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Keywords:

  • Writing;
  • laboratory;
  • research;
  • literature

Abstract

Engaging undergraduate students in designing and executing original research should not only be accompanied by technique training but also intentional instruction in the critical analysis and writing of scientific literature. The course described here takes a rigorous approach to scientific reading and writing using primary literature as the model while simultaneously integrating laboratory instruction on basic enzyme purification and characterization, followed by 6 weeks of laboratory dedicated to student-designed original research projects. In the preparation and execution of their original projects, students engage in analysis of the primary literature, proposal writing, peer review, manuscript preparation, and oral presentation. The result is a comprehensive and challenging course that teaches third- and fourth-year undergraduates what it means to “think and work like a scientist.” Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education Vol. 39, No. 3, pp. 196–203, 2011