Introductory Biology Investigations 101

BIOL 102: Introductory Biology Investigations 101

Content: As a scientist, we use the scientific method to meticulously answer questions of interest.  In this course, you will have the ability to think of your own research question (and/or select a question from the suggested list) and design an experimental plan on how you would answer the question.  Topics including background information, controls, and assessment will be included in this project.  

Due Date and Submission: Students will complete this assignment and submit an electronic copy.  No paper or email submissions will be accepted; this assignment MUST be submitted via Blackboard.  The assignment may be submitted early, but NO LATE PAPERS WILL BE ACCEPTED.  If a student needs clarification, please email the instructor as soon as possible.  DO NOT WAIT UNTIL IT IS DUE

TO ASK QUESTIONS!

Grading: This assignment will be graded out of 100 points.  For a breakdown of points, refer to the second page.

Paper Format: There is no minimum number of pages regarding the body, however, the project must have three clearly outlined sections: Overview of Topic, Experimental Design, and Significance of Research. Use double space, 12 pt. Times New Roman font, and 1-inch margins on all sides of the pages.  

Please include a title page, which should include the specific research question that you choose along with your name and section number.  

Failure to comply with format guidelines will result in point deductions.

Guidelines:

Be sure to include a section describing each of the following:

  1. Title Page
    1. Include the title of the research question along with your name, class and section number
  • Overview of Topic
    • Background
      • What is the background of the topics included in this research question? What is already known about this subject? 

1. For example, if your question was does eating 5 vegetables a day makes you 10 pounds smaller, tell me about vegetables, weight loss, and how what is known about their connection.

  • Hypothesis
    • Create a measurable if___ then___ statement that describes what you are trying to test.
    • Use notes from class to correctly create a testable hypothesis 
  • Experimental Design
    • Materials
      • What are all of the materials needed to test this particular question/conduct this experiment?  This includes participants, supplies, etc.
      • Include these in a listed format and make sure to include the specific name and number of each item
    • Methods  
      • Think about what you will actually do to test this hypothesis/conduct this experiment? Indicate what type of test/assessment will be done to measure your results?  What will you be observing?
      • This should be in a paragraph format, not a listed format
  • Significance of Research 
    • What is the importance of answering this research question? What are the long lasting effects of understanding this particular question?
    • Why is it critical that the scientific method is used to be able to answer this question?  

Grading Breakdown:

Max pts Category To earn the maximum points
10 pts Format Title Page 1-in margins Double-spaced 12 pt Times New Roman font Labeling of three sections:  Overview of Topic, Experimental Design, and significance of Research
20 pts Overview of Topic: Background Provide thorough and complete background of all topics covered Describe what is already known about this research question
10 pts Overview of Topic: Hypothesis Includes a testable “If___ then___ “ hypothesis
20 pts Experimental Design: Materials Lists all materials and resources needed to test hypothesis Includes specific quantities and names
20 pts Experimental Design: Methods Clearly and detailed description of strategies used to test hypothesis.  Includes step-by-step instructions on how to complete assessment
10 pts Significance of Research In-depth discussion of the importance of this particular research topic Description of why the scientific method is critical in answering this research question
10 pts Originality, Creativity, Effort Minimum direct quotes Minimum spelling errors Minimum grammatical errors In-depth responses

Other helpful hints:  

  • Remember to paraphrase when possible and avoid direct quotations or else there will be penalties. o Be sure to provide in-text citations for information that is not common knowledge or information that was obtained from a source even when paraphrased.
  • Explain each of the above points in DETAIL!  Write more not less.
  • Be creative!
  • Think about how you actually would complete this experiment.  Write this as if you had to perform this task.
  • Reread your paper paying close attention to spelling and grammar. 
  • Seek assistance if you require it.
  • Do not wait until the day before it is due to begin this assignment.

Grading Rubric:

Criteria Excellent Above Average Average Below Average
Format Followed all format guidelines 8-10 pts Missing 1 formatting guideline 5-8 pts Missing 2 formatting guidelines 3-5 pts Missing 3 formatting guidelines 0-3 pts
Overview of Topic: Background Provided thorough background of all aspects of research question and discussed prior knowledge 15-20 pts Adequately provided background of some/all aspects of research question and discussed prior knowledge 10-15 pts Inadequately provided background of some aspects of research question and/or briefly discussed prior knowledge 5-10 pts Poor background of some aspects of research question and no discussion of prior knowledge  0-5 pts
Overview of Topic: Hypothesis Provides testable  “If__ then__” statement 8-10 pts Provides non-testable “If____then____” statement 5-8 pts Provides non-testable hypothesis in non- “If__then___” statement 3-5pts Missing hypothesis  0-3 pts
Experimental Design: Materials Completely listed all materials, including specific names and quantities 15-20 pts Incompletely listed all materials, including specific names and quantities  10-15 pts Incompletely listed all materials, without including specific names and quantities  5-10 pts Missing or poorly described list of materials  0-5 pts
Experimental Design: Methods Completely describes all methods, including stepby-step instructions 15-20 pts Adequately describes all methods, not always including step-by-step instructions 10-15 pts Incompletely describes all methods, not including step-by-step instructions 5-10 pts Missing or poorly described methods  0-5 pts
Significance of Research Thorough explanation of the importance of this topic and the purpose of the scientific method  8-10 pts Adequate explanation of the importance of this topic and the purpose of the scientific method 5-8 pts Weak explanation of the importance of this topic and/or the purpose of the scientific method  3-5pts No explanation of the importance of the topic or the purpose of the scientific method 0-3 pts
Effort In depth responses, minimum errors, and minimum to no direct quotes 8-10 pts Adequate responses, some errors and minimum use of direct quotes 5-8 pts Weak responses, excessive use of direct quotes and/or errors reduce readability 3-5 pts Poor effort shown in the depth of responses and/or overall project 0-3 pts
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