POSSIBLE TOPICS. This is just a short list, there are many topics that would be applicable to this class.
Bacteria: TB, Lyme disease, cholera, chlamydia, probiotics, food made with bacteria, antibiotic resistance
Viruses: HIV, Herpes, smallpox, Ebola, warts, Covid, phages, phage therapy.
Human Microbiome and: asthma, arthritis, breast milk, vaginal or C-section births, autism, obesity, Crohn’s disease, acid reflux, positive aspects of our microbiome, dysbiosis, fecal transplant therapies.
GENERAL FORMATTING INSTRUCTIONS
Most short research papers follow a very basic format. This format is the one I want you to follow, and it is worth a total of 20% of your paper’s grade.
1. FONT. Body should be size 12. Bibliography headline and title page which can be larger. Use a standard font style like Times, Geneva or Helvetica.
2. SPACING. Body and Title page should be double-spaced The References pages should NOT be double-spaced (see example below).
3. LENGTH. Should be a MINIMUM of 5 full pages. The TITLE page and REFERENCES page are not included in the minimum 5 page requirement, therefore, if you include the title and references, the minimum is 7 pages. Please note that four and one half pages are not 5 pages; it is less than 5 pages by a half a page and will lose 5 points per half page less than 5 complete pages.
4. PAGINATION. Starting with the first Body page (P.1), the pages should be numbered. Do not paginate the Title page.
5. CITATIONS. Original work by other authors must be cited appropriately in your Body using in-text citations in APA format. On the other hand, no more than 20% of your paper should be cited. If you over-cite, you are saying that most of the paper was not written by you, but by other authors.
6. REFERENCES. There should be a minimum of 5 references in your bibliography. Although you can use a dictionary, our textbook or encyclopedia, they cannot be included as one of the 5 required references. They are an excellent place to start for general background research, but inappropriate as a formal reference. Be sure to use the APA format for your References. See below for an example.
7. PARAGRAPHS. Your paper must contain appropriate paragraphs, each of which is indented 7-10 spaces from the left margin. Typical paragraphs contain 5 to 7 sentences, though some may be more or less than this. Do not skip a line between paragraphs. Each paragraph should start with a summarizing sentence that introduces what the paragraph will discuss.
8. STYLE. Your writing style should be formal, not personal. Using personal pronouns such as “I think, you should” etc. is inappropriate for this type of paper. Chatty sections such as “Well, don’t think that is ok, it isn’t!” are also inappropriate.
If you are new to writing research papers (everyone has a first time!) I highly suggest the UMGC WRITING CENTER (see Course Content). Although you will need to email the completed paper a week before it is due for submittal in my class, it is an excellent way to get expert help.
Your paper will consist of three sections: Title Page, Body, and References Page. These sections should contain the following information:
FIRST PAGE: TITLE PAGE. Make sure this is a separate page without a page number.
Your full name
Title of your paper
Date of submittal
Class and instructor name
STARTING ON PAGE 1 AFTER TITLE PAGE: BODY. Make sure these are paginated and start with Page 1.
First Paragraph Of The Body – Introduction
This should be the introduction to your topic. It should explain what your paper will be covering and must be consistent with your title. This is not the place to go into details about your topic, nor to discuss one aspect of your topic. It is an introduction to your entire paper. After reading it, the reader should know what to expect of your paper. This first paragraph is organized as follows:
1. It should have a general opening statement that catches the reader’s interest.
2. The next few sentences should give a short summary of your topic and what you will discuss in your paper. This is your thesis statement.
Main Body Of Paper
This is the meat of your paper. It should be well organized and not jump around between topics. It should be consistent with what you said in your introductory paragraph and title. Sometimes outlining the content of each paragraph can help make sure the topics covered are in order. Outlining will show, for example, that you discussed the same topic in two different paragraphs separated by other paragraphs.
Background. Immediately following the Introduction you should start with a short section where you give some background on your topic. Background can include history and definitions so that readers know exactly what you are talking about (for instance, if your topic is on HIV. be sure to define what it is and how it is not the same as AIDS, don’t assume readers know).
After your Background section you can move into the details of your paper. Discussions should be backed up with evidence from scholarly articles. Use examples, cite statistics, and explain concepts.
Last Paragraph – Conclusion
This should be your conclusion. You should summarize the main concepts and make a concluding statement. It is basically a restatement of your Introduction.
LAST PAGE: REFERENCES
Your last page should be a list of references you used in preparing your paper. They must be formatted in APA style as explained in the Week 1 Tutorial (go back and review it if necessary) see below for an example.
You should be using scholarly articles for most of your references. Remember that anyone can post anything at all on the internet, that does not mean it is scholarly. University, government and science journals are usually the best for scholarly articles. Foundations promoting a certain agenda may be useful as long as you are aware that they are biased. However ,they are excellent when trying to understand different points of view.