Biology in the News Assignment

The biology concepts presented in this course encourage you to make the connection between textbook biology and biology that appears in newspapers, periodicals, and the Internet. This Biology in the News (BITN) assignment enables you to focus on the connection between the textbook and the world you live in and to recognize how science and technology influence and contribute to modern culture.

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Select an article from a recent newspaper, periodical, or the Internet which correlates with the content of one or more concepts of instruction covered in the course. Select an article that is written for the general public. Avoid scientific publications.

Choose an article that is:

· related to content presented in a lesson.

· of appropriate length, not just an announcement and not ten pages.

· less than three months old.

· From current news, not encyclopedic reference.

· Written for the general public, not a scholarly scientific publication.

Your BITN paper should contain three parts:


1. The title page includes the date, your name, course, section, and instructor name in the upper right corner. The title of the article should be centered on the page. Position the article reference citation on the bottom.

2. The body of the essay will include three carefully written paragraphs. Each paragraph should contain a minimum of four sentences.


Paragraph one: Summarize the who, what, when, where, why, and how of the article content.


Paragraph two: Correlate the content of the article with the subject matter of a lesson covered in the course. Explain how the textbook helped you understand the article. Did the article agree with or contradict the textbook?


Paragraph three: Give your opinion on the content of the article. Explain how the content of the article impacts you, your family and friends. Relate the content of the article to real life by answering two or more of the following questions:


  • Did the article make you aware       of things you had not thought of before?
  • Did the article change your mind       about the topic?
  • Was the article about something       you have experienced personally?
  • Did the article address ethical       or public policy issues?
  • Do you agree or disagree with       information presented in your article?
  1. Attach      a copy of the article to your paper.

This assignment counts 20 points. Late work will count half credit. Points are earned as follows:

Format, Presentation, and Citation (4 points)

  1. Cover sheet contains:
    • Name, course, section number,       date, and name of instructor
    • Article title
    • Article citation in a standard       format such as APA or MLA
  2. Three Paragraphs:
    • Minimum of four sentences per       paragraph
    • Article relates to content of a       Lesson presented in class
  3. Attach a copy of the article to      the BITN assignment:
    • Article is less than three       months old
    • Article is news, not reference       material

Accurate Written Communication Skills (4 points)

  • Assignment includes coherent      paragraphs with proper sentence structure, spelling, grammar, punctuation      and use of scientific terminology.
  • Paragraphs should be written in your      own words from information in the article and textbook. No parts of the      article, textbook, or other sources may be copied. Plagiarism will not be      tolerated. Papers the instructor determines contain plagiarism will be      given a zero. See      for additional information on what constitutes plagiarism.

Summary Paragraph (4 points)

  • Demonstrate your understanding by      identifying main points of the article and summarizing into one coherent      paragraph.

Correlation Paragraph (4 points)

  • Discuss how the main ideas of      your article relate to the textbook, lab or lecture material.
  • Specifically reference textbook      and lab materials to provide a clear connection between the main ideas in      the article and your biology course.

Personal Reaction Paragraph (4 points)


  • Explain why you chose this article      and why it is important to you, your family and friends by answering two      or more of the following questions:
    • Did the article make you aware       of things you had not thought of before?
    • Did the article change your mind       or feelings about the topic?
    • Was the article about something       you have experienced personally?
    • Did the article address ethical       or public policy issues?
    • Do you agree or disagree with       information presented in your article?

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