Final Project – Research Papers

5 May

As the end draws near, I have finally decided on an end-of-year “project”, of sorts. I have asked my students to create a “Disease Diary” in which they research a disease from each of the body systems we have covered this year. I figure this is a project that will prepare them for many of the things they will do/see/study in college or encounter if they pursue a career in the medical field. Not only is this a summative assessment of their participation in my class, but many of my students do not have experience writing papers (especially not scientific papers) or utilizing peer-reviewed resources to do research; I am hopeful I can guide them through their research and writing to create well-referenced, high quality projects that will prepare them for the many papers and essays they will be required to write in the future. 

On that note, what databases or websites can I suggest my students visit to find peer-reviewed, primary sources that high school students can use to find information about various diseases and disorders? Many of my students are not native English speakers and have a rather limited scientific vocabulary (although I have tried my best to change that!) But if I do not provide specific sites and sources, I am afraid to see what kinds of things they might come up with! 🙂 I have been told before that when in doubt, use the references provided at the end of the wikipedia article, but I am still hesitant to suggest that. When I was in college, we had access to the library’s database of articles and books, but I am not sure what options our high school offers. As far as I know, the research will have to be done entirely through free, public databases. Do any of you have any suggestions or ideas??

And, lastly, what is your biggest “pet-peeve” in your students’ writing? I’d love to ensure I address those little annoyances! 🙂

Thanks for your suggestions!

4 Responses to “Final Project – Research Papers”

  1. Murray Jensen May 5, 2013 at 7:33 pm #

    I’ve worked with student writing for many years. It’s maybe the single most difficult skill to teach. There is no magic – it’s just lots of practice, feedback, more practice, more feedback, etc. This year I have no writing intensive courses (writing intensive courses at the U of M require 10 or more pages of revised / clean text) and I’m quite happy about that.

    My all time favorite first line in a freshman paper: Lookout Mr. smoker man, cancer be after you.

    Being from Minnesota, I recommend the Mayo clinic site to my students when they need info on diseases.

    http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/DiseasesIndex/DiseasesIndex

  2. klrompolski May 6, 2013 at 7:07 am #

    Great idea Erin!

    I recently guided a few freshman honors college students through their first literature review.

    The Cochrane database is an excellent place to start. I would also recommend PubMed of course, Medscape, and Examine (which deals with more fitness, nutrition, obesity-related issues). There aren’t many more that won’t give them what they are looking for!

  3. Pat Bowne May 20, 2013 at 5:59 pm #

    I use emedicine (now part of Medscape, I believe). That sounds like a fine project!

  4. Pat Bowne May 20, 2013 at 6:01 pm #

    Oops, missed the pet peeve part! It’s when folks use nouns for adjectives. “That was so cliche.’ ‘The patient is jaundice.’ ‘The patient is pallor.’
    I make a fool of myself in class saying ‘jaundiceDDD’ – but it doesn’t work very well.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: