Any topic pertaining to Microbiology


Microbiology Paper Guidelines





Students are to write a eight to eleven page paper(double-spaced) on any topic that is related to some aspect of microbiology.  The title of your paper should be written in the form of a question.  The goal of the paper is to investigate and address this question in your writing.  An example topic would be:  


“How are the functions of CRISPR proteins found in prokaryotes analogous to human immunological processes?”




The first objective of this assignment is to provide students an opportunity to explore a topic of interest within microbiology in greater depth.  The second objective is to improve students’ information literacy skills as it pertains to science.  Locating and utilizing pertinent scientific literature in writing is a key skill. The final objective is to improve students’ writing skills, including writing clarity, logical flow, and adherence to APA formatting.


Suggested Process and Requirements (in red)


First, choose a topic of interest to you and one that can be covered in some detail with in the page limit of this paper.  You should pose this topic as a question.  Second, conduct internet and library research on your topic,developing a collection of articles and papers directly related to the question posed by your topic.  Third, list all the topics and information you want to present in your paper and divide the information into subheadings that lead to the body of your paper. The body of your paper will consist of an abstract, information on the topic divided into subheadings, a discussion section and a conclusion section. Your discussion needs to contain personal reflections on the topic chosen. This should result in a paper outline.  Once you have an outline, you are ready to write a rough draft of your paper.  Set the rough draft aside for several days and then return to it and edit it for grammar, spelling, content, and length.  Use the edited rough draft to create your final paper.  




The purpose of a list of references is to allow the reader to find where you obtained your information so the reader can refer to the original document if desired.  You need at least ten separate references and the corresponding in-text citations for your paper. Four of these references have to be from peer-reviewed journals.


References fall into different categories: peer-reviewed journals, popular journals, gray literature, and books.  You will find the most accurate and technical scientific information in peer-reviewed journals, such as the Journal of EcologyScienceNatureetc The author or authors who wrote the scientific paper sent it to the journal to be published.  The journal then sends the paper to other scientists familiar with the technical material in the paper to review.  Only if the paper is approved by reviewers will the journal publish the paper, which is why they are called “peer-reviewed.”  Such a paper will tell you how the information it reports was collected and analyzedas well as provide the conclusions from the research.  Each year thousands of scientific papers are published in peer-reviewed journals.  

The best way to access papers in peer-reviewed journals is to go to the WilmU library webpage(  WilmU pays for internet access to hundreds of peer-reviewed journals.  



Reference Examples


JOURNAL ARTICLE (paper copy)

Oguisso, T (1999). Professional nursing in Brazil.International Nursing Review43(3)


JOURNAL ARTICLE (online, from an Internet database)

Kavanágh, K., Absalom, K., Beil, W., & Schliessmann, L. (1999). Connecting and becoming culturally competent: A Lakota example. Advances in Nursing Science, 21(3), 9-31. Retrieved March 26, 2001 from ProQuest/Nursing Journals database. 

JOURNAL ARTICLE (online, on a web site)    

Outbreak news. (2001, February 23). Weekly Epidemiological Record, 76(8), 57-64. Retrieved February 28, 2001 from 


Ulrich, T. (1997, September 22). Linking an Amish hereditary disease with cerebral palsy, a pediatrician challenges a dark inheritance. Time, 150(19), 30-33. 


Geissler, E. M.  (1998). Pocket guide to cultural assessment (2nd ed.). St. Louis, MO: Mosby. 


BOOK CHAPTER, ESSAY, or ARTICLE when author is credited 

de Paula, T. C. M., Lagana, K., & Gonzalez-Ramirez, L. (1996). Mexican Americans. In J. G. Lipson, S. L Dibble, & P. A. Minarik (Eds.), Culture and nursing care: A pocket guide (pp. 203-221). San Francisco: USCF Nursing Press. 


Islam. (1992). In The new encyclopaedia Britannica (Vol. 22, pp. 1-43). Chicago: Encyclopaedia Britannica.     


Islam. (1992). In Retrieved February 9, 2002 from database. 


Padilla, H. (2000, June 6). Hugo prohibits custom animal slaughter; the vote will officially close a Hmong slaughterhouse, where animals were sacrificed for religious reasons. Star Tribune (Minneapolis, MN), p. 1B. 

NEWSPAPER ARTICLE (online, from an Internet database)

Padilla, H. (2000, June 6). Hugo prohibits custom animal slaughter; the vote will officially close a Hmong slaughterhouse, where animals were sacrificed for religious reasons. Star Tribune (Minneapolis, MN), p. 1B. Retrieved February 28, 2001 from Lexis-Nexis Universe/General News database. 

Requirements for the Research Paper: Summary

Eight to eleven pages, double spaced.


Research topic in form of a question.


Main heading and subheadings



References (At least ten separate references and the corresponding in-text citations for your paper. Four of these references have to be from peer-reviewed journals).

Follow the APA format.


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