Animal Cognition Final Essay

The question for the final essay is:

“Is human cognition unique from that of other animals? Why or why not?

This assignment is a positional paper. Be sure to support your answer with evidence. You may use (1) material from the course or your textbook, (2) a book, such as a textbook from another class, or (3) a peer-reviewed article, such as papers you’ve read in the course. You may not use any websites. If you use an unapproved source, your essay will be penalized 5 points.

If you use any material from class, you do not have to cite it UNLESS you use a quote that is word-for-word. Direct quotes should be used sparingly, if at all.

If you use any material from outside class, you MUST cite it using APA format, and include a reference list at the end of your essay. The reference list does not count towards the word limit.

  • How to cite at the start of a sentence: Nelson et al. (2011)…
  • How to cite at the end of a sentence: … (Nelson et al., 2011).
  • How to cite a journal article in a reference list: Nelson, E.L., Berthier, N.E., Metevier, C.M., & Novak, M.A. (2011). Evidence for motor planning in monkeys: Rhesus macaques select efficient grips when transporting spoons. Developmental Science, 14, 822-831.

Your essay should at least 1,000 words in length (excluding references and title). In addition to your name, please provide a word count. You do not need a fancy title page.

Tips for Writing a Good Essay

  1. For inspiration, watch the Robert Sapolsky talk “The Uniqueness of Humans” (Links to an external site.).
  2. Take a few minutes to reflect on the course and create an outline before you start writing.
  3. The first paragraph of your essay should state your response to the essay question. There is no right or wrong answer, but you cannot effectively argue for both sides.
  4. The next 2-3 paragraphs will be your supporting evidence. Write one paragraph per idea to build momentum and coherence.
  5. Finally, your last paragraph should be a summary recapping all of your main points and linking your ideas together. When you’re finished, reread and proofread!