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BIOLO 1152: Kirkpatrick

Picking a Topic

There are several ways that you can select a topic for this paper: 

  • Think: what about biology (health, the environment, etc?) is interesting or exciting to you? 
  • Google News: check for current biology headlines and trace it back to the original research article
  • New York Times Science Section: articles about new and interesting research are published each Tuesday. Make sure that your topic is related to biology.  

Once you've chosen a topic, look to the following sources for background information: 

Want to use websites?  Remember to evaluate them for good information. 

Finding Credible Sources

Scientific research articles are often found in academic databases and journals.  Here are some ways to look for information: 

As you pick your two articles to compare, remember that you want them to be tightly focused.  It is much easier to compare two articles that study the impact of intermittent fasting on diabetes than it is to compare one study that looks at intermittent fasting and diabetes and the other intermittent fasting and long-term weight loss.

Evaluating Your Articles

Once you've done your background research and picked two articles to compare, you'll want to start thinking through how to evaluate them.  Here are some steps to follow: 

Once you've read and understood both articles, you'll want to start evaluating them section by section. Many of you will find that you'll spend most of your time in Materials and Methods, evaluating experimental design.  Think through some of the things you've learned  in your time at COD.  For example:

  • Do the experiments as described include a control group?
  • Are they blind or double-blind studies?  Why or why not? 
  • How long a period was the research conducted over?

You can also check out this guide to evaluating scientific research, or look at the book below for more examples of questions to ask: 


Need some help putting together citations?  Check out the helpful links below: 

Want software to create citations for you? Check out the database below:

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  • Last Updated: May 24, 2023 1:08 PM
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