BI306 Biological Literature

for SP 2013

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Mission Statement: Park University provides access to a quality higher education experience that prepares a diverse community of learners to think critically, communicate effectively, demonstrate a global perspective and engage in lifelong learning and service to others.

Vision Statement: Park University, a pioneering institution of higher learning since 1875, will provide leadership in quality, innovative education for a diversity of learners who will excel in their professional and personal service to the global community.


BI 306 Biological Literature


SP 2013 HO


Taulman, James


Assistant Professor of Biology


PhD Zoology, PostDoc Conservation Biology, University of Arkansas
MS Biology, Central Washington University
BA Math, BS Biology, Univ. Texas at Arlington

Office Location

Sc 114B

Office Hours

M-W-F 9-11 AM, Tue. and Thur. 10-11 AM

Daytime Phone



Web Page

Semester Dates

14 January - 10 May, 2013

Class Days


Class Time

1:00 - 2:15


EN 105, 106, passing WCT, 60 hours total

Credit Hours



Handouts, printing costs in lieu of text, $20 per student.


Additional Resources:

McAfee Memorial Library - Online information, links, electronic databases and the Online catalog. Contact the library for further assistance via email or at 800-270-4347.
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Course Description:
BI 306 - Biological Literature.  A one-semester study of biological thought and the methods of biological communication. Emphasis is placed on the acquisition and use of biological literature. Writing and evaluation of scientific papers is stressed. This course is to be taken during the junior year. The course will satisfy the EN 306 requirement for Biology majors. Prerequisites: EN 105, EN 106 passing the WCT, and 60 accumulated hours. 3:0:3

Students will be introduced to the diversity of writing styles and formats seen in the biological scientific literature.  The process of preparation and submission of manuscripts for peer review will be explored and students will get practice in reviewing actual scientific manuscripts.  Students will be given background literature, a study design, and data from an actual published scientific study.  With those resources, and training in data analysis, they will produce a draft manuscript containing an abstract, introduction, methods and materials, results, discussion, and literature cited sections.  They will do a peer review on each other's manuscripts and will revise their own and turn in a final copy.  Students will create a PowerPoint poster representing their study and results.  The student posters will be exhibited.  Creation of a resume and cover letter will be covered.


Educational Philosophy:

In this class, the instructor will attempt to create an interactive learning environment.  Reading, writing, analytical skills, and critical thinking are crucial to successful functioning in the professional environment.  These abilities will be nurtured and developed in this course.

Learning Outcomes:
  Core Learning Outcomes

  1. Identify the types of scientific literature, perform bibliographic searches and evaluate as sources of information.
  2. Construct reports, papers, and a research proposal in a format accepted by the Council of Science Editors.
  3. Prepare and exhibit a poster on a topic of research.
  4. Develop a professional resume and cover letter.

Core Assessment:

Scientific research paper dealing with a current topic of importance.

Assignment Issues
1.             Knowledge of types of literature
2.             Be able to do electronic and manual literature searches
3.             Produce an evaluative cohesive work
4.             Recognize and use proper presentation techniques
5.             Application of scientific writing style
6.             Correct usage of grammar

Link to Class Rubric

Class Assessment:

Reports and written evaluations of assigned articles - 6 @ 20    = 120 points
Written sections of simulated study of raccoon
food preferences                                                      - 5 @ 30 = 150 points
Peer review of student reports                                    1 @ 20 = 20
Final written manuscript on raccoon food preferences - 1 @ 100 = 100
PowerPoint poster illustrating study - 1 @ 30
Total points = 420


A = 90.0% and higher

B = 80.0%

C = 70.0%

D = 60.0%

F = less than 60.0%

Late Submission of Course Materials:

All assignments are due by the date and time specified. Assignments not received by this time will be given a grade of zero. Emergency situations that can be documented will be handled on a case by case basis with the instructor. All other excused and unexcused absences must personally hand the instructor the assignment or make arrangements for the assignment to be hand delivered before the due date. 

Classroom Rules of Conduct:
Cellular phones, beepers, and other communication devices are not allowed in class, and must be turned off and put away. Disruption of class by one of these devices will result in that student being counted as absent for the day and removed from the class for the day. Students suspected to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol will be reported to the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs and removed from the class. Disruptive behavior (as deemed by the instructor) such as loud talking, snoring, leaving the classroom repeatedly during class time, etc. will result in removal of the student from the class for the day and the student will be considered absent. Multiple disruptions (loud talking, cell phone, etc.) over the semester will lead to withdrawal of the student from the class by the instructor.

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:

Week   Topic
1, Jan. 15, 17     
2, Jan. 22, 24
Empirical journal, report 1
3, Jan. 29, 31
Review journal, report 2
4, Feb. 5, 7
Theoretical journal, report 3
5, Feb. 12, 14
Mainstream scientific periodical, report 4
6, Feb. 19, 21
Sample draft journal manuscript and review
7, Feb. 26, 28
Student review of draft manuscript I, report 5
8, Feb. 5, 7
Student review of draft manuscript II, report 6
9,  Mar. 12, 14
Spring Break
10,  Mar. 19, 21
Resume writing
11, Mar. 26, 28
Simulated study of food preferences of raccoons, literature
and data provided to students
12, Apr. 2, 4
Introduction and Methods, section reports 1 and 2
13, Apr. 9, 11
Results, section report 3
14, Apr. 16, 18
Discussion, section report 4, Literature Cited, section report 5
15, Apr. 23, 25
Peer review of student reports, peer review report 1
16, Apr. 30, May 1 
Final reports and presentations
17, May 7
Final Exam, 1 - 3 pm

Academic Honesty:
Academic integrity is the foundation of the academic community. Because each student has the primary responsibility for being academically honest, students are advised to read and understand all sections of this policy relating to standards of conduct and academic life. Park University students and faculty members are encouraged to take advantage of the University resources available for learning about academic honesty ( or Park University 2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog Page 95-96

Plagiarism involves the use of quotations without quotation marks, the use of quotations without indication of the source, the use of another's idea without acknowledging the source, the submission of a paper, laboratory report, project, or class assignment (any portion of such) prepared by another person, or incorrect paraphrasing. from Park University 2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog Page 95

Attendance Policy:
Instructors are required to maintain attendance records and to report absences via the online attendance reporting system.

  1. The instructor may excuse absences for valid reasons, but missed work must be made up within the semester/term of enrollment.
  2. Work missed through unexcused absences must also be made up within the semester/term of enrollment, but unexcused absences may carry further penalties.
  3. In the event of two consecutive weeks of unexcused absences in a semester/term of enrollment, the student will be administratively withdrawn, resulting in a grade of "F".
  4. A "Contract for Incomplete" will not be issued to a student who has unexcused or excessive absences recorded for a course.
  5. Students receiving Military Tuition Assistance or Veterans Administration educational benefits must not exceed three unexcused absences in the semester/term of enrollment. Excessive absences will be reported to the appropriate agency and may result in a monetary penalty to the student.
  6. Report of a "F" grade (attendance or academic) resulting from excessive absence for those students who are receiving financial assistance from agencies not mentioned in item 5 above will be reported to the appropriate agency.

Park University 2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog Page 98
7. Students with a total of 10 unexcused absences in lecture classes will receive a grade of F.  Students should inform the instructor if not able to attend class.  

8. Students who miss exams will not automatically be given a makeup test.  Students must notify the instructor if not able to be present on test day in order to schedule a makeup exam.

Disability Guidelines:
Park University is committed to meeting the needs of all students that meet the criteria for special assistance. These guidelines are designed to supply directions to students concerning the information necessary to accomplish this goal. It is Park University's policy to comply fully with federal and state law, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, regarding students with disabilities. In the case of any inconsistency between these guidelines and federal and/or state law, the provisions of the law will apply. Additional information concerning Park University's policies and procedures related to disability can be found on the Park University web page: .


CompetencyExceeds Expectation (3)Meets Expectation (2)Does Not Meet Expectation (1)No Evidence (0)
1, 2                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
Uses more than 10 sources of which  9 are primary literature to produce cohesive analysis of information Uses 10 sources of which 7 are primary literature to produce cohesive analysis of information Uses less than 10 sources with 5 or less primary and doesn't produce a cohesive analysis of information No indication of use of sources to produce a cohesive document 
1, 2, 3, 4                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
Uses information obtained by research and formulates new ideas and cohesive presentation Uses information obtained by research and formulates cohesive presentation Properly uses information from research but does not create cohesive presentation No evidence of analysis of research materials 
2, 3                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
Provides new insight into information gained by research Effectively presents and understands the value of information obtained by research Presents the material but has serious deficiencies in the understanding Some presentation but does not exhibit understanding 
1,2, 3, 4                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            
No factual errors 1 to 3 factual errors More than 4 factual errors Many factual errors 
1, 2, 3, 4                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
Demonstrates mastery of all 6 of the assignment issues Demonstrates mastery of 4 to 6 of the assignment issues Demonstrates mastery of less than 4 of the assignment issues Does not demonstrate mastery of assignment issues 
1, 2, 3, 4                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
Effectively incorporates/applies all of the assignment issues Effectively incorporates or applies 4 to 6 of the assignment issues Effectively incorporates or applies 3 to 4 of the assignment issues Does do apply or incorporate assignment issues 
Whole Artifact                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             
1,2, 3                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               
No errors in writing conventions; Uses 12 or more sources of which  9 are primary literature; 10 pages in length; more than 7 sources are 2000 or later 1 to 3 errors in writing conventions; Uses 10 sources of which 7 are primary literature; 8.5 pages in length; 7 sources are 2000 or later 4 or more errors in writing conventions; Uses less than 10 sources with 5 or less primary; less than 8.5 pages in length; less than 7 sources are 2000 or later Many errors in writing conventions, uses 5 or fewer sources, less than 5 pages in length 
1, 2, 3                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              
Contains no errors in the following paper format items:



*Page numbers

*Works cited

*Internal documentation

Contains only 1 to 3 errors in the following paper format items:



*Page numbers

*Works cited

*Internal documentation

Contains 4 to 9 errors in the following paper format items:



*Page numbers

*Works cited

*Internal documentation

Contains 10 or more errors in the following paper format items:



*Page numbers

*Works cited

*Internal documentation



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Last Updated:1/3/2013 12:10:24 PM