Current Topics and Issues in Microbiology

Although textbooks are a good source of basic information on a particular subject, they often lack
information on current topics and new findings. Articles in scientific journals contain the most up to date information. These articles provide detailed facts on current research and new discoveries. For students and non-scientists, these articles can be tedious and difficult to read. It takes a great deal of practice to learn how to read scientific papers in order to understand the significance of the research.
A good alternative to scientific papers, for students who want to learn what is new in a particular field, is to read popular press articles. Newspapers and popular magazines such as Science News Weekly, Science Digest, Scientific American, and many non-science magazines can serve as starting points for understanding current topics.

Pick a microbiology topic that you have read about, saw in the news, or heard on the radio within the last year. Locate a popular press article about the topic in a newspaper or magazine, (online is okay).
Use this article as a starting point, then go into the literature (peer-reviewed/scholarly articles) to write a complete paper on the topic. PubMed central has several databases to help locate scientific articles; don’t forget to search the Santa Fe library, click on ejournals, and you can find a variety of newspaper and scientific sources. You must use a minimum of 5 sources with at least 2 being peer reviewed articles.
ALL topics must be approved, in advance, by the instructor. 1 points of extra credit available if topic is submitted by early. If topic is not submitted to instructor prior to submission due date the paper will be deducted 5 points. See timetable at end of paper for dates.
Once you have located a total of 5 different articles (two peer-reviewed), write a 3-6 page report. The paper should be double spaced, written in New Times Roman font with a 12 point font size, 1 inch margins, right justification and should include the following information:
• A brief introduction to the topic or issue. 1-2 paragraphs giving an overview of the topic. Your
introduction should forecast the rest of the paper to the reader.
• A summary of the information that you found in your five sources. You should discuss the
findings of each article, but also combine them into a single synopsis. In other words, take
points from all the articles, but instead of reviewing them one at a time, take the overlapping
themes and put it together. This section should be the main part of the report.
• One to two paragraphs summarizing your opinion of the issue. Things you might think about
include: (choose 1)

a. What is your personal opinion on the issue or topic? This might include, depending on your topic, your opinion on any ethical/moral dilemmas raised by the articles, or your opinion on
whether any treatments, drugs or products should be used or need to be used in their particular situation.

b. Do you think the articles are providing accurate information to the public or providing a service to the public? Do any of the articles seem to be purely factual or do any tend to sensationalize
the issue or problem?
c. Do you think any of these issues might affect you or have an impact on your life in the future?

Be diligent about citing sources. Each time you use information from a source you must use an in text citation. Most scientific writing uses APA format, and so must your paper. If you are unsure about how to do this, look at the SF library page for help, contact the writing center in Learning Commons of the Library, Vistit the Purdue University OWL site on APA formatting or ask me.

To complete the assignment, turn in the following items:
You will turn the report in on Canvas into the available turnitin dropbox. (The submit button is on
canvas – you do not need to create a turnitin account).
• The report should include a title page including the name of your topic, the date and your name.
• The report should contain a references (works cited) page.
• Turnitin will generate a percent match (it may take up to 10 minutes to see the report). Any
paper with a match over 20% will receive a 0 for plagiarism. Be sure to give yourself enough
time to view this report and make any needed changes prior to the due date. Plagiarized papers
(even if it is unintentional) are subject to academic dishonesty charges.
• Best sources for scholarly articles are pubmed, google scholar, and through the Santa Fe library
JSTOR search.
• No quotations. Please do not use any quotations in this paper. If you like what someone wrote,
cover it up with your hand, put it in your own words, and then cite it.
• The format will be double spaced, size 12 font, with one inch margins.

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