Dissertation Plan


Sep 26, 2005
OK guys, this is the plan I've drawn up for my dissertation basedon the Comparative Morphology of Cephalopods. Please lemme know what you think!

Honours project Plan (draft 1)

•Briefly intro the cephalopod (see typed Abstract that was submitted for ideas)
•Intro my topic; what’s the deal with it!?
•What I did
•What I found??

•develop previous points
•give a “brief” history of Cephalopods
•begin to tie in with subject (see intro document, this will prob be the blueprint!)- current intro will do as basis

Main Body:
•The basic anatomy of the Cephalopod, lifestyle and habits, distribution
•Evolutionary differences
•Looking at the Records: Possible theories for the evolution of

1.Squids and Cuttlefishes
the different families
how this might affect them
how the suckers work

effect on their lifestyle of habitat
how the suckers work

3.Fossil (prehistoric) Cephs
mostly belemnoids

4.Odd Cases (just briefly describe)
cirrates esp. Staurotheuthis syrtensis

•Compare the morphologies: recapping the differences etc. This will be quite long, and will probably only include one section, bringing all the observations together

Acknowledgements and Thanks


I have a few species I will use as "models" as well as (hopefully) a good amount of photos which I have taken!

looks pretty good to me. I'm imagining that in the conclusions/discussion part you may want to mention a comparison of possible theories and interpretations... it's often worthwhile to have that in a separate section to delineate "what is known" from "what is guessed."
Cool, thanks guys. I appreciate the feedback very much! I sent a copy to my proj convenor and he said to include more about hte suckers otherwise it will be just a comparison of cephs, but the idea was that it was from, a sucker point of view anyway, so it will have more on suckers in there, this is just the very basic skeleton!

How long is the dissertation, Graeme?

If it is 15,000 words or so you'll find those words are used up very quickly indeed. My only (slight) worry is that you've set yourself too much work there, I wonder if you'll spread yourself too thin covering a huge topic.

Still, I wouldn't listen to me if I was you!
No Phil, you're absolutely right. That IS my worry!! There's not a lot of literature on suckers, so I'm kinda worried I'm gonna have to pad it out a bit...

I'd probably limit your abstract to what you found, and how you determined this, and do so in a paragraph or two (< 500 words). Your introduction is a more appropriate place for other points.

The 'what I did' could well be 'Method' (at least how you did it).

'Brief intro to ceph' is certainly the first intro paragraph in your introduction.

The 'what I found' is your results, and you discuss the significance of this in your 'discussion'.
Actually, there's a thing! Do you have to put the name of the discoverer every time you introduce a new species latin name? for example, when I first use the name Vampyroteuthis infernalis with no abbreviations in the genus name, do I have to also put Chun, eg Vampyroteuthis infernalisChun?? Or can I get away with just putting the species name in? It's not like it's a huge ordeal (I can just pop the species into Cephbase) but I think it looks ugly in a paper and can ruin the flow of the sentence.

AARgh! Vampyroteuthis infernalis Chun 1903!? Hmmm, I'm going to have to go through my paper again and add them all in then. Oh well.

Just a little thing, try checking ITIS (Integrated Taxonomic Information System) for the author and dates. I found that they sometimes differ between ITIS and Cephbase.

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