Term Paper: Undergraduate students will write a 1600 words (+/- 100 words) resea
Term Paper: Undergraduate students will write a 1600 words (+/- 100 words) research proposal on a topic of their choosing that is related in some way to the use of molecular biology techniques in biology. Proposals should be broken into two parts: The first part will explain the scientific problem you want to examine and state the hypothesis that you will be examining. The second part of your paper should explain the methods that you propose to use to examine the scientific question. You may choose any type of biological question to examine, BUT the methods that you propose to study that question must be molecular biological in nature. -your proposal must have a printed bibliography attached and all pages numbered. - DO NOT use web references in your bibliography unless they are pre-approved by me. All web references must be for academic, industrial, or government sites -Use a minimum of six for undergrads and eight references for grads! -Papers should be double-spaced and about 1600–You may go 100 words above or below this range. KEEP IN THIS RANGE! Please place the total number of words at the top of the page #1. - Please number pages for your own and your reader’s benefit. -The text should be double-spaced and 12 pt. - Do not put in extra spaces between paragraphs. - The margins on should be about 1" with NO “center” justification. - Do not use bulleted points in your paper. - Do not use contractions. - Do not use footnotes. -DO NOT propose the use of kits! Figure out how to do it the old-fashioned way. - Do not include peripheral material that has nothing to directly do with the paper you are writing or the point that you are trying to make. Stick to the main topic! - CLEARLY state your hypothesis and your goals! - Use future tense for your proposed experiments! “I will do X, Y, and Z" or "I propose to perform the following experiments..." - If you use technical terms that we have not discussed in class define them. -DO NOT define or explain terminology or methods that we all know at at the level of this class. - Do not use jargon. “We ‘ran’ a gel.” Use the correct terminology. “DNA will be electrophoresed on an agarose gel”, etc . . . -Cut down on wordiness. Be clear and concise. Get to the point. -If you must use our textbook, use it ONLY as a general reference! DO NOT use the book as a technical reference for methodology. Methods must come from either books on Methodology or from journal articles. - Use the correct bibliographic referencing suggested in the syllabus. If you insist on using a different system, then you had better use that system correctly! -DO NOT use references that you found in reviews unless you have READ those references! I will take off point if I see something like: “Smith found out that frogs fly when dropped on a hot frying pan (Jones et al. 2002)”. This tells me that you never read the paper by Smith and that you found this in a review article and just copied it! -CHECK your science! a) you have to use at least some mol. bio. methods in your proposal to get credit! b) your ideas need to make practical and logical sense. -Include important details on methods (primer sequences, methods of labeling, sources of materials, types of plasmids, etc), but do not include the peripheral and unimportant (volumes used in previous work, buffer concentrations, etc). - Explain the goal of each experiment. Why each experiment will be performed, and what you expect to find out from each experiment. -DO NOT use references without authors. If I see an web reference without an author, I will take off points. As it says in the syllabus, these are NOT legitimate sources of information! If you do have a web reference with an author, I will not take points off, but I strongly suggest that you do a literature search and see if these people have actually published anything in the field. If they have published legitimately, then they will have real references out there. -DO NOT bother to define terms or words that should generally be known to graduate students or upper level udergraduates. - Avoid use of the passive voice. (Passive voice example: “The ball was thrown by Bobby”. Active voice example: “Bobby threw the ball.”) - You must Include references to your bibliography in the text. Try to avoid placing only a single reference at the end of the paragraph. Use as many references as you think you need– even if you think it is redundant. It is plagiarism if you do not do this! - Define all terms that have never been used in class. Do not assume your reader is familiar with the specific literature of a sub-discipline. - Do not include direct quotes in the text of the paper! - Paraphrase quotes in your OWN WORDS and ALWAYS remember to reference where the concept originated. - Do not use or reference any encyclopedias-- yes, that includes wikipedia! This is an upper level course--not grade school or high school. An encyclopedia is an inappropriate reference at this level. - Keep references of any popular magazine articles and the popular press to an absolute minimum for illustrative purposes-- not for the bibliography. These include Newsweek, Time, People, and Ladies Home Journal. Basically, you can not use any journal that is not peer-reviewed. - Make sure that your paper is actually about the topic, I will take off a lot of points if it is not. As long as you ask me about the topic, this should not be a problem. - IMPORTANT: Do not say you will “prove” something in your proposal. Scientists find data to “support” a hypothesis. They do not “prove” hypotheses. - You should AVOID the use of kits. There is nothing wrong with a kit in a real laboratory-- as long as you understand EXACTLY how it works. However, in this mock proposal, you are demonstrating to me that you know how protocols actually work and how work is done in a lab. Therefore, please do not use kits unless there is absolutely no way around it. I strongly suggest that you go to the library and find technicial books like (Molecular Cloning from Maniatis et al) which will suggest how methods are performed. - Reference at the end of every appropriate sentence where you have borrowed ideas. Do notreference just once at the end of a paragraph! -If you reference a web INTERNET site, it MUST HAVE an AUTHOR AND A DATE of publication. If it DOES NOT have either of these things, you CAN NOT use it as a reference because it is unreliable and not to be trusted. -Citation format in the text of the paper will be as follows: In the text itself: A single author: (Smith 2000) Two authors: (Smith and Jones 2000) More than two authors: (Smith et al. 2000) Please note that it is possible to use a reference as the subject of a sentence as in the example below: "Smith et al (1992) found that dogs do not speak very good English." This style is useful to reduce the number of times you would say "The authors...". In the bibliography section: -The references should be in alphabetical order based on the first author’s last name. -The references should include ALL the authors’ names. -Referenced page numbers should be in the reference– not in the text of the paper. -Book references should include publisher and city. -Internet references should include the author’s name, a title and the date of Web publication. -Include volume numbers with journals. -Journal and book titles should be italicized. Examples: Journal: Smith, A., B. Jones and C. Brown. 1999. How to Reference. The Journal of Referencing. 23: 1-23. Book: Smith, A. 2001. The World of References. Pg 23-25. Brown and Little Publishers. New York, New York. Book w/ editors: Smith, A. 2001. The World of References. (Eds: J. Smith and P. Jones) 23-25. Brown and Little Publishers. New York, New York. Internet: Smith, A. and B. Jones. 1999. A Dearth of References. www.references.com. In your editing process, you need to see if these rules are followed. I will also take off points for each of these strictures that is ignored. If you follow all of them, then you are almost guaranteed a good grade.

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