Essay reviewing a specific genetic topic Essay topic choice It is an essay reviewing a specific genetic topic at Genome-wide association studies Essay briefing The essay should consist of a carefully researched, up to date, fully referenced, balanced review of your set topic. A review should be a critical appraisal which provides an overview of the subject. Several of the topic areas are quite broad, and it is acceptable to narrow down the focus of your review to cover specific aspects. However, if you do this, you should make it very clear in your introduction what you intend to cover. You should be aware that the assessment is to produce a REVIEW and not just a description of one small part of the topic. you may consult the staff member who set your topic for advice. It is probably to your advantage to do so. However, consultation should only be done after you yourself have done some preliminary research, reading, and planning. Staff members may have their own preferences about a mechanism for consultation. Staff may give general guidance on, for example, your proposed plan and offer suggestions. However, staff will not tell you what to write, nor will they read through draft essays. Remember, it is your essay! Other instructions, criteria, and comment 1. The word limit for the review is 2000 words maximum, excluding the title, any tables and figures that you include, and the list of references. However, do not feel that you have to write 2000 words. Staff will be looking for a balanced coverage of your topic, irrespective of length. 2. Figures and diagrams can be used where appropriate to explain methodologies or concepts. 3. Reviews must be word processed using a 12 point font. 4. Use single line spacing, but leave a blank line between each paragraph and between each reference in your reference list. 5. References should include a high proportion from the recent primary scientific literature (journals). You must not rely solely on textbooks or appropriate web sites as sources of information. 6. A maximum of 20 references is allowed, so select them carefully. 7. References must be properly cited and listed using the Harvard convention in the style used by the journal Molecular Ecology (see later). If you use EndNote, Molecular Ecology can be specified as an output style. It can be downloaded from the EndNote website at endnote.com. Click on the Downloads button, then Styles in the dropdown menu, and follow the instructions. There are also library guides to referencing, and your “Practical Skills in…” book from stage 1 contains all the information you should need. 8. Marks will be deducted for not following the specified presentation format outlined above. 9. Students are reminded that whether the material they obtain is from books, journals or via the internet and other sources, the source must be fully cited in your work. Failure to do so is regarded as plagiarism, and will be penalised accordingly. 10. Reviews will be marked on both content and presentation using the School Generic Marking Criteria which you are advised to read before starting work. Criteria to be used are: Content, Understanding and Evaluation, Originality, Use of Literature, and General Communication Skills. 11. Your aim should be to construct a well-balanced review containing specific, factual, evidence-based information which is synthesised and critically discussed in a logical manner. Instructions on coursework referencing Although the Harvard referencing system uses a standard convention for citing and listing references, there are different styles within the Harvard system. For example, some journals may require authors to list journal titles in full, whereas other journals allow abbreviations for journal titles. For the assessment, you are required to follow the style used by the journal called Molecular Ecology. Copies of this journal can be found in the library. You can specify Molecular Ecology as an output style in Endnote. If you wish to use it, It can be downloaded from the EndNote website at endnote.com. Click on the Downloads button, then Styles in the dropdown menu, and follow the instructions. Below are instructions on how to reference taken from the Instructions for Authors in Molecular Ecology. (Note: these have been amended slightly to take account of the line-spacing requirements specified for this assessment). Referencing instructions for the journal Molecular Ecology Authors should use the Harvard system. References should be indicated in the text by surname of the author(s) with the year of publication as shown below. References to more than one publication by an author in the same year should be distinguished with lower-case letters, e.g. (Creed 1990a,b). The abbreviated author and date reference should be placed in parentheses unless the name forms part of the text, e.g. Willmer (1982) has demonstrated that …. If no person is named as author, the name of the appropriate body should be used, e.g. (Genetical Society 1977). Unpublished studies and personal communications should be referred to in the text only, using the author’s initials and surname. When there are more than two authors, use the first author followed by et al. The full list of references should be typed in alphabetical order at the end of the article in the form of the following examples. Use single line spacing but leave a blank line between each reference. Journal titles should be written in full, not abbreviated. Book titles should be italicised. Gray IC (1991) Polymorphic tandemly repeated sequences in human DNA. PhD thesis, University of Leicester. Milligan B (1992) Plant DNA isolation. In: Molecular Genetic Analysis of Populations: a Practical Approach (ed. Hoelzel AR), pp. 59-88. IRL Press, Oxford. Saito I, Stark GR (1986) Charomids: cosmid vectors for the efficient cloning and mapping of large or small restriction fragments. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA, 83, 8664-8668. Sambrook J, Fritsch EF, Maniatis T (1989) Molecular Cloning a Laboratory Manual, 2nd ed. Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, New York. Where there are 6 or more authors only the first 3 should be listed, followed by et al.
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