Due date: Tuesday
03/18/02 by EES
PAPER PART 2: INSTRUCTIONS (150 pts)
term paper should be a critical evaluation of 5 original articles.
1-2 articles must be REVIEW
4-3 articles must be a JOURNAL
article (only one can be from Science or Nature, none from Scientific American
or other popular, non-technical journals). Journal articles have methods
and resuls sections.
spacing: 1. 5 line
font: Times Roman 12 point or
Arial 11 point
1 inch margins. Keep a Xerox
10-18 pages will probably satisfy
the assignment, but you may write more if so inclined.
use the first person (I) whenever
term paper should be assembled as follows:
PAGE: (1 page) Title of paper, last 4 digits of your SSN, and a
brief (300 word or less) ABSTRACT.
explain why you chose this
topic, and explain why you narrowed your paper to these particular five
SIGNFICANCE: (1-2 page)
Using the reviews and the
papers explain the significance of the topic:
why is important ?
why should scientists or anyone
else care about research in this area?
what is the relevance for humans?
for fundamental understanding of biological systems?
MINI-REVIEWS: (2-3 pages each). Summarize the key points of each
paper. This should not be a rephrasing of the abstract or paper!
(1-2 paragraphs) why is this work being done? what is the background big
question? what hypothesis etc did the authors set out to test? what was
their overall aim?
(1-2 paragraphs) what methods were used? explain whther you understod these
(2-3 paragraphs) Briefly explain thei results by describing the figures.
Challenge the results if you think the data were not up to par. Acknowledge
a technically interesting or important result.
(2-3 paragraphs) what key points were made? What do the authors think is
significant about their data? what is the relevance to the field at large?
what were the key findings?
(1-2 paragraphs) Your scholalarly judgement. Write this in the first
person. Discuss your thoughts about the paper. ( imagine that you
were asked to review it for publication.)
what was the KEY QUESTION that
motivated the research? what was the MAIN CONCLUSION of the paper? do yout
think this was a major contribution?
do you believe the author's
conclusions were supported by their data?
was the paper well written?
did it stimulate your interest?
were animals used? were you
comfortable with how the animals were handled? did the paper raise ethical
issues for you?
(1 ½ to 3 pages)
provide a discussion that
all five papers, and gives your overall impression of the field, based
on your literature search and readings.
explain which you think was
the best paper (define your own criteria for best) and which the worst
provide a summary section that
gives your own personal assessment of the scientific value of the research
and the significance of the work.
(1-2 pages) Answer the following in the first person:
Do you feel comfortable reading
original articles? What did you learn from this experience
What courses at NMSU have prepared
you to understand this research?
Provide an assessment of whether
the material covered in class did or did not help you understand the papers.
List of references (papers you
considered and the ones you selected)
provide a xerox of the abstracts
from the five papers.
and criteria for evaluating the term papers: 150 points
Clarity of writing (20 points)
were 5 papers reviewed? were
all components included?
was it typed, 1.5 line spacing,
with 1 inch margins and page numbers?
did you provide the introduction
and discussion as requested?
did you include the bibliography?
Grammar (20 points)
was the topic under review
were the paragraphs well
organized, in a logical sequence with headings?
was it easy to understand
what the papers were about?
was the writing succinct
and to the point?
Scholarship (90 points)
was the spelling corrected?
spellcheck can only help a little. for example, spellcheck programs will
accept there and their as correct, BUT only one of these will be appropriate
in most sentences!
were the sentences complete,
each with a noun and verb?
how well did you integrate
the different papers?
was the significance of the
topic and the papers (or lack of!) made clear to the reader?
was your understanding of
what was the overall quality
of the document? my judgement call!!!