Biology 110 Term Paper
Topics: The paper should be on a topic in biology that has been in
the news. I don’t want something broad like genetics or the environment; choose
something specific like stem cells, genetically engineered crops, illegal
drugs, or drug testing. If you are having trouble choosing a topic, see me.
Topics should be related to what we cover in class. The purpose of this project
is for the explore the difference, if any, of how scientists view a topic and
how that topic is disseminated to the general public and to think about how
scientists can better connect to the general population.
Format: The paper should be ~7-10 pages, double-spaced of actual
content. It should also have a title page and a works cited page.
Title Page: Should have your name, Biol
110, and section at the top and the title in the middle.
Section 1-3: Should be 7 pages,
doubled-spaced, and continuous (don’t start a new page for each section). If
you hand in a printed copy, print single sided.
Section 1: A review of the scientific
literature (peer-reviewed) on the topic (minimum 3 papers, can be primary
sources or review. Your textbook is not a source).
Section 2: A review of general news and
op-ed articles (can be from newspapers, magazines, television, and/or the internet;
minimum of 3).
Section 3: Your thoughts and
conclusions. What do you think science and the general should do, what
questions still need to be answered, are concerns from the general public
merited, etc. The information in this section will vary based on your topic and
Works Cited: This should be in MLA or
APA format, which can be found online.
Grading: I am looking for an understanding of the science and the
ability to explain it. You will also be graded on your writing (grammar,
spelling, the ability to express your thoughts). For the 3rd
section, I am looking for your thoughts and opinions and the ability to defend
them. Put forth a cognizant argument; don’t say we shouldn’t do something
because I don’t like it, give a scientifically or ethically sound reason. I
will not grade you on your opinions but your ability to explain them and defend
Due Date: Dec 3. I will accept printed copies or electronic via
email. You can turn them in at any point throughout the semester. I will also
help you throughout, if you need it. As an example, if you are having trouble
understanding an article, I’m willing to go over it with you. I will also give
pointers if you are having trouble with writing. I suggest you also work
together to edit each other’s papers.