Nucleic acids–this includes DNA, RNA (including tRNA, mRNA, rRNA, miRNA)

Addresses course outcome 4:

  • effectively and appropriately communicate cellular and molecular biological concepts and their applications to the scientific and nonscientific communities

The purpose of this assignment is to have you explain scientific information in terms that could be understood by a nonscientist. In addition, this assignment should give you an opportunity to thoughtfully review the information you covered in the first two weeks of class.

Ideas for implementation

  1. You are trying to convince potential investors to support research on specific biomolecules or cellular organelles. Pick a biomolecule or organelle, and describe it, its functions, its assets (why it is designed well for what it does), and what makes it interesting to you.
  2. Pick two biomolecules and/or organelles and explain how they are associated and how they work together in the cell. In other words, discuss and describe the relationship they have to one another. Your target audience consists of high school biology students.
  3. You are applying for a biology scholarship. The essay you write is going to be read first by a panel of professors from a variety of disciplines, so you must compose your essay to be broadly accessible. You are asked to support or refute this statement: “Nucleic acids are the only one of the four biomolecules that do not serve a structural role in the cell. All the organelles within the cell would remain essentially intact without nucleic acids.”
  4. Below is a list of biomolecules and organelles or subcellular structures to choose from:

Nucleic acids–this includes DNA, RNA (including tRNA, mRNA, rRNA, miRNA)


4 points writing is appropriate for the intended audience

10 points: accuracy of information presented and reasonable level of detail

3 points: clarity/quality of writing

3 points: source material cited

Please choose one of the ideas above and write a one page (single spaced, 12pt font) p letter, that will be read or heard by the nonscientific community.  You may also use Power Point for your presentation (5-7 slides).

This description can also be found in the “Assignments” link.  Please submit your finished assignment to the “Assignments” link.  

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