The format of the term paper is a historical review based on three to four primary research articles. The purpose of this assignment is to illustrate to you how to trace the progress of a topic in molecular biology and/or biotechnology over time as well as to introduce you to scientific writing. To do this, you’ll follow the research from a landmark primary research article to an important article published in the last two years (2016-2018). Each of the articles published between the landmark article and the current article should demonstrate the progression of the scientific idea in the selected topic. The format of the term paper is very specific, and is probably not a format you have used in the past. It is designed to help you think about how scientific ideas build on each other. You can select a landmark primary research article from the list provided, or you can choose your own, but this landmark article must be approved. You are responsible for identifying the primary research articles that progress from the landmark article. No clinical or epidemiology articles are allowed. The articles should focus on molecular biology and not cell biology or physiology. You will be graded on your introduction, description of each primary research article, the transitions between them, and your conclusion, as described below.


First assignment – outline/summary of your term paper

This is mainly the transitions between the articles. Each transition should be about two to three complete sentences, and be formatted as its own paragraph. You should also include a brief summary of what each article added to the topic. The summary should be only a sentence or two at this point. Write these sentences as a short paragraph between each transition paragraph. Include the reference section at the end. The assignment should be double-spaced, and include a header at the top with your name and the number of words in your outline/summary. Attach the first page (or abstract) of each of the articles you have selected behind your references section.



Second assignment – rough draft

The rough draft should include a title page that includes a working title for your paper, your name, the word count and the list of key sentences. The draft itself should contain (double spaced):

an introductory paragraph

one to two paragraphs describing the first primary research article

a transition paragraph describing how the first primary article led to the second primary research article

the second through third or fourth primary research article summary paragraphs with transitions between descriptions of each article

a conclusion paragraph.


In addition you must have a reference page that includes the complete citations for articles.  Also include the first page or abstract of the three to four main articles. Organize your references alphabetically by the last name of the first author or use the numbering system. Staple the draft, the reference page and the abstracts behind the title page.

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