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BIOL 225  HUMAN SEXUAL BIOLOGY (online)

RESEARCH PAPER Spring 2021

DUE DATES:  

-March 7: Topic Approval Form and Academic Integrity Contract

-March 28: Final day to submit Research Paper Draft (optional)

-April 18: Research Paper 

Please read and follow these instructions carefully!

1. Purpose. To successfully complete Human Sexual Biology, you must submit an original essay of at least 1500 words in which you analyze a contemporary topic in human sexual or reproductive biology. Please choose a topic that is to your liking, preferably one that was not discussed in depth during the semester. Your topic must receive approval from your instructor. Suggested topics include:

– a major study of sexuality or reproductive biology;

– a sexually transmitted disease and/or its treatment;

– a contraceptive technology (no behavioral methods);

– an assistive reproductive technology (not surrogacy, etc.);

– a sexual dysfunction with a biological basis and/or its treatment (no aversions, paraphilias, etc.);

– a prenatal developmental disorder and/or its treatment;

– an atypical sexual differentiation or intersex condition and/or its treatment.

2. Task. Your paper should analyze the topic that you have selected, based on your search and analysis of literature from published sources. You should analyze your topic and supporting evidence, evaluate these, and present an organized appraisal of your topic. A simple summary is inadequate and will not receive full credit. You should adopt a well-reasoned position, or evaluate differing opinions about your topic. Your analysis should center on the importance of your topic to scientific or medical progress, and/or assess its societal or ethical implications. Your paper will be graded on the depth of your analysis, the strength of your reasoning, and the quality of your supporting information. 

Your essay should describe your topic in a manner that could be read and understood by anyone. You should begin with an overview of your topic, followed by a more detailed description and evaluation of additional information derived from your sources. Please feel free to include your own opinions, but provide a logical basis for your having adopted these.

Your first task is to select a suitable primary reference, which in most cases will be an article appearing in a respectable periodical or Internet site (webpage) within the past year or so. The “Websites” section of each textbook chapter contains ideas for topics and information that may be used as starting points for research. Other suitable sources include, but are not limited to, The New York Times, Discover, ScienceNews, and other nontechnical publications and their websites. These can be accessed through the Guarini Library webpage, and many municipal libraries and their webpages. You should probably avoid advanced publications such as Science, Nature, Scientific American, and specialized scientific journals. 

This initial reference will provide a starting point for further research. You must seek out additional sources of information, as needed. It is acceptable to draw some background material from textbooks or encyclopedias, but the majority of the information detailed in your paper should come from periodicals and high-quality Internet sources from the past three (3) years. The accuracy and reliability of information from Internet sources varies widely, so you should use print materials from recognized sources whenever possible. Please check with your instructor about the quality of any questionable website. You should have at least six references. No more than half of your sources should be Internet sites.

Being a research paper, your essay must accurately document the sources from which your material was gathered. Any time you describe an individual’s data or other experimental results, or quote or paraphrase an author, you must credit that individual. The proper citation of your sources is of paramount importance in preparing research papers, and any paper submitted without proper documentation will be returned for revision.

3) Criteria for successful completion. Please submit the Topic Approval Form by providing your working title, the requested information about your primary reference, and a copy of or a link to your primary reference by 11:59 pm onSunday, March 7. Feel free to ask for feedback on your topic before the deadline.

Please read the NJCU Academic Integrity Policy and complete and return the Academic Integrity Contract by 11:59 pm on Sunday, March 7. By typing your name in the signature box, you are providing a digital signature acknowledging your understanding of the Academic Integrity Policy and the penalties for breaches of this academic integrity (i.e., plagiarism). 

You may hand in a draft of your paper for my feedback no later than 11:59 pm, Sunday, May 28.  The earlier you turn in your draft, the more time you will have to revise your paper after receiving my feedback.  I suggest you take advantage of this opportunity.

This assignment should be submitted via a Blackboard Message before 11:59 pm on Sunday, April 18. The grades of papers submitted after that date will be reduced. Please note that the assignment provides twelve weeks for preparation. Last minute crises will not be considered as reasons for late submissions. 

Your paper must conform to all requirements of the assignment. Omission of any required items below will result in a 10% reduction!!

1) Include a title page. 

2) Divide your paper into sections, organized by its component topics, and with appropriate sectionheadings. Consult with the Carroll text to the effectiveness of this method of organization. Working from an outline may be helpful.

3) Be sure to correctly and conscientiously cite the sources of information that you describe in the text of your paper. See the guidelines in the Citation Guide on the Guarini Library’s information literacy webpage. Please select and adhere to one of the following citation methods: American Psychological Association (APA), or Council of Scientific Editors (CSE). Also refer to the Article with Citations and References in the Research Paper folder to an example of how citations and references appear in a paper. Any paper submitted without citations within the text will be returned without a grade.

4) Attach a separate bibliography page that correctly and completely describes every paper or website you cite. See the guidelines in the Citation Guide on the Guarini Library’s information literacy webpage.

5) Proofread and revise your paper. Grammar and style count for ten percent (10%) of your paper’s grade. Turn on and use the spell-check and grammar-check functions of MicroSoft Word or another word-processor. Consider having someone else proofread your paper.