Your references must include three articles published in the last six years from peer-reviewed scientific journals, at least two from primary literature, research articles with original experiments and data included in the authors’ results.
Scientific articles can come from a variety of sources, and do not all need to be from scholarly journals. Scientific American, National Geographic and Discover Magazine are excellent layman’s journals that are reputable (see box to the right).
Online sources like ScienceDirect can be highly technical but manageable with some effort. Other publications, like Newsweek or Time or newspapers, may be used as supplemental references, but not as the main three references, and may be good starting points to find a topic of interest.
The scientific journals Nature, Science, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and Cell are highly technical, but have sections and articles that should be understandable for an introductory cell/molecular biology student (see box to the right).
|Highly technical scientific journals||Scientific databases||Reputable lay sources||Popular|
|Nature||Public Library of Science (PLoS)||Discover Magazine||New York Times|
|Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences||PubMed||National Geographic||Time|
|Science||ScienceDirect||Scientific American||Wall Street Journal|
For the bold, these are the best, cutting-edge resources for you, and are likely good for some extra credit: PubMed is a good site to find relevant articles in scholarly biological journals. Please cite the authors and the journal, and not PubMed database.
Look for websites ending with .edu or .org. Websites ending with .com have commercial or business aims, not educational. Wikipedia and other nonacademic websites are not likely to be reliable sources, and you will lose points for using such sites.
|.edu||abbreviation for "education," usually tied to a college or university.|
|.org||abbreviation for "organization," usually nonprofits with a mission or stated goal|
|.com||abbreviation for "commercial."|
Detailed Outline: Give a numbered outline in Standard Outline format (eg: Main topics under “I, II, III, etc”, subtopics with “A, B, C….”, supporting information with “1., 2., 3., …..”, and minor points and notes with “a., b., c., etc….”). This should be a complete outline of your entire paper, with as much detail as possible, and with a nearly complete list of references from professional scientific journals.
Final Paper format
II. In 2 to 4 pages, summarize the current research that has been done in this area (from each of your References Cited), and explain how it relates to what we are learning in BIOL 230.
III. Finally, write a 1-page conclusion explaining the importance of recent breakthroughs in the field, the future direction of research in the field, what you learned, and any discussion or opinions you have related to the article. Provide a thorough self-reflection, including how you can apply what you learned to your own life and how you see the world around you. Cite specific knowledge or general concepts, or even mental or academic skills that you learned or improved from this research and writing process. See the posted guideline on Canvas, and ask Dr. Staples for help.
IV. Important points:
Use CSE/CBE or APA 7 citation style. Citations include author, date, title of article and name of publication as well as more information to identify your source. For examples, see
Here is the basic format for an APA 7 journal article citation:
Author, A. A., Author, B. B., & Author, C. C. (Year). Title of article. Title of Periodical, volume number(issue number), pages. https://doi.org/xx.xxx/yyyy
Make your own or copy and cite diagrams/drawings if you think it will be helpful to the reader.
Cite your references in each sentence or paragraph, even if you have paraphrased your source using an in-text citation. In-text citations are included at the end of a sentence within parentheses, like this (Author, year). See the Purdue OWL guide for more detail.
|in-text citation format|
Include the author's surname and the year of publication in parentheses: (Chavez, 2017).
|Two authors||Include both surnames and year of publication: (Chu & Jones, 1994).|
|Three or more authors||Include the first surname followed by et al. and the year of publication: (Chavez et al., 2019).|
NOTE: Search engines and databases are not journals. PubMed is a database containing a collection of journals and their articles, but is not a journal itself.
Proofread your paper for proper grammar. Papers that have obviously not been proofread will lose points. If you cut and paste text, or otherwise copy, directly from the article or any other source you will fail the assignment and receive an F the course.
Make sure you:
1. Proofread carefully, and have someone ELSE proofread for you as well.
2. Use at least THREE peer-reviewed scientific journals with original research and data to examine
3. Be sure to cite each sentence that does not entirely contain your own original thoughts and words with an in-text citation that includes the first author's surname and the year of publication in parentheses at end of sentence or phrase, or a numbered endnote notation. In-text citations are preferred.
4. Do not overuse quotations. Paraphrase information in your own words whenever possible. Show your own thoughtful examination of the data and concepts. Your grade is based on this.
These reputable magazines are written for the average reader interested in science so they are easier to understand than academic, scholarly, peer-reviewed articles.
Popular sources vary widely. Cañada College students have access to two national newspapers, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, through their college library.