For students to practice communicating skills, there will be a midterm written assignment (1-2 pages) and a final oral presentation (around 15 slides).

Written Assignment (Due Week 8)

Students will write a critical evaluation of a primary research paper (not included as assigned weekly readings) that relates to the course contents. The student should briefly describe the paper’s main questions and hypotheses and critically discuss the key experimental data, controls, and interpretations. Selected papers should be sent to the instructor at least one week in advance of the due date for approval.

Written assignments should be within 1-2 single-spaced letter pages with margins at least 0.5 inches. Figure legend font size can be smaller provided it is still legible.

Oral Presentation (Week 15)

Students will prepare a slide deck for a 12-minute talk with a 3-minute question-and-answer presentation discussing a chosen primary research paper. Students should present a primary research paper that is different from the paper for the written assignment and is not included in the assigned weekly readings (upon approval by course instructor one week before oral presentation).

The presentation slide deck should consist of 10-15 slides with the follow components: title slide (1 slide), background slides (1-2 slides), hypothesis for paper presentation/one aim for proposals (1 slide), results for paper focused on the key experiments and the key control(s) (3-8 slides), and conclusions or possible future experiments for proposals (1 slide).