Analytical Essay Topics Year 8 Anniversary

In honour of the 60th anniversary of the journal the Executive Editors have commissioned a series of essays that will appear in the journal throughout the year. These essays look back to seminal articles published throughout the journal’s history and analyse how much research in these areas has progressed since then. These Anniversary Essays will be freely available online for the next 12 months alongside the original articles they refer back to.


All's well that begins Wells: celebrating 60 years of Animal Behaviour and 36 years of anuran behavioural ecology
by Mark A. Bee; Joshua Schwartz; Kyle Summers

The social behaviour of anuran amphibians
Wells, K. D. 1977


The enduring question of sex-biased dispersal: Paul J. Greenwood's (1980) seminal contribution
by F. Stephen Dobson

Mating systems, philopatry and dispersal in birds and mammals
Greenwood, P. J. 1980


Receiver psychology: a receiver's perspective
Candy Rowe
Volume 85, Issue 3, March 2013, Pages 517–523

Receiver psychology and the evolution of animal signals
Tim Guilford, Marian Stamp Dawkins
Volume 42, Issue 1, July 1991, Pages 1–14


The past, present and future of ‘cuckoos versus reed warblers’
By Mary Caswell Stoddard and Rebecca M. Kilner
Volume 85, Issue 4, April 2013, Pages 693–699

Cuckoos versus reed warblers: Adaptations and counteradaptations
By N.B. Davies and M. de L. Brooke
Volume 36, Issue 1, February 1988, Pages 262–284


Questions, ideas and tools: lessons from bat echolocation
By M. Brock Fenton
Volume 85, Issue 5, May 2013, Pages 869–879

The echolocation of flying insects by bats
By Donald R. Griffin, Frederic A. Webster and Charles R. Michael
Volume 8, Issues 3–4, July–October 1960, Pages 141–154


Unity and disunity in the search for a unified reproductive skew theory
By H. Kern Reeve and Sheng-Feng Shen
Volume 85, Issue 6, June 2013, Pages 1137–1144

A model for the evolution of despotic versus egalitarian societies
By S.L. Vehrencamp
Volume 31, Issue 3, August 1983, Pages 667–682


Maynard Smith & Parker's (1976) rule book for animal contests, mostly
By Susan E. Riechert
Volume 86, Issue 1, July 2013, Pages 3–9

The logic of asymmetric contests
By John Maynard Smith and G.A. Parker
Volume 24, Issue 1, February 1976, Pages 159–175


Humans are not alone in computing how others see the world
By Andrew Whiten
Volume 86, Issue 2, August 2013, Pages 213–221

Chimpanzees know what conspecifics do and do not see
By B.Hare, J. Call, B. Agnetta, M. Tomasello
Volume 59, Issue 4, April 2000, Pages 771–785


Semantic communication in vervet monkeys and other animals
By Marta B. Manser

Vervet monkey alarm calls: Semantic communication in a free-ranging primate
By Robert M. Seyfarth, Dorothy L. Cheney, Peter Marler
Volume 28, Issue 4, November 1980, Pages 1070–1094


The parental investment models of Maynard Smith: a retrospective and prospective view
By Alasdair I. Houston, Tamás Székely, and John M. McNamara

Parental investment: A prospective analysis
By J. Maynard Smith
Volume 25, Part 1, February 1977, Pages 1–9


Adaptively flexible polyandry
By Patricia Adair Gowaty

The evolution of polyandry: multiple mating and female fitness in insects
By Göran ArnqvistandTina Nilsson
Volume 60, Issue 2, August 2000, Pages 145–164


Triumphs and trials of the risk paradigm
By Alex KacelnikandClaire El Mouden

An empirical demonstration of risk-sensitive foraging preferences
By Thomas Caraco, Steven Martindale, and Thomas S. Whittam
Volume 28, Issue 3, August 1980, Pages 820–830


10 Topic Suggestions for Descriptive Essays

1A Surprise Birthday Party
2My Next-door Neighbor
3Favorite Athlete
4A Character from a Book ,Movie or TV Program
5First Day in College
6A Sad (or Happy) Day in Life
7Farewell in High School
8The Experience of Sky-diving
9Baking a Pizza
10Learning to Play Piano

10 Topic Suggestions for Narrative Essays

1Your first day at a new school or college
2Your first day at a new job
3Your last day on a job
4An embarrassing experience
5A dangerous experience
6Surviving a hurricane or a tornado (or other natural disaster)
7The day you decided to change your life
8The experience of being lost (or of being frustrated)
9A communication barrier
10Your first time away from home


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10 Topic Suggestions for Process Analysis Essays

1How ice cream is made
2How to play chess
3How people choose mates
4How to quit smoking
5How to conduct obedience training for dogs
6How to succeed at a job interview
7How to learn photography
8How a bad habit develops
9How to enjoy the weekend for under $20
10How to make the perfect brownies

10 Topic Suggestions for Exemplification Essays

1Successful People Without a Formal Education
3Effects of Social Networking Sites
4Child discipline
5Animal Characteristics in People
6Annoying Commercials
7Genetic Engineering
8Ghosts and Goblins
9Religion in School

10 Topic Suggestions for Comparison and Contrast Essays

1Two stages of a person's life
2Two places you have visited
3Effects of Social Networking Sites
4A good boss and a bad boss
5Bulimia and anorexia
6Living on campus and living off campus
7An active student and a passive student
8An online class compared to a traditional class
9Hearing culture and deaf culture
10Mainstream school vs. deaf school


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10 Topic Suggestions for Analogy Essays

1Starting a new job
2Getting out of debt
3Being in a car accident
4Falling in love
5Experiencing grief
6Experiencing joy
7Discovering a major in college
8Leaving home for the first time
9Making a speech
10Becoming addicted to drugs

10 Topic Suggestions for Classification Essays

1Ways of saving money
2Uses of social network sites
3Reasons for attending or not attending college
4Classify the winter and summer sports
5Classify the study habits
6Ways of quitting smoking
7Attitudes toward politics
8Ways of coping with a cold
9Ways of protecting the environment
10On-campus jobs for students

10 Topic Suggestions for Cause and Effect Essays

1The effect of a parent, teacher, or friend on your life
2Why you selected your major
3Why students drop out of high school or college
4The effects of divorce
5Volcano eruptions — causes and effects
6What are the effects of illiteracy
7Causes of the Great Depression
8Why people exercise
9The causes/effects of child neglect
10Why many Americans prefer foreign-built cars


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10 Topic Suggestions for Definition Essays

1Deaf culture
3A good (or bad) parent
4A good (or bad) boss
6Racism and prejudice
7Bilingual education
9Free Speech
10Environmental technology

10 Topic Suggestions for Argument and Persuasion Essays

1The production and sale of cigarettes should be made illegal.
2Participating in team sports helps to develop good character.
3Americans should have more holidays and longer vacations.
4Dieting makes people fat.
5College students should have complete freedom to choose their own courses.
6Students should (or should not) be required to take physical education courses.
7Freshmen should not be required to purchase a meal plan from the college.
8High school graduates should take a year off before entering college.
9People have become overly dependent on technology.
10Drunk drivers should be imprisoned on the first offense.



  • About (2012). Retrieved April 27, 2012, from
  • Free Writing (2012). Retrieved April 27, 2012, from


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