Biology

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BSC1005L Science—in—Action Report (up to 100 points) Assignment idea adapted from Dr. Ron Gray, Northern Arizona University

All written reports will be graded by Ryan Coker, a course coordinator for BSC1005L, and must be turned in

through Canvas by the due date and time stated in the syllabus. Please consult with Ryan Coker (rcc08e@my.fsu.edu) if you have any questions.

Rationale Abstract ideas, such as some of the ones we discuss in this course, can often be clarified through examples. For this optional assignment, you will read a book—length account of “science in action” – real people engaging in the practices of science to generate new scientific knowledge. There are many books that are intended for a public audience and provide a window into the thoughts, emotions, and motivations of scientists. This optional assignment offers an additional challenge to synthesize supplemental reading and course objectives, while delving further into some of the big ideas of biology. This assignment is an analytical paper, not a book report. Your writing should clarify the reader’s understanding of what scientists do, how science is done, and how new scientific knowledge is generated. Assignment Analyze two specific examples of science—in—action from the book you chose in response to the guiding questions below and make explicit connections to what you have learned and experienced in BSC1005L. Choose examples to demonstrate that you read the book completely; these should be the BEST examples of science—in— action from the book and your analysis should provide evidence that these are appropriate examples. Paper Guidelines Include an introductory paragraph to orient the reader to the two examples of science—in—action you will analyze and, briefly, how these examples illustrate science—in—action. For each example of science-in-action, you must use specific evidence from both the book, and from the BSC1005L General Biology Laboratory Course (student experiences engaging in science/scientific reasoning during lab and information from the lab manual) to support your argument. Be sure that each of your two examples of science-in-action in your report, you address the guiding questions (see following page) as part of your analysis. Include a concluding paragraph summarizing how the book, as a whole and in the specific examples discussed, illustrated science—in—action and influenced your perspective on what scientists do and how new scientific knowledge is generated. The length of the report, not including references, MUST exceed 1700 words, depending on how concisely you write. Failure to meet this word count will result in a “0” on the assignment. If you do not write concisely, expect to have a much higher word count for a complete analysis. Your written report must be a cohesive analytic narrative with clear transitions between paragraphs, and an overall analytic argument you are making about how people engaged in, with, and around the processes of science to generate new knowledge. Students must earn at least a “C” grade (70 out of 100 points) on their paper to be awarded any credit. Papers that earn less than 70 points when graded by the rubric below will be awarded 0 points. This is an optional assignment, therefore the expectations are very high and it is rare that students earn an “A”. This paper cannot be written well in one sitting; plan to revise multiple drafts before submitting your final paper. NOTE: Students must adhere to the Florida State University Academic Honesty Policy and, if you must use a phrase directly from the text or lab manual, cite all quotations appropriately. Students must complete this assignment individually using their own words. Students should not collaborate with their peers or copy from online sources.

mailto:rcc08e@my.fsu.edu
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Guiding questions for your analysis of EACH of your two Science-in-Action examples: You will analyze FOUR (4) guiding questions for EACH of your examples of science-in-action. Answer the 2 required guiding questions and choose 2 additional guiding questions that make sense for each of your science-in-action examples. Besides the required questions, the other two guiding questions may be the same or different for each of your examples. Be sure to answer the questions for each example IN DEPTH, assuming your reader has not read the book or taken BSC1005L. Include sufficient detail that someone who has not read the watched or taken BSC1005L could follow the arguments in your paper. NOTE: If it is difficult to answer Guiding Question #1, your science-in-action example is likely inappropriate. Your example needs to include what the scientists did to generate new knowledge, not just summarize facts. REQUIRED Guiding Questions (must be answered for both examples): GQ.1 For this example of science in action, how was the investigation designed and carried out? • What question(s) were the scientists trying to answer? • What data did the investigator collect and how did they collect it? • Did the investigators answer their question? What evidence did they use to support their

conclusion? Was this evidence sufficient? GQ.2 How is this example specifically related to the biology concepts or processes of science you engaged in

during investigations from BSC1005L? Cite specific evidence from the lab manual or lab experiences to support the connection.

CHOOSE AT LEAST 2 Additional Guiding Questions: GQ.3 What factors – personal, technological, cultural, and/or scientific – led this person to the

investigation? Cite specific evidence form the book to support your claims. GQ.4 How did the investigator try to persuade others that the results of the investigating were valid? Did

contemporaries accept the ideas? Are they accepted today? Why or why not? GQ.5 How did the results of this investigation influence the investigator, fellow investigators, and society

more broadly? GQ.6 Were there ethical dimensions to this investigation/research? If so, what were they and how were they

resolved?

Approved books for SIA Analytical Paper: A Feeling for the Organism (Fox Keller) Inheritance: How Our Genes Change Our Lives – and Our Lives Change Our Genes (Moalem) Magical Mushrooms, Mischievous Molds (Hudler) Seven Modern Plagues and How We Are Causing Them (Walters) T. rex and the Crater of Doom (Alvarez) The Beak of the Finch: A Story of Evolution in Our Time (Weiner) The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer (Mukherjee) The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (Skloot) The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals (Pollan) The Red Queen: Sex and the Evolution of Human Nature (Ridley) The Story of the Human Body: Evolution, Health, and Disease (Lieberman) The World Is Blue: How Our Fate and the Ocean’s are One (Earle & McKibben) The Vital Question: Energy, Evolution, and the Origins of Complex Life (Lane) Your Inner Fish: A Journey into the 3.5—Billion—Year History of the Human Body (Shubin)

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Grading Rubric (100 points possible; paper must earn a minimum of 70 points to be eligible for any credit)

Assignment Element Grading Initial checklist of expectations to determine if paper should be graded. A submitted report will receive a ZERO if any of the following three items are not completed.  Analytical Report, excluding references, is 1700+ words.  Each SIA example addresses GQ.1 – how an investigation was designed and

carried out.  Each SIA example addresses GQ.2 – includes explicit connections to

BSC1005L.

If any checklist expectation is incomplete or not met, the assignment will score a 0. (NO CREDIT)

Reading Engagement: Did the student demonstrate a thorough reading of the book through the depth of their analyses?

No (0)

Partially (2.5)

Yes (5)

Introduction: Did the student include an introduction that oriented the reader to the examples of science—in—action?

No (0)

Partially (5)

Yes (10)

Example 1:

Did the student…

… analyze at least three appropriate guiding questions with sufficient depth?

No (0)

Partially (5)

Yes (10)

… cite sufficient evidence of connections between the book and BSC1005L?

No (0)

Partially (5)

Yes (10)

…use biological concepts correctly? No (0) Partially (2.5)

Yes (5)

Example 2:

Did the student…

… analyze at least three appropriate guiding questions with sufficient depth?

No (0)

Partially (5)

Yes (10)

… cite sufficient evidence of connections between the book and BSC1005L?

No (0)

Partially (5)

Yes (10)

…use biological concepts correctly? No (0) Partially (2.5)

Yes (5)

Conclusion: Did the student include a conclusion summarizing how book influenced perspective on how scientific knowledge is generated?

No (0)

Partially (5)

Yes (10)

Organization and Argument Clarity: Is the report a well—organized, cohesive narrative using clear transitions between paragraphs, topic sentences, and section headings as necessary?

No (0)

Partially (5)

Yes (10)

Scientific Clarity and Precision: Did the student use scientific terms (observation vs. inference, data vs. evidence) and phrases (supports instead of proves) correctly?

No (0)

Partially (5)

Yes (10)

Citations: Did the student use in text citations appropriately for book? Include a reference list at end?

No (0)

Partially (2.5)

Yes (5)

Reports that do not adhere to the assignment guidelines will not be graded. Reports that do adhere to the guidelines but earn less than 70 points on the rubric will be awarded 0 extra credit points.

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Example Outline of Paper (you do not have to use this outline, this is just an example of appropriate paragraphing and section headings if you do not know where to start)

Title By FIRST NAME LAST NAME

Introduction Start writing your introduction here! Make sure I could have a clear idea of what your entire paper is about, the examples you will analyze, and how these examples illustrate science—in—action just by reading your introduction. Do not include elaborate statements about science or the world that do not add substance to your argument.

Example 1: Short, informative, description • In the first paragraph of this section, start with a brief description of your second example (citation) and why

you chose it. • In the next paragraph for this section, address the 1st required guiding question, analyzing in detail how the

scientists generated new knowledge (include citations of specific evidence) • In the next paragraph, address an appropriate guiding questions that is relevant to your second example

(citations of specific evidence to support analysis of question). • In the next paragraph, address an appropriate guiding question that is relevant to your second example

(citations of specific evidence to support analysis of question). • In the next paragraph for this section, address the 2nd required guiding question, making explicit connections

between this example and what you learned in lab and the investigations you conducted (citations of specific evidence to support connection to lab. ALTERNATIVELY, it may make more sense to make connections to BSC1005L as you answer the other three (or more) guiding questions.

Example 2: Short, informative, description • In the first paragraph of this section, start with a brief description of your second example (citation) and why

you chose it. • In the next paragraph for this section, address the 1st required guiding question, analyzing in detail how the

scientists generated new knowledge (include citations of specific evidence) • In the next paragraph, address an appropriate guiding questions that is relevant to your second example

(citations of specific evidence to support analysis of question). • In the next paragraph, address an appropriate guiding question that is relevant to your second example

(citations of specific evidence to support analysis of question). • In the next paragraph for this section, address the 2nd required guiding question, making explicit connections

between this example and what you learned in lab and the investigations you conducted (citations of specific evidence to support connection to lab. ALTERNATIVELY, it may make more sense to make connections to BSC1005L as you answer the other three (or more) guiding questions.

Conclusion

Your conclusion should bring together your argument for how the two examples you selected are the most appropriate examples of science—in—action from the book you read. Make sure to summarize the overall take home message of how these two examples and your experiences in BSC1005L supported your understanding of what scientists do, how science is done, and how new scientific knowledge is generated.

BSC1005L Science-­‐in-­‐Action Report (up to 100 points)
Assignment
Approved books for SIA Analytical Paper:

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