This assignment involves writing the first draft of the introduction to your final lab report for the Drosophila project. The intent is to provide you with an opportunity to receive feedback from your instructor on your scientific writing before being required to submit the full lab report. The expectation is that you will heed the suggestions of your instructor, make appropriate edits and improvements to the document, and integrate that revised introduction into the final lab report. Failure to integrate such feedback in the final document will result in docked points on the Drosophila Lab Report.
This assignment is an individual assessment of your knowledge; collaboration with another student or tutor will be considered a breach of our policy on academic misconduct. If you have questions about the assignment, you should ask your lab instructor or the lab coordinator for assistance.
Use the following resources to aid you in the development of your introduction:
Morris and Cahoon Genetics Lab Manual pp. 33-34 Handout 1: “Sciences” by The Writing Center of UNC Chapel Hill Handout 2: “Scientific Reports” by The Writing Center of UNC Chapel Hill Handout 3: “Plagiarism” by The Writing Center of UNC Chapel Hill
What should be included in the introduction of my Drosophila report? This information is covered in your lab manual on pages 33-34. Key information that must be included is bulleted here:
The objective of this project (which is what? Be specific) The importance / value of Drosophila melanogaster as a model organism in genetics
(based on properly cited information from peer-reviewed sources) The mutant lines of Drosophila melanogaster included in this project The chromosome on which each observed mutation occurs (based on information
from properly cited online resources) The hypothesized inheritance patterns for each mutant combination (autosomal
unlinked, autosomal linked, or x-linked) based on chromosome location
What is the purpose of an introduction in a scientific report? The introduction provides the broader context for questions or hypotheses being addressed. When writing, consider the funnel approach: start with the big picture and work your way down to the specific details of the study at hand. Begin by outlining your funnel, with the final point in your outline being your specific questions or hypotheses. In well-developed writing, you begin with an overview paragraph that includes major points. Each subsequent paragraph focuses on one of the major points, providing additional detail regarding the significance of the concept or question, what we already know (based on peer-reviewed literature) about the concept or question, and what remains to be determined about the concept or question. After each point is made in full, then
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tie all paragraphs together with a final paragraph outlining the specific aims or objectives of the current work, which seeks to address those remaining questions.
How many sources should be cited for this work? We require a minimum of two, peer- reviewed journal articles or a textbook and one peer-reviewed journal article as resources for your introduction. Websites are not acceptable substitutions for this requirement, but you may include a website in addition to this requirement, if (and only if) it is a legitimate resource unique to Drosophila research (e.g., flybase.org [A Database of Drosophila Genes & Genomes]). The Morris & Cahoon Genetics Lab Manual should also be cited if information from the lab manual is used in your introduction. Failure to properly cite the lab manual is still considered a breach of our policy on Academic Misconduct, as is failure to properly cite any information, thoughts, or comments that are derived from other sources. This, by definition, is plagiarism.
How should sources be cited? It is important to note that MLA and APA formats (which are typically taught in English classes) are not often used for citations in scientific writing. In fact, different journals use different citation formats. These journals will often provide a guide to authors that explains (in gory detail) how to properly format citations as well as how to format the manuscript itself. For the purposes of this assignment, we will use the formatting style of the journal Genetics. You will find guidance on their citation format in the appendix at the end of this guidance document.
How long should an introduction actually be? In general, “how long should this paper be?” is not the most appropriate question to ask. The answer will often be, “as long as it takes to address the topic.” In reality, the quality and content are more important than the length of a document. In practice, your introduction should be one or two pages long.
How should the document be formatted? As per the instructions outlined in your lab manual, this document should be formatted as follows:
Typed, double-spaced 12 point standard font (Arial, Calibri, or Times) 1-in margins on all sides Saved as a Microsoft Word document (.doc or .docx) File name should be LastName_FirstName_Assignment1.doc
When is this document due? Assignment 1 is due in Week 4 of Lab (see your syllabus for exact dates). The assignment should follow the guidelines outlined in your lab manual. You are to submit this assignment as a Microsoft Word document (.doc or .docx) to the D2L drobox called “Assignment 1” no later than 11:59PM the night before the lab period in which it is due.
How will this assignment be graded? This assignment is worth 15 points. You will be graded on content (10 points – see section above on What should be included in the introduction, five bullet points), proper use and formatting of citations (3 points), and quality of writing (2 points – grammar and spelling are important in written communication).
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NO LATE WORK WILL BE ACCEPTED. Failure to submit your lab report to D2L dropbox by the deadline provided by your instructor will equate to a grade of zero on this assignment. Technical difficulties are not an acceptable excuse for failure to submit, so do not wait until the deadline to attempt a submission. If you encounter technical difficulties at the time of submission, you should email your instructor immediately with an explanation and a screenshot. The timestamp on your email will be taken into consideration when resolving any issues of this nature. A paper submission in place of an online submission is not acceptable and will not be graded.
APPENDIX: References format as dictated by the journal Genetics. Please note the following is a direct excerpt from the Genetics guidelines for authors. You can find the full guidelines for authors at www.genetics.org/content/prep-manuscript.
In-Text Citations For citations with two authors, include both authors’ names. Example: (Ricardo and Lehmann 1999)
For citations with three or more authors, list only the first author’s name followed by et al. Example: (Kim et al. 1999)
Cite references chronologically. Example: (Chen et al. 1997; Scott and Rogers 1998; Isaacson 1999)
For multiple citations with the same first author, list single-author entries by year using 1996a, 1996b, etc. Example: (Chen et al. 1996a)
Literature Cited Cite only articles that are published or in press. To cite personal communications or unpublished results, list all contributors by initials and last name; do not use et al. Order references alphabetically by first author with a space between an author’s initials.
List references with three or more authors only by year and without regard to number of authors or alphabetical rank of authors beyond the first. For example:
Texada, M. J., R. A. Simonette, C. B. Johnson, W. J. Deery, and K. M. Beckingham, 2008 Yuri gagarin is required for actin, tubulin and basal body functions in Drosophila spermatogenesis. J. Cell Sci. 121: 1926-1936.
For articles with more than five authors, list the first five names and then et al.
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For multiple citations with the same first author published in the same year, list entries by year using 1996a, 1996b, etc. Alphabetize by second author. For example:
Van Heusden, A. W., J. W. van Ooijen, R. Vrielink-van Ginkel, W. H. J. Verbeek, W. A. Wietsm et al., 2000a A genetic map of an interspecific cross in Allium based on amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) markers. Theor. Appl. Genet. 100: 118-126.
Van Heusden, A. W., M. Shigyo, Y. Tashiro, R. Vrielink-van Ginkel, and C. Kik, 2000b AFLP linkage group assignment to the chromosomes of Allium cepa L. via monosomic addition lines. Theor. Appl. Genet. 100: 480-486.
Sample journal article citation: (Note spaces between authors’ initials and after the colon.)
Bridges, C. B., and E. G. Anderson, 1925 Crossing over in the X chromosomes of triploid females of Drosophila melanogaster. Genetics 10: 418-441.
Sample book citation:
Sturtevant, A. H., and G. W. Beadle, 1939 An Introduction to Genetics. W. B. Saunders, Philadelphia.
Sample chapter-in-book citation:
Beadle, G. W., 1957 The role of the nucleus in heredity, pp. 3-22 in The Chemical Basis of Heredity, edited by W. D. McElroy and B. Glass. Johns Hopkins Press, Baltimore.