dbio.jpg (13827 bytes)

Biology 4102 - Writing Intensive Seminar

Office: Kleberg Hall 116 -- Telephone: 361 593-3580 -- e-mail: kfjab02 at tamuk.edu
Baskin's home page:  http:/users.tamuk.edu/kfjab02/

DOWNLOAD an Adobe Acrobat version of the syllabus

you can download a free copy of the Acrobat reader

http://wwwimages.adobe.com/www.adobe.com/downloadcenter/images/reader/reader_128.jpg 

Adobe Acrobat Reader

Office Hours: 10-11:30 M, W, F;  9:30-11:30, T, R, or by appointment. University duties, such as committee meetings, may prevent me from being in my office. If you have any questions or concerns, please talk to me before or after class or phone or email me at the office for an appointment.


BIOLOGY 4102   Writing Intensive Seminar 1(1-0)

Catalog Description: Current biological literature with critical class reports. Course may be repeated for credit. Prerequisite: 12 semester hours of biology.

Course Description: Undergraduate seminar is a chance for students to develop their skill in presenting scientific material via a seminar – a key to communicating your results in science. This is also a key to a success among biology students as this will become a key part of any job search. This course will focus on the organization, discussion, assessment and presentation of information in a group setting. One area always in need of refinement is the development and expression of critical thinking skills. A major purpose of this course is to hone a student's ability to gather and successfully access information on a particular subject, summarize the information in a written format and give an oral presentation (20 minutes).

Writing Intensive Course Designation: Candidates for all bachelor's degrees must complete at least one course designated as Writing Intensive (WI) on the transcript in their major field. Candidates must earn a grade of C or better in these courses. Assignment(s) in a WI course will require a total of approximately 5000 words (approximately 20 typed, double-spaced pages). Prerequisites: English 1301 and English 1302.

Core course Requirements: This course can be used as an upper-level elective, providing that the prerequisites are met.

Course Prerequisites: Twelve hours of biology coursework are required.

Course objectives: The students in this course will be able to 1) thoroughly review scientific articles and provide summaries of these for further discussion and review; 2) develop critical thinking skills as applied to analysis of scientific publications; 3) apply the ability to analyze scientific publications towards an oral presentation of the material during the course

Student Learner Outcome: After successful completion of this course, the student will among other things:

  1. Demonstrate the ability to communicate through writing and oral presentations
  2. Learn to summarize scientific articles in clear, precise, and correct English and be able to explain the steps taken to provide answers to questions addressed in the scientific articles
  3. Demonstrate through writing assignments, the ability to critically develop and articular biological (organismal or biomedical) concepts
  4. Select an appropriate biologically relevant theme for presentation and submission of a written review article.
  5. Seminar Theme: You are free to choose a scientific article to present that is relevant to human genetic disease, email it to me and I will make sure that the topic is appropriate for the course.

Required textbook: None

Evaluations and Grades: The seminar grade will consist of 100 total points:

  1.  A 20 minute oral presentation. (40 points total)
  2. One review paper (20 pages, 5000 word minimum) based upon the subject matter discussed in the oral presentation (40 points)
  3. Class attendance and participation (20 points total).
    1. attendance (10 points)
    2. evaluation (10 points)

Seminar Theme: You are free to choose a topic to present that is relevant to organismal or biomedical aspects of biology or biomedical science. All students must email the instructor with a selected topic to verify it is appropriate for the course.

Writing Assignments: Since BIOL 4102 is a designated writing-intensive course, there will be a review paper (5000 word minimum) based upon the subject matter discussed and presented in the oral presentation. All writing assignments should be prepared using Microsoft Word. The submitted writing assignments will be reviewed at least two times by the mentor (go through two revisions before final submission). The faculty will evaluate the literature review summary a total of two times prior to final submission (see syllabus for deadlines). Students will initially select an appropriate topic in either organismal biology of biomedical science (depending upon their major) and discuss this topic selection with the instructor. The journal Current Biology is a good source to find a topic. Students will have two weeks after the start of term to identify this topic and obtain permission from the instructor to present this for their oral presentation and also as the basis for their written review. An initial draft will be due seven weeks after the start of term. This draft will be reviewed and provided back to the student in a timely manner. A second draft will be due the thirteenth week of term and will be subsequently reviewed by the faculty. A final draft will be due by the end of term. Reviews of the written material will be subject to Turnitin validation, review for grammatical content, and general stylistic aspects. The first draft should include a clear and concise outline of the literature review plus any written sections generated at that time. The second draft should include a “complete” but not final version of the review. The final draft should be considered as a final submission and will not be subject to further editing. Appropriate data analysis, use of logic in data analysis and correct interpretation, use of literature precedence, and conclusions are key aspects to consider when the article review is drafted and reviewed.

 

ASSESSMENT RUBRIC

 

 

Rating

 

 

 

15

10

5

0

   Articles

Information is gathered from at least 10 current peer reviewed journal articles.

Information is gathered from 8 current peer reviewed journal articles.

Information is gathered from 6 current peer reviewed journal articles.

Information is gathered from 4 or less current peer reviewed journal articles.

 

 

   Title Page

Includes specific and informative title, author, course and date.

Omits one of previous

Omits two of previous

Omits three of previous

 

SUMMARY

 

 

 

 

 

   Theme

Well organized, demonstrates logical sequencing and structure.

Well organized, but demonstrates illogical sequencing or structure.

Weakly organized with no logical sequencing or structure.

No organization, sequencing, or structure.

 

   Abstract

Clearly states aim and scope; concisely summarizes major points.

Aim and scope are stated clearly, major points are not summarized.

Aim and scope are not stated, major points are summarized.

Aim and scope are not clearly stated, major points are not summarized.

 

   Introduction

Aim and scope are repeated and topic is introduced, rationale is explained.

Aim and scope are repeated and topic is introduced, rationale is not explained.

Aim and scope are not repeated, topic is introduced, and rationale is explained.

Aim and scope are not repeated, topic is introduced, and rationale is not explained.

 

 

   Background/Foundation

Detailed conclusions are reached from the evidence offered.

Conclusions are reached from the evidence offered.

There is some indication of conclusions from evidence offered.

No conclusions are made from the evidence offered.

   Research Question

Research question(s) are formed through the literature review and clearly stated.

Research question(s) are formed through the literature review.

Research question(s) were not formed but could be formed through review.

Research question(s) were not formed and are not apparent from the literature review.

   Reference Sheet

Information is cited properly and in MLA format.

Information is cited properly.

Information is cited, but has errors.

Information is not cited or is cited incorrectly.

 

 

PRESENTATION

 

 

 

 

   Length

Adheres to 20 page minimum criteria.

Does not meet 20 page criteria by ½ page or less.

Does not meet 20 page criteria by ½ to 1 page.

Does not meet 20 page criteria by more than 1 page.

 

 

   Format

Font, spacing, and MLA format are correct.

Font and spacing, font and MLA, or spacing and MLA are correct.

Font, spacing, or MLA format is correct.

Font, spacing, and MLA format are incorrect.

 

 

  Grammar

There are 2 or less grammatical errors.

There are 3-4 grammatical errors.

There are 4-5 grammatical errors.

There are 6 or more grammatical errors.

 

TOTAL POINTS

 

 

 

 

 

The overall grade for the literature review is determined as a reflection of the total points earned versus total points possible (Total points earned/total points possible (165) * 40=maximum points earned for literature review)

Tentative due dates are provided below.

 

Final Exam: This course does not have a final exam.

 

 

 

Week of

Activities

Writing Assignment Deadlines

1/22

Organizational Meeting

 1 2 3

1/29

 

Tentative topic selection by 2/13/2018

2/5

Topic discussions

 

2/12

Oral Presentations

 

2/19

Oral Presentations

 

2/26

Oral Presentations

 

3/5

Oral Presentations

 

3/12

Spring Break

 

3/19

Oral Presentations

1st Draft of Project paper due by 3/23/2018

3/26 4/2

Oral Presentations

 

 

Last day to Drop (4/2/2018 by 5:00 P.M.)

 

4/9

Oral Presentations

 

4/16

Oral Presentations

2nd Draft of Project paper due by 4/18/2018

4/23

Oral Presentations

 

4/30

Oral Presentations

 

5/7

Dead Week

Final Draft of Review Paper due by 5/9/2018

 

 

Return to:b>
 

Baskin Home Page

Biology Home Page

TAMUK Home Page