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BIO 221 - Microbiology - St. Clair: Getting Started

The guide contains library resource information for biology 221 course. St. Clair is the instructor.


Barbara Stockland's picture
Barbara Stockland

Your Assignment

Microorganism Research Paper

Organisms for Research
Choose one from each colored category for seven total

Use the primary and secondary resources introduced by our librarians to research each of the seven in more depth. You will then use your research to write a paper that describes the following about each of the seven organisms.

Informative section: This section helps you learn enough about the organism to feel comfortable reading a journal article about it. This information can usually be found at the beginning of a well written journal article but use other sources to look up information for this section. See the Lib Guide for ideas. This section is worth 30% of your grade.

1. General Background about the organism, i.e. If it is a bacterium, you could tell me that it is a gram-negative rod that was discovered by so and so, as well as other interesting info. ~1 paragraph

2. Where do you find this pathogen, where are you likely to come in contact with it, how do you get infected/affected, prevalence. ~1 paragraph

3. Diagnosis and treatment options. ~1 paragraph

Journal Article Summary Section: You will use one of the search engines from your Lib Guide to find a peer-reviewed, scientific journal article about the organism. The article must have been published in the last FIVE years. This section is worth 40% of your grade

4. Using a published journal article, summarize current research and opportunities for identification/diagnosis/treatment, etc. ~2-4 paragraphs -If you are having trouble meeting length using just one article, you may use two.

Works Cited: NOT JUST A BIBLIOGRAPHY!!!! You also need In Text Citations. You will use the CHICAGO method of citation. Do Not Panic! We will discuss it in class. It is actually super easy!

Correct citations are worth 20% of your grade.

5. In Text Citation Points-You will get points for supporting your writing with AT LEAST THREE reliable sources that you cite IN TEXT!

6. Work Cited Points- You will get points for supporting your writing with AT LEAST THREE reliable sources that you cite IN TEXT!

Additional Grade Items: These are worth 10% of your grade.

7. Well formatted- including no grammatical errors, written in a CONVERSATIONAL, INFORMAL manner, i.e. professional, but as if you were telling me about each organism conversationally. A well-written paper should have around 5-7 paragraphs for each organism. You should have a compelling reason to go outside the 5-7 paragraph range or else points will be deducted.

8. The last category concerns how easy it is to read. THIS IS STRICTLY ARBITRARY AND BASED ON MY OWN OPINION. When writing for someone else’s consumption, you must at least attempt to make it palatable to your audience. I will be reading 7 papers from each student in all of my sections. That is hundreds of papers. PLEASE MAKE IT INTERESTING! If you are bored, I am sure I will be bored. Number 8 is only worth (2%) because I know that writing is not everyone’s strength, but here is where you may be awarded EXTRA CREDIT if I can tell you put a lot of thought and effort into making your paper extra special.

You will be working on this project over the entire semester. I do not expect that your first paper will be fantastic. I am doing this to help you develop your ability to find credible sources and to start to feel comfortable reading and discussing scientific articles. As we saw during the Covid 19 pandemic, there will be times that there is no possible way that you know everything about the disease you are treating. Hopefully, this project will give you the skills to search for new information.

I expect you to be thorough, thoughtful, and review your writing. You will submit one organism a week to the dropbox. You may submit more than one at a time if you want to work ahead


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In-Class Activity