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BIO 101 - Biology 1: The Basics of Life - Cutone: Research Project Proposal


Bio 101 Research Project Proposal

Due one week from today on Blackboard.

Semester Project topics should be researched in the library this week. Feel free to pursue several ideas, but be ready to CHOOSE ONE main topic and describe several subtopics within your main topic in the proposal due next week.

Good semester project topics should

  1. Be of interest to the group members
  2. Have enough depth in subtopics to be appropriate for a college-level project.
  3. Be related to biology. Remember that the project should introduce the class to the current scientific research on a topic. This is NOT an opportunity for an editorial on a controversial subject.


Good topic                                                                                          Inadequate Topic

Feline models in genetic research                                                       Cats

Migration patterns and behaviors of monarch butterflies                  Stages of butterfly development

Effects of genetically modified corn on farm ecology                       “Frankenfood”                                               


Good subtopics should give a basic introduction to the topic and put it in context. For example, a project about a disease should include its causes, mechanisms (how it works, if known,) symptoms, how it is diagnosed, how it is cured (if known,) and most importantly, current discoveries related to the disease.

All students individually, in their own words will pass in a typed, single page research proposal at our next lab meeting. Proper proposals are part of your project grade and can be counted as homework assignments as well.

Research proposals will describe:

1. Group participants in the project

2. Format (poster or PowerPoint presentation) that will be used to present information to the class.

3. Main topic that the project will cover

4. Subtopics each group member will emphasize in their research

5. All sources used to write the proposal. This should include at least three good sources you acquired in the library. Please list your sources in APA format.

Good library sources:

            Articles- journal articles, scientific magazine articles, reputable journalistic magazine articles

Books published after 2016

            E-books published after 2016


Remember that Databases (Ebscohost, Science in Context, Credo Reference) are places to find sources. They are not sources by themselves.

Databases and Sources you should not use for your proposal: Websites, wikis, Google searches.

Remember that wikis, Google searches, and other “quick” web searches can be used to harvest ideas but will not yield reliable sources for your project.


Grading: Total grade for this proposal is based on several components:

  1. Quality of topic and subtopics
  2. Quality of sources (verifiable, or directly from peer-reviewed journals.)
  3. Completeness of proposal format
  4. Proper Citation format
  5. Promptness


Proposals, summaries and presentations MUST be in your own words- evidence of plagiarism will result in an immediate zero for the entire project.