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Scientists use information from scientific studies to research and design experiments. Scientists use primary, peer-reviewed, scientific literature to keep up-to-date on developments happening around the globe. Background information is an integral step in the scientific research process. For the ‘Environment, Ethics, & Human Health’ assignment, you will be writing a review of scientific literature. You will choose a main topic and one or more sub-topics and use primary, peer-reviewed, literature to discuss your topic of choice. Once you have read the primary literature on your topic and sub-topics, you will compile the information. The paper must be written in your own words, you MAY NOT copy or quote any portion(s) of the literature you review. Evidence of plagiarism or academic dishonesty will result in a failing grade and a letter to this effect in your student file. If you are not clear about the differences between scholarly citation, collaboration and paraphrasing, please see me or consult the resources available on the SJSU MLK website: I Need Help Avoiding Plagiarism ( Detailed instructions for the writing assignment are in the Environment, Ethics, and Human Health assignment found on Canvas.
This topic proposal is your guide to get you started on the topic choice and outline process which is needed for writing any good paper. Once completed, upload this worksheet to Canvas. You will receive feedback on your topic choice and outline submitted. Please allow up to two weeks after the due date to receive feedback.
NOTE: Canvas works well with .doc, .docx, OR .pdf documents. If you are using .pages or “Google docs” please convert to .doc, .docx or .pdf before submitting or I will not be able to read your assignment and you will receive a score of zero.
Writing Prompt:
Many issues affect the environment such as pollution, climate change, disease, and resource availability. These issues are not isolated or stopped by some boundaries drawn on a map and all can have a direct effect on human health. For this assignment, you will write your paper based on topics that look at environmental issues and their impact on human health with a global scope.
This assignment will help you go from general to specific as you decide on your topic. You will choose one main topic, one or more sub-topic(s), and global environments to research. Researching, outlining, and writing multiple drafts are all requirements of writing a good paper.
Answer the following questions based on information from lecture:
Research Methods 1 point for each question answered correctly (up to 5 points)
1. In your own words, describe the difference between primary, secondary, and tertiary sources.
2. What is meant by ‘peer-reviewed journal’ and why are these sources so important?
3. Specifically, where can you get free, full text peer-reviewed journal articles?
4. What is a library database? Go to the MLK Biological Sciences databases page and list two databases that will be useful for this paper. A-Z Databases: Biological Sciences ( )
5. For writing a paper at an appropriate level for this class, list the areas of a peer-reviewed journal article that will be most useful. (You may choose from: ABSTRACT, INTRODUCTION/BACKGROUND, MATERIALS & METHODS, RESULTS AND/OR DISCUSSION, REFERENCES).
First and foremost, this paper is about HUMANS and the Natural Environment. Please keep that in mind when you are choosing your topics and writing your paper.
1. First, choose ONE of the following major Human Biology 21 health topics as your main topic. In your final paper, you may address more than one of these, but for now please just choose one. (Choose by deleting all the choices, except the one you wish to write upon.) (All the below topics are meant to refer to humans only): 1 point
Cardiovascular System
DNA/Genetic Diversity
Respiratory System
Immunity/Immune System
Digestive System
Cells & Tissues
Sexual Reproduction
Fetal/Early Childhood Physical (Anatomical/Physiological) Development
2. Next, choose one or two of the following global environment sub-topics to address in your paper. Give some serious thought as to how you are going to directly correlate your main topic to your chosen sub-topic(s). The sub-topics below can be focused on humans, non-human living organisms or non-living components of the environment. Examples of non-living components of the environment are: pollution, chemicals, water, soil, etc. (Choose by deleting all the choices, except the one or two you wish to write upon). 1 point
Access to clean water
Pollution (choose one: air, water, soil, food)
3. Next, choose your locations. In this paper you must use examples from at least one developed nation AND one developing nation. Your developed nation can be the United States, but it is not required. You may change your nations later on. You may use “2nd world countries” or “3rd world countries” for your developing nations. 2 points
Your developed nation examples will come from which country?
Your developing nation examples will come from which country?
4. Do some research! Now that you have your main topic and sub-topic(s), do some background research to help you define your paper’s focus and how you will connect your main topic and sub-topic. Using the correct APA format, properly cite references for TWO peer-reviewed journals that will support your chosen topic. Need help? Check out: OWL Purdue: Reference List – Electronic Sources ( 6 points: up to 3 points deducted if not in APA format.
5. Topic Statement: Based on your topic choices from above and your preliminary research, describe how you are going to connect your topics and list 3 specific examples you will use in your paper. Think about how your global environmental issue sub-topics impact human health, well-being, and disease in your chosen area of the body. You can always change these as you begin to write your paper.
5 points
Topic Statement (Specifically, what will your paper be about? How will you address the writing prompt?)
List your 3 examples of how you will support your topic statement:
6. Write your outline! Outline your paper in the area below. You do not need an enormous amount of detail, but the reader should be able to get the overall impression of what your paper is about, what major examples you will use, and if your paper seems to have a logical flow of ideas. You are not locked into this outline after submission; this will only be used to begin the writing process. Need help with this? Check out: OWL Purdue: Why and How to Create a Useful Outline ( There is no required format for this, other than you must use a full sentence outline structure with the following major headings: 5 points
I. Introduction
II. Main point 1
III. Main point 2
IV. Main point 3
V. Conclusion
Now it’s time to start working on your paper! Please start by reading the Bio 21 Environment, Ethics, and Human Health Writing Assignment – twice. This is a separate document that has all the information you need to successfully complete the writing assignment.
NOTE: Canvas works well with .doc, .docx, OR .pdf documents. If you are using .pages or “Google docs” please convert to .doc, .docx, OR .pdf before submitting or I will not be able to read your assignment and you will receive a score of zero.


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