Article Review and Discussion

General Biology 101 – Article Review and Discussion

BIOL 101 Lab

Article Review and Discussion (60 points)



To stimulate discussion of a wide variety of topics related to biology that may not otherwise be specifically discussed in the course.


Due dates:    Article selected and approved: Nov. 8

Written summary, oral presentation and outline: Nov. 15-17


Point breakdown:    Written summary – 30 pts

Oral presentation and outline – 30 pts



You are going to write a summary of and verbally discuss an article of your choosing.  See the guidelines below for selecting an appropriate article.


Your selected article must be approved by your instructor no later than 11/08/2022.  You will not be permitted to discuss or turn in a written summary of an article that has not been approved by this deadline. You can email me your article for approval by using Blackboard email only.  A copy of the article or the original article must be submitted with your summary.


Guidelines and grading: 

1)  Written Summary

  • The summary must be typed using a 12 pt. font and double spaced.
  • The summary should be at least two pages but not more than four pages.
  • Do not plagiarize the article but discuss the article’s subject matter in your own words.
  • The summary should include at least the following information:
  • Identification of the main subjects mentioned in the article and an explanation of what events/phenomena are being discussed in the article
  • The title and author(s) of the article
  • An explanation of the key terms important for understanding the article. A discussion of these terms should be incorporated into your review of the article. Do not simply list and define the terms separately.
  • A brief discussion of how the article relates to your experience with BIOL 101.
  • The reason you chose the article
  • One question that comes to mind after reading the article
  • In a short paragraph, briefly discuss a specific example of how the biological concepts discussed in your article directly relate to your personal life or to a social issue that impacts you.


The written summary is due on the first day of the article presentations.  Your written summary must be submitted as hard copy or an electronic copy of your summary via Blackboard as an assignment. If you do not have your written work, but are ready to discuss your article, then you may receive credit only for the oral presentation.


2)  Oral Presentation

You will turn in an outline of your oral presentation on the first day we discuss the articles.  The verbal presentation will be simple.  You do not have to get up in front of the class.  Do not simply read your written summary.  Be sure to mention the main subjects of the article and the central points being discussed.  Integrate an explanation of key terms into your discussion.  You may also talk about your personal interest in the article that you chose.  You only need to speak for 5 minutes.  The rest of the class is going to listen and comment on your summary.


3)  Choosing an article

  • The article must be of substantial length (e.g., 3 columns in a newspaper, at least a full page of text in a magazine etc.).
  • The article must be 3 years old or less.
  • The article must directly relate to biology.


Below is a list of sources from which you must find your article.  You may NOT use internet sources unless they are an electronic version of the print sources listed below.


Newspapers:              (New York Times and Washington Post have a Science section on Mondays and a Health section on Tuesdays)


Science magazines : Popular Science

Science News

Scientific American


News Magazines:       Discover

National Geographic

Natural History

New Scientist



US News and World Report


Electronic versions of articles from these publications may be found through the Academic Search Complete, which can be accessed through the MC Library homepage.  To use this service:

1)  Go to the MC Library homepage at

2)  Under “Articles and Databases, and More”, select from either “on campus” or

home or work

  • Click on “Academic Search Premier”

Note:  When executing your search, check the box for “Full text”




Please visit the following pages provided by the Montgomery College Libraries:


Avoiding Plagiarism


Evaluating Information


Finding Articles










Written Summary Rubric

25 points


Main ideas /organization/overall (8 points)


Grammar (5 points)


Title/Author (1 points)


Relation of article to experience with course (2 points)


Reason for selecting article (2 points)


Thoughtful question (2 points)


Length 2-4 pages/typed/double spaced/12 pt. font (5 points)





Oral presentation rubric and guidelines: 

25 points


  • I am expecting you to present your article to the class.
  • You should be speaking for about 5 minutes.
  • You will turn in a detailed outline of your presentation.
  • Less than on page
  • I am looking for evidence that you put time into thinking about your oral presentation.
  • Some suggestions:
  • How will you introduce the topic?
  • What points do you want to make sure you discuss?
  • Are there concepts you need to explain to the class?
  • How does your subject affect your life?
  • What questions does it raise?
  • Visual aids such as power point are encouraged but not required, you may use the whiteboard.
  • Do not just read from your summary.



Rubric for oral presentation 


Subject Knowledge: 12pts

Student demonstrates knowledge of the material.

Has a thoughtful question.

Explains concepts well.


Vocal delivery: 5pts

Notes are used as a reference; the student does not just read them (3)

Speaks for less than 3 minutes (0pts), full 5 (2/2), rambles for 15 min (0 pts)


Overall organization: 8pts

Student presents information in a logical sequence. (4pts)

Outline indicates thought went into structure of presentation. (4pts)