Microbiology 496 (a 2-credit graded course) is required of all microbiology majors and minors. The purpose of this course is to have students explore a "microbiological" topic, of their own choice, based on current research publications. Normally students take this course after they have had some exposure to microbiology enabling them to decide which areas in microbiology are of the most interest to them.
Registration & Faculty Sponsor:
Students should contact Sarah Mears, the Program Coordinator for recommendations on how to find a Micro 496 faculty sponsor. You will be given a permission slip and asked to obtain the faculty sponsor's signature, thus confirming the faculty member's willingness to supervise you. Return this signed form to receive the code necessary to register for Micro 496. (Please check the Quarterly Time Schedule for registration deadlines). Students engaged in laboratory research (Micro 499/495) are encouraged to use Micro 496 to write-up their research results. Reports will be evaluated by their research mentor and credit for both Micro 499 and 496 will be assigned by the mentor.
Library Research Report:
Occasionally faculty members from outside the Department will be permitted to supervise undergraduate research projects. However, this requires prior approval from the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee Chair.
Students meet with their Micro 496 faculty sponsor no later than the first week of the quarter to discuss selection of topic and sponsor expectations. Faculty sponsors are prepared to (1) assist students in defining the breadth and depth of the topic that is mutually agreed upon, and (2) when possible direct the student to recent reviews or research articles on the topic selected. By the end of the 3rd or 4th week of the quarter students are expected to have a tentative outline of their paper, based on a preliminary literature review. Meet with your sponsor to review this outline. If the outline is approved, you may begin working on your paper.
Failure to have sponsor approval on topic or topic outline could lead to a failing grade.
Students are encouraged to seek the advice and assistance of their sponsor during the writing of their report. It is the responsibility of the student to search out current research articles, read them carefully, and organize the information into an orderly sequence in writing the report.
Students turning in papers that are judged to be a rephrasing of scientific and/or review articles, without appropriate citation, will be given a failing grade.
Micro 496 reports should be type written and approximately 10-15 pages double spaced (length will depend on the scope of topic and number of research articles available and cited). Micro 496-W students should submit a draft of their report to be critiqued by their sponsor no later than the 7th week of the quarter. Micro 496 reports (Micro 496-W revised reports) are due no later than the last day of class instruction of the quarter in which the student registered.
Failure to inform your sponsor that this deadline will not be met could lead to a failing grade.
1. Make an appointment to attend a library orientation session to familiarize yourself with the Health Science Library.
2. Meet with your faculty sponsor on a regular basis to review progress and ensure successful and timely completion of your Micro 496 report.
Suggested meetings with faculty sponsor:
1st Meeting: Review aims of the project, propose or solicit and discuss topics that might serve as the basis of your 496 report. Set up a schedule of when you expect to have certain steps completed, and begin a detailed exploration of a topic you wish to report on and/or begin literature review.
2nd Meeting: Review progress on topic selection and/or status of your efforts to identify pertinent review articles and research publications.
3rd Meeting: Present an outline of your paper to your faculty sponsor to review. If outline is acceptable to sponsor (may require modifications) continue literature review and preparation of paper.
4th Meeting: Final reports (or revised Micro 496-W reports) due no later than final day of class instructions.
Students are encouraged to discuss research articles and progress in preparing a final report with their faculty sponsor.
MICRO 496-W students should submit a draft of their report no later than the 7th week of the quarter, and schedule a meeting to review draft comments made by the sponsor.
3. Suggestions in preparing paper:
a. in the first paragraph state concisely the topic and how you propose to evaluate it. This will be similar to the abstract which is usually present and precedes scientific articles (see example below). Continue your introduction in subsequent paragraphs with some historical perspective on the topic.
"The Group B Streptococcus (GBS) has been firmly established in recent years as a major human pathogen, especially in neonates. There is a distinct need for rapid clinical tests that can aid in the diagnosis of these infections. The ability of GBS to demonstrate the CAMP reaction (first noted by Christie, Atkins, and Munch-Peterson) has been one characteristic that serves as a tool to assist in the presumptive identification of this important etiologic agent. This paper will describe the principles of the CAMP reaction, its chemical nature and mechanism, and other factors that may be influential to each component of the reaction. Secondarily, the many variations of this test that have been developed will be reviewed and compared."
b. break your information down into logical groupings (headings or subcategories) and develop each in turn, synthesizing all the bits of information from the various articles into a coherent form.
c. Conclude the paper with a summary paragraph which restates the original question(s) and highlights the results of the library research and your own synthesis of this information. Include any thoughts on the direction future research may take on this topic.
d. cite references in your paper by author name and year as in the following examples:
"according to Holmes (1979) the hypothesis was incorrect"
"the hypothesis was shown to be incorrect (Holmes, 1979)"
"no distinct hemolysis was detected (Christie et. al., 1944)"
e. Construct the bibliography alphabetically