Bio 120 and Micro 100 Lecture Term Paper

 

PURPOSE:  You are to produce a paper about a gene or a gene product (Bio) or a microbe (Micro).  You have a lot of freedom with what you can research.  Simply focus on a specific subject and start looking into it.

 

You will deliver a 7-11 page paper (4-8 pages in the body) that describes your subject of choice by drawing from and summarizing three review-style publications.

 

Use Microsoft Word to create your paper, and use APA style (http://www.apastyle.org) for the format.  Be consistent and use the same format throughout the paper, including the references.  Papers produced with Word Perfect or in text format are not acceptable.

 

Deadlines

 

Term paper deadlines are loosely identified below according to the week that the item is due.

 

Subject chosen – e-mail............................................................................ 1/27

 

Literature review (review articles ID’d) – Hard & e-mail copies............ 2/22

 

Notes or summaries of review articles completed – Hard copy only..... 3/6

 

Rough draft – Hard copy only................................................................ 4/10

 

Final draft – Hard & electronic copies..................................................... 5/8

 

Components of the Term Paper

 

In general, the paper is to be double-spaced, with 1-inch margins and 12 point Times/Times New Roman font.  NO figures or illustrations may be used in the paper, and all descriptions must be written and comprehensible.

 

Cover page – Name, title, class, instructor, date.

Abstract – No more than 200 words, on its own page after the title page.  Double-spaced.

Body – Double-spaced, 12-point Times, no fewer than 4 pages, no more than 8 pages.

References – In alphabetical order by first author, in a separate section, starting on a new page after the body.  References are to be single-spaced, with a single return between each reference.  The second (subsequent) line of each reference (if applicable) is to be indented one tab space.

 

Feel free to use the template paper copy available here.  It is a Word.doc with tips included in the text.  You just replace the text with your own words, as appropriate for your own paper.

 

 

References

 

All of your material needs to be referenced, except that which is general knowledge.  When in doubt, reference!  Your references will be limited, but they will be used regularly in your paper (perhaps to the point that it seems redundant).  Reference all illustrations, pictures, tables, diagrams, and other material that has not been directly created by you (if you re-draw something, you need to reference the source, too).  The papers may be compared against on-line content engines to determine similarity to previously published or presented material.  Your electronic copies of your papers makes this very easy to do.  Papers that demonstrate plagiarism will not receive credit.  See http://www.plagiarism.org for information on the subject, how to avoid the pitfalls, and give due credit for the work of others.

 

How to Research the Paper

 

PubMed reviews are a good place to start and may offer enough information for you to move ahead with.  You can use WebMD, Merck Index, CDC, WHO, and various U.S. University Medical Centers to find sources of information for your paper.  DO NOT use text books or Wikipedia as a source!  In fact, stay away from using general internet search results as sources.  Internet search results may yield valid sources; however, general internet search results won’t usually yield meaningful, objective, science-based sources that are readily useful.

 

Again, http://www.pubmed.gov is a good place to find papers.  Use ‘filters’ (on left margin of search results page) to include papers that are:

 

Article types = review

Text availability = links to free full text

Publication dates = published in the last 10 years

 

Once three review papers are identified, you can check with the instructor if you have questions as to whether they are acceptable for the term paper.

 

REMEMBER:  You are to produce a paper about a gene/gene product or a microbe.

 

Summarize the review papers individually, with the goal to keep the summaries to a max of about 1-2 pages long.  Using bullet points, or numbered sentences, can help.  Keep track of the pages in a paper that a particular point or sentence refers to.  After you have summarized the papers, compare and contrast the three summaries that you have created, and use the information to assemble a logical overview of the subject you have chosen.  At this point, you may need to dig a little deeper into the subject, seek out some of the primary sources from the review papers, and directly use the primary sources in your overview.  Throughout all of this, keep your references clear, and be sure to appropriately reference material that you summarize and assemble.

 

Ensure that you discuss anything of importance regarding your topic, such as length and/or location of the gene, size of protein product, breakthrough findings or therapies, uses, clinical trials, vaccines, etc.  Be sure to reference as appropriate!

 

Your term paper will require a summary paragraph and an abstract.  The summary paragraph ties together the information from the body and concludes the paper (it is the conclusion paragraph, in fact), while the abstract summarizes the content of the paper, and acts as an overview of what the paper presents.  They are not the same thing! 

 

Paper Submission

 

Your final paper is due during the last week of class, NO LATER than the last actual class period (NOT on the FINAL EXAM date).  You must submit a hard copy and an electronic copy.  Your final paper should be printed on white paper, single-sided, and with a single staple at the top left corner.  Covers are not needed and will be graded down by 5 points.  NO FRILLS is the key to the paper.  You must also submit an electronic copy of the paper by e-mail only.  The electronic copy must be in Microsoft Word, as either a .doc or .docx document, sent to dr@michael-nicholson.com, with the subject line as follows:  Lastname-Firstname_BioFinal_Paper’ or ‘Lastname-Firstname_MicroFinal_Paper’.  It is critical that you submit the document as required, with the subject line as noted, to prevent the electronic version from being misplaced.  Your document itself must be named as follows:  ‘Lastname-Firstname_BioFinal_Paper.doc(x)’ or ‘Lastname-Firstname_MicroFinal_Paper.doc(x)’  Again, the name is critical so that the paper is not misplaced.

 

Example Paper and Paper Components

 

An example paper is available on-line at:

 

http://www.oxnard.michael-nicholson.com/biology/Nicholson Final_Paper.pdf

 

 

Purpose

 

Provide an overview of a biologically significant gene or gene product (Bio), or a microbe (Micro).  For Bio, for example, you might choose the human gene 9p21 that is associated with an increased risk of heart disease, or the faulty chloride transport protein gene responsible for cystic fibrosis... or the pGLO gene used for transformation studies, or the PHA synthesis genes for bioplastics.  For Micro, for example, the microbe can be almost any organism discussed in the text, with either broad or specific focus.  The options are endless.

 

Subject Selection

 

For this component, you are only required to have identified your subject.  Subjects are assigned on a first-come basis, so the early bird catches the worm, so to speak.  E-mail your subject selection with a justification statement to the instructor.  The justification statement should be very brief; you might include the anticipated paper title in the e-mail body.  The e-mail subject MUST include the following information, in the following order, where "gene" is replaced with your gene selection and "microbe" is replaced with your microbe selection:

 

lastname-firstname_gene-subject-bio (for example:  Nicholson-Michael_BRCA1-subject-bio)

or

lastname-firstname_microbe-subject-micro (for example:  Nicholson-Michael_Clostridium-subject-micro)


 

All dashes (-), underlines (_), and parts are required exactly as noted above.  Failure to comply will result in a lowered grade.  And, YES, the words SUBJECT and BIO or MICRO are actually required at the end of the line, so that my filters can put your e-mail in the right folder!

 

Literature Review Papers

 

For this component, you are only required to have identified your three review papers.  These papers will form the foundation of information that you will provide in your term paper.  Turn in a one-page list of the literature identified, using appropriate referencing formats, and copies of each reference selected.  For the copies of the papers, ONLY INCLUDE the first 4 pages of the articles, to save paper.  All copies will be returned as quickly as possible.

 

The general reference format to follow is:

 

Firstauthorlastname, A. A., Secondauthor, B., Otherauthors, C. C., & Lastauthor, D. (year). Title of article, with no special capitalization of each word. Journal Title With Each Major Word Capitalized, 10 (2), 10-20.

 

Notice that the first/middle names are only in initials after the last names.  After the journal title comes the volume number (issue), and page numbers of the article.  Notice that the journal title and volume number are in italics – scientific names should be appropriately capitalized and italicized, as well.  The issue number is in parenthesis.  The page numbers are followed by a period.

 

Copies will be returned (possibly with comments), so do not make additional copies of the papers for this submission.  An e-mailed version of the reference list is also required.  Both the hard-copy and e-mailed version require the same format, as described in a separate document. The electronic copy must be in Microsoft Word, as either a .doc or .docx document, sent to dr@michael-nicholson.com, with the subject line as follows:

 

Lastname-Firstname_BioLiterature

or

Lastname-Firstname_MicroLiterature

 

It is critical that you submit the document as required, with the subject line as noted, to prevent the electronic version from being misplaced.  Your document itself must be named as follows: 

 

‘Lastname-Firstname_BioLiterature.doc(x)’

or

‘Lastname-Firstname_MicroLiterature.doc(x)’

 

Again, the name is critical so that the paper is not misplaced.

 

In the body of your e-mail, include your references, too.  Just cut and paste the information from your document into the e-mail body.  See the following for details:

 

http://www.oxnard.michael-nicholson.com/biology/reference-page.htm

 

For resubmitting literature, you might have specific directions from the instructor.  However, the following two rules of thumb will probably apply:  1)  Make a completely new e-mail submission according to the directions; 2)  Include all parts that you would have had to include for the original submission, but with all improvements needed.

 

Notes or Summaries of Review Articles

 

For this component, you are required to submit a series of notes that you have compiled from the thee review papers you submitted for the Literature Review, and which were subsequently approved.  Your notes must be typed on standard paper.  Your name must be on each page, and the notes taken must be referenced in a standardized way, as follows: Each page of notes may ONLY reference a SINGLE article, and the article being referenced must be clearly indicated at the top of the page, using accepted APA reference formatting (just as required for the references page).  Each item being noted must include a reference page number, without exception for any direct quotes (these page references will come in handy for later use).  If additional references are drawn on, they need to be appropriately included.  Copies of new references are NOT required; however, new references must still have the correct format for the reference at the top of the page.  Notes must be submitted in hard-copy format only.  See the following example:

 

http://www.oxnard.michael-nicholson.com/biology/Notes-Page_Example.html

 

Rough Draft

 

For this component, you are required to assemble your notes into a logical paper.  All that is required is the basic body at this time, with references as needed.  The sections of the body MUST be identified, even if the final wording is not set in stone.  Propositions, arguments, and conclusions must be primarily established, even if they are not in their final form.  The rough draft leaves room for improvement, usually.  Such improvement is usually based on commentary and suggestions from others, and further developed upon reflection.  The rough draft must be submitted in typed, hard-copy format.


Check for common errors in rough and final drafts, such as those identified here:  http://www.oxnard.michael-nicholson.com/biology/common_errors.htm

 

DON’T forget that the subject of your paper needs to be addressed.  As such, you will need to have a section on the gene/protein (or microbe).  For information on the specific subject, you can use your articles (it’s probably general info in the introductory material of the paper), or you can locate the information in a different, on-line source, such as http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov and http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/IEB/Research/Acembly/ (good for genes and proteins) or Wikipedia.

 

Final Draft

 

For this component, you are required to incorporate any changes required or desired to improve on the rough draft.  Propositions, arguments, and conclusions must be polished and in a final form.  The references need to be in place, appropriately and accurately.  A cover page and an abstract are required.  See the example paper for a visual demonstration of the format that is preferred.

 

Feel free to use the template paper copy available here:

http://www.oxnard.michael-nicholson.com/biology/Paper_Template.doc
It is a Word.doc with tips included in the text.  You just replace the text with your own words, as appropriate for your own paper.

 

A hard copy must be submitted, and an electronic copy must be provided.  The electronic copy must be in Microsoft Word, as either a .doc or .docx document, sent to dr@michael-nicholson.com, with the subject line as follows:

 

Lastname-Firstname_BioFinal_Paper

or

Lastname-Firstname_MicroFinal_Paper

 

It is critical that you submit the document as required, with the subject line as noted, to prevent the electronic version from being misplaced.  Your document itself must be named as follows:

 

‘Lastname-Firstname_BioFinal_Paper.doc(x)’

or

‘Lastname-Firstname_MicroFinal_Paper.doc(x)’

 

Again, the name is critical so that the paper is not misplaced.

 

Information on grading of the final paper component is here:  http://www.oxnard.michael-nicholson.com/biology/paper-grade.htm