Submitting Biology Newsnotes

[Sample Newsnote Format] NEWSNOTES are to be handed in on the days indicated. They are a sort of biological current events, the concept of which was developed by Dr. David Fankhauser. You are asked to summarize the one item from your reading, outside of the assigned class material, which you feel is the most significant and interesting. Articles could cover such topics as environmental issues, nutrition, medicine, disease prevention, or other areas of biological interest and can come from such sources as “reliable” newspapers (i. e., not those such as National Enquirer, etc.), magazines, scientific journals, books, etc. The most interesting newsnotes each due date will be photocopied and distributed for class discussion. The format for submission of your newsnote is as illustrated here. It should be typed on one side only of a WHITE 3 × 5 card. Newsnotes are usually worth five (5) points with those selected for photocopying receiving six (6) points and a maximum of seven (7) points for the leading published newsnote each due date, according to the instructor’s subjective evaluation. One (1) point will be deducted if the newsnote is handwritten rather than typed, if it is not the proper size, if the card is not white, or if it does not deal with a biological topic. These points will be added to your cumulative score. No late newsnotes will be accepted.

For the first newsnote, after the newsnotes are distributed and discussed in class, discuss them in your study groups and pick one upon which the group wishes to comment. Then, submit your comment electronically (using accompanying instructions) within one week of the class discussion. Individuals who so choose may also make comments/replies, either on the newsnotes themselves or on other comments, but regardless of individual viewpoints, comments must be polite and scholarly. Within the next week, read all comments and, as a group or individually, reply to any comments of interest.

For subsequent newsnotes, after the newsnotes are distributed and discussed in class, discuss them in your study groups. Individually, pick one (or more) upon which you wish to comment. Think through, write, and submit your comment electronically, preferably within one week of the class discussion. You should then read through the comments and discuss them in your study groups. Again, feel free to comment on or reply to other people’s comments, but please remember that all comments posted must be polite and scholarly.

To receive credit for your participation, I need to know who posted which comments. No anonymous postings will be allowed. If a comment is submitted by a study group, it must bear the names of all participating group members.

For group comments, three (3) points per comment will be added to the cumulative scores of each of the participating group members. For individual comments, five (5) points per comment will be added to your cumulative score. You are welcome to make a number of comments and may earn up to, but not exceeding 50 pt. towards your quarter total. However, to receive these points, the following conditions must be met:

  1. The comment must be submitted electronically, via the Web. No comments will be accepted on notecards or paper. The object here is to engage in a discussion with your classmates, not just tell me what you think.
  2. The comment must make some point. Just saying “I agree with John Doe,” or other such “one-liners,” isn’t enough to get you the points.
  3. It’s OK to politely disagree with someone, but the comments must not be judgmental, rude, insulting, derogatory, or defamatory, neither to your classmates nor to any group of people. The files in our Web site can be viewed by anyone, anywhere in the world.

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