Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

BIO 100 - Current Topics in Biology - Cutone: Research Assignment

Research Assignment

Science Literature Project Biology 100

Literature Project Guidelines

The research project is worth 20% of your total course grade and is intended to give you a chance to study a subject of your choice within biology in greater depth than would otherwise be possible . You will use one book, likely from our Science Book List, as well as two periodicals from the library, to learn about your topic of interest. From there, you will write a paper that both describes the science behind your topic and critiques how the topic is covered by the book as compared to your periodical sources. From this paper, you will format a brief presentation to share what you learned with the whole class. 

What is the project about?

Topics: You are welcome to consider topics about which you are interested or that may be relevant to your future career. If you are uncertain about what to research, or are unsure if there is a book about your interest, just let me know, and we can find something together! If you know of a book you would like to use that is not on the book list, bring it to class to determine if it is a good match for the project. 

Sources: Your main source will be one of the books from the (ever-growing) Science Book List you received with this assignment. You will also participate in a brief library review course on use of NSCC's resources. This is to help you write your project and find other sources, in addition to your book, on the topics covered by the book. 


What is the format of the project?

1. Project proposal.  As a researcher , you are expected to outline your research plan to those who will support you in your endeavor. You will be researching a single topic with in Biology. To outline your plan, you will submit a one-page research proposal via Blackboard, one week after your Library orientation. Proper proposals are part of your project grade, and will also register as the homework assignment due that week. The proposal will list:

a )The book you choose from our Science Book List (or the one you told me about) 

b) Format (PowerPoint, Prezi, etc.) that will be used to present your assessment of the book and its topic to the class.

c) The reason why you chose this book.

d) 3 questions you hope the book will answer.

e) 2 Library sources you plan to use to seek more information or clarification on the topic, correctly referenced using MLA format. Online sources may be used, but remember that wikis and unreliable websites may not be used as project sources. Simply listing the database (Facts On File, EBSCO, Google) is NOT adequate. 

2. Project Draft: You will pass in a draft of your written summary of your topic, using your book's contents, as well as two other sources, via Blackboard. The draft should follow the same format listed below for the Project Summary and should include a draft Work Cited page. 

3. Project Summary: You will pass in a final copy summary of your project via Blackboard on the day the project is due. Your summary should include the main topic you studied, briefly summarize the themes of the book, and use your other library sources as references to other perspectives or additonal detail on the topic and subtopic you describe. Your summary should be  written entirely in your own words. The summary is NOT a series of quotes from other places. It will be run through SafeAssign, a plagiarism-checking algorithm. The summary is NOT a series of quotes from your book or your other sources!

Your written summary should:

  1. be 3-5 pages in length
  2. be Double spaced
  3. have 0.5 inch margin
  4. written in 12 point Times New Roman font.
  5. be formatted as a Word document for submission on Blackboard (.doc or .docx)

The 3-5 page requirement does not include the works cited (bibliography) page. Summaries longer than this will be accepted, but remember that quality makes the grade, not quantity. At the same time, summaries shorter than 3 pages tend not to include all required information.

4. Project Presentation: Part of your project includes presenting your findings to the class either as a presentation.

Your presentation should:

a) be in person (oral report with PowerPoint or other images)

b) be about 5 minutes in total (this is a suggested minimum - you will not lose points for going over time)

c) be complete enough  to give your classmates an introduction to your topic of interest

d) include images, like photos, charts, and graphs to illustrate salient points. Bulleted PowerPoint lists are discouraged

e) include a citation slide for images, charts, and graphs used in the presentation. 



Science Databases

Science in Context
Contextual information on hundreds of today's most significant science topics. Great database for exploring and focusing topics in science, Click on "Browse Topics" to view a list of science subjects.
SNAP! Search
Search across most our databases at once.
497 scholarly titles in arts & sciences (JSTOR A&S II + III), and Language & Literature.

Purdue Owl