topic of the term paper will concern
the biochemistry of proteins. Your paper must focus on a particular
protein. A sample list of proteins will
be posted as a link on the Blackboard site for this class. Proteins not listed here can be added with
approval from the instructor. Only one
protein/topic per person per class. (For anyone repeating the class, you must
choose a different topic than in past classes)
Your paper should be a minimum
of 6 pages of text (double spaced, Times New Roman, 12 point font). This
does not include figures- text alone. Longer
papers are not better papers. Shorter
papers, however, often don’t cover the topic in sufficient detail. Use your best judgement.
Keep in mind that the term
paper is a literature based research paper and should be focused. Use current scientific articles. A suitable approach would be to read about
the protein if it is discussed in the textbook.
Look for one or two review articles for example in Annual Review of
Biochemistry and Trends in Biochemical Sciences, Science, Nature,
etc.. Do a more specific literature search on your
protein using printed or on-line sources such as Chemical Abstracts, Citation
Index, Index Medicus, PubMed, SciFinder, etc. PubMed can be accessed at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. PubMed and
SciFinder furnish abstracts of the articles cited.
When asked to search a topic
that is too general, for example DNA, PubMed and/or SciFinder will find
thousands of articles. Narrow the search
to your specific protein and PubMed and/or SciFinder will find about a hundred
articles. From such a short list you can select articles that are most
appropriate. Select ten to fifteen such
research articles, read them over and write a term paper that synthesizes and
utilizes the information in these articles.
Are there differences in approach, experimental techniques used,
discussions, conclusions reached,
etc? If you have your own idea or
hypothesis about the topic does the information you gathered support your
ideas? Do you have any ideas about
designing an experiment that could prove or disprove your idea?
term paper will consist of the following sections.
Abstract: A short summary. As you look at your papers, see how the abstract
is written to give a nice overview of the entire paper.
Write this last.
Introduction: This section includes a statement of
purpose. Why did you choose this
topic? What information do you hope to obtain or have
obtained? Have you limited the
search? What limitations have you used
(recent information versus old for example)?
section should “sell” the reader
on your paper– you are to answer all of these questions but in the third
person. We will look at examples and
work some examples in class
Presentation: This section includes data, results, etc.
obtained from your literature search.
Tables, graphs, figures, structural formulas, mathematical equations,
reaction sequences expressed as equations, etc. should be used. When
appropriate you can combine data and results from several articles into one
table or figure.
is all of the information you have found in the literature– right now
you are giving an OBJECTIVE reporting of this information, essentially
summarizing what all of the literature says.
Discussion: This section includes your interpretation of
the material presented, differences in approach, etc.
is your scientific interpretation of the literature– this is a
bit more subjective, but again still in the third person.
Conclusion: Your own thoughts and conclusions as well as
those of the authors cited.
summation of material in 2-3 paragraphs.
References: You must use in text citations using either
the Journal of the American Chemical Society (JACS) or BMC Biology format. A paper from each journal (to use as a reference)
is available online. Not using in text
citations will result in 20 points off of your final grade for the paper and be
recorded in the WSU Academic Central File for academic dishonesty.
Basically, this should be a
well-researched and well-written paper on your protein that is both informative
and interesting. You should become the “expert” on your
protein. The paper should be written to
a scientific audience, but should be accessible enough for anyone to read and
Grading of the term paper will
be based, in part, on adherence to deadlines.
List of at least 10 pertinent articles with Abstracts (if available) (10
pts); Completed term paper with proper citations and references, figures,
tables, etc. (up to 90 pts.) NOTE: You are NOT required to submit a rough draft,
and if you choose to, it will not be
graded. You will not get feedback from
me unless you do submit a rough draft, and submit it on time! Points will be deducted (at a rate of 10 %
each day) for failure to meet due date(s).
In addition, the term paper grade will depend on the
quality of the report, originality, length of the report, proper spelling and
grammar, proper citing of references, difficulty of the subject matter, nature and number of articles cited,
recentness of articles cited, relatedness to biochemistry, etc. The term paper will be submitted to
Turn-It-In for feedback and as a tool for scoring originality. A lower score is better. Your paper should not be a bunch of quoted
material, or a bunch of block quotes.
You need to write in your own words, summarize concepts, come to
conclusions etc. Any sentence or
paragraph written by someone else must be placed in quotes and properly
cited. Failure to quote and cite the
source is plagiarism. Use your own wording
and formulate your own expression about what you have read. For further information about writing a
term paper and about plagiarism visit the Worcester State University Writing
Center, http://wwwfac.worcester.edu/owl/ and page 26 of the College catalog.
Your presentation will
be on the same material that you write your term paper on. 50% of this grade will be for YOUR
presentation/presenting skills and 50% will be for your actual PowerPoint (or
whatever presentation method you use).
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