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BIO 4700 Genetic Engineering - Capstone: Home

A Biology capstone experience in a seminar format. Students will be expected to read seminal articles, monographs, and books from the scientific literature, prepare synthesis papers.

Biology Student Evolution

Cartoon of ascent of humans from chip to a student

Welcome - BIO 4700 - Getting Started


This is a Library Guide to help you in your BIO capstone.  Think of it as Batesian mimicry lessons.  Biology students are vulnerable to various types of predation.  In Batesian mimicry, an edible species looks like an inedible or unpalatable one and is avoided by predators.  Biology students are very tasty to predators such as time loss; important, but unknown methodology; missed opportunity, etc.  Librarians are usually unpalatable to this predation.  If you can mimic a librarian in parts of your capstone work, you will be less subject to predation.

Your Assignment

Annotated Bibliography Guidelines 

Learning outcomes: 

With this exercise, students will demonstrate their proficiency in: 

• Finding relevant literature for their topic of choice 

• Constructing a bibliography in CSE format 

• Evaluating identified sources for their bias and validity of their scientific content 

• Summarizing and commenting on each source identified 

What is an annotated bibliography? 

A bibliography (sometimes called “references” or “works cited” or similar) is a list of sources (books, journals, web sites, news articles, etc.) you have found while researching your topic. They appear at the end of papers and usually just include enough information to identify the source (i.e., the author, title, publisher, etc.). 

In addition, an annotated bibliography contains a summary and/or evaluation of each source. You want to assess the articles you choose using the guidelines posted on AsULearn for fact-checking science news. Your annotations should contain your conclusion from this analysis such as the following: 

• A brief summary what the article is about and what its main points and arguments are 

• How relevant and useful of a source it is for your topic of interest 

• Whether the source is trustworthy and contains reliable scientific information or merely an opinion piece 

• What the goal of the article appears to be, e.g. whether it is biased towards a certain agenda 


You want to use CSE (Council of Science Editors) guidelines for formatting your literature citations. This is the most common standard for biology papers. An example is given in the grading rubric for the persuasive paper that can be found in the syllabus. You can find more detail about CSE formatting here: 

Your annotations should be written in full sentences in paragraph form following each citation. The lengths of the annotations can vary, but it would usually contain a few sentences of general summary followed by an assessment of its bias and scientific value and a concluding sentence how it fits into your topic (e.g. to support your arguments or as an example you intend to debunk). 

Number of citations 

You should have 10 sources in your list. Out of these, at least three should be peer-reviewed scholarly sources (e.g. scientific journal articles). The others can be web sites or news articles or anything else you find that is relevant for your topic and inspired your arguments. 

Your Text

Off-Campus Access

You will often have the greatest success reaching full-text if you are On-Campus when using Library resources. The article owner (the publisher we lease the information from) sees you are coming from an ASU IP address (we pay the bills) and lets you in to their for-fee content.

The second best off-campus success is to begin by going to the Library homepage  or list of databases or this guide.  If you are going to Google Scholar definitely enter via the library's link (gold tab on the homepage) to get full-text where it is available.  As you search, you will encounter a box asking you to log-in with your Appstate email login and password.

Science Librarian