transmission of infectious diseases

Research Paper Guidelines
Students will make an observation during their everyday lives that they believe can lead to the transmission of infectious diseases.  The observation will be recorded, and the collected information will be used to write an analysis of their observation.  The analysis will be composed with microbiologists as the intended audience.  This assignment is designed to have you identify modes of microbial transmission, develop questions associated with microbiology, assimilate information to analyze a problem, and discuss solutions to a problem.  In addition, I expect to see your knowledge of microbiology shine through in your writing; including the proper use of terminology, jargon and concepts.
Please keep in mind that you are not allowed to help each other for this assignment.  Plagiarism or other forms of academic dishonesty, including copying written text from one another will not be tolerated (see course syllabus for consequences of academic dishonesty).  Below is a list of general requirements for the paper:
1)      All papers must be typed, double-spaced, 12-sized font, and Times New Roman style.  Using this guideline, each page should contain about 250 to 280 words (about 1,000 to 1,200 words total).
2)      The paper will be a minimum of four pages and a maximum of five pages, not including the title page, citations, and any figures, graphs, or tables.  Figures, graphs, or tables are not required.  Use no more than one figure, table, or graph total.  Figures, tables, or graphs must include a number and a descriptive figure legend that is cited in the text.
3)      A title page must be included.  The title page should include a title, your name, my name, class, date, and total word count for the paper (not including citations).
4)      A stapled, hardcopy of the paper is required.  In addition, you must deposit a copy of your completed paper on Blackboard.  The electronic copy of your paper will be scanned for plagiarism.
5)      Do not use quotes.  The paper must be in your voice, to reflect your learning.  I will not grade papers with quotes; they will receive a grade of zero.
6)      A minimum of four citations must be included, and referenced in your text using numbers in parentheses (number placed here).  For the literature cited, use the AMA style (please see citeAMA handout).
7)      Up to two textbooks may be used for citations.  A total of three refereed websites (not Wikipedia) may be used as citations.  At least one citation must be a recent (no more than 10 years old) news story discussing the transmission of a pathogen related to your observation.
8)      At least one citation must be a recent (no more than 15 years old) scientific study that has addressed identifying, solving and/or preventing the problem you observed.  PubMed ( and the CDC websites ( are excellent sites to help you identify studies.
9)      The format, flow and organization of the paper will be assessed.  Spelling, grammar and punctuation will also be assessed.
The paper must include the following sections, broken into five paragraphs.  For each section, be sure to answer all the questions posed.
Describe your observation, paragraph one. For this section, focus on fully answering the following questions:
·         What did you see, when?  Why did it interest you?  Who was involved?
·         What questions does your observation raise with regard to disease transmission?
·         What problems can (or have arisen) arise as a result of your observation?
·         What do you seek to learn more about the problem?
Discuss your observation and problem, paragraphs two through four.  For this section, focus on fully answering the following questions:
·         What microbes can be transmitted as a result of your observation?
·         What are the scientific names of these microbes?
·         What diseases are the microbes associated with?
·         What are the clinically important characteristics of these microbes?
·         How are the diseases treated?  If treatment is needed, why is it needed?
Conclusion, paragraph five.  For this section, focus on fully answering the following questions:
·         What can be done to control microbial transmission due to your observed problem?
·         Have recent scientific studies led to advances (or have potential to lead to advances) in controlling microbial transmission due to your observed problem?
·         Based on your knowledge of microbiology, what additional measures and/or research would you propose to better control your observed problem?
Literature Cited.  AMA style by number.