writing assignment

Writing Assignment, due 4/30 11:59pm

Each of you will write a short paper worth 100 points that accounts for 5% of the grades of this course. The due date is next Sunday (4/30/2017) 11:59pm.

The paper is to be based on an article from a magazine, newspaper, or other popular press source that has something in it about biology. In your paper you should explain the science so that it is clear that you understand the biological principle(s) involved, and you should explain why you chose the article. Why is it interesting, and what does it have to do with your professional or personal interests?

Where To Find a Suitable Article To Write About. Part of the reason for the assignment is to help you to be aware of how many ways biology is involved in ‘‘everyday’’ things. Using an index or abstract is not the way to find an article; rather, just pick up a paper or magazine you would normally read and look in there. I guarantee you’ll find something. (I am suspicious of articles from hard core scientific journals like Nature or Science since I doubt that most of you routinely read those publications.) Newspaper articles, magazine articles, something you’ve read for another class, anything will be suitable as long as it includes something biological.

Explaining the Science. The goal here is to convince anyone who reads the paper, that you have identified and understood the basic biological principles and problems dealt with in the article. You may use your textbook as well as other books or reference materials from the library as a resource to help you understand the science. For instance, if the article is about liver transplant surgery, you will want to know and explain something about why a liver is a necessary organ, why a liver might need replacing, what is transplant rejection, and how it can be prevented. List the reference materials you have consulted in a bibliography at the end of the paper. I expect a minimum of three citations in addition to the original article itself. Generally, dictionaries and encyclopedias are not considered appropriate reference material for this purpose.

Explaining Why You Chose This Article. Your goal here is to connect this article and the scientific content to something else in your personal or professional life. Why did the article catch your attention? How does it relate to other things that are important to you? How will

The Mechanics. The papers should be typed with the following specifications: double-spaced, one-inch margins, font size 12, four pages maximum and two pages minimum, with a bibliography of at least three citations which is not included in the page limits. (The citation for the source article is included in these three citations.) List any reference materials you consulted in the bibliography. You may use any appropriate style for the bibliography as long as it is complete and internally consistent.

Of the 100 total points for the paper, you will receive 100% of them if you simply complete the assignment (i.e. choose an appropriate topic, explain it adequately, and include a bibliography, all within the page limits specified). An extra 10 points are a reward for doing an extra good job (at my discretion). I will be looking for thorough, thoughtful and well-supported discussions, regardless of the topic.

Grammar and spelling do count but are not the prime consideration. I expect complete sentences and correct spelling (i.e. I have to be able to read and understand what you write). If it’s absolutely awful, I may deduct up to 10 points for the grammar and spelling.

The due date is non-negotiable. You will lose 5 points for every day or part of a day that it is late

 
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