and
Jot down key points of your method
Write your hypothesis (H1) and a Your H1 should be simple, clear and testable: A
0
null hypothesis (H ). it should state how the input variable will affect the
output variable.
Eg: `dogwhelks will require more force to
dislodge them on shores more exposed to wave
action'
the H0 (neutral, not opposite to H1) will be used as
the basis for your stats test.
Write an introduction, giving the Take care that E
background information you are all the information is relevant to your
using in planning your investigation, and you say how it is relevant
investigation. you include concepts from other areas e.g.
temperature needs controlling because it
affects enzymes & therefore ...
The most likely `other areas' are: osmosis (re
salinity), enzymes (re temperature / pH),
respiration (via enzymes), photosynthesis (re
light intensity).
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Write your method Use numbered steps,
Use the future (impersonal) tense, e.g.:
`50 dogwhelks will be chosen ...'
Work individually, under supervision
Give clear details of method, apparatus &
precautions (as if someone else had to follow your
plan)
Explain your choice of technique
Explain any necessary preliminary checks (e.g.…read more

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Describe the pattern / trend Most studies show some trend: even if it is C4
shown by your graph `nonsignificant' it is still a trend!
Do consider the details, as well as the basic `up' or
`down' ­ this is A2, after all!
Now that evil statistical test! Either do it longhand, and show the steps, or use a C6
stats pack and state:
But you chose the right test at exactly what test you did, on what package,
the start, and you've got your…read more

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