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Welcome Biological Physics students! This website will guide you to free and library-subscribed resources that will help you with assignments in this course.
Choosing a Topic: The realm of biological physics is big! As suggested in the assignment instructions, narrowing down your topic will help you write a more focused, cogent paper. Using Internet search engines such as Google, and sites such as Wikipedia, can be a good start to finding information and narrowing your topic, but you must be aware of the limitations of each of those services. News sites of scientific organizations and journals is another good way to find out what's going on with current research. We will talk more about this during class.
Smart Searching: Database searching can get overwhelming, which is why we will talk about managing your research using a citation manager to keep your sources organized. If you can narrow your topic using general searching, knowing specific words that describe your topic will be very helpful. You may see these words described as "index terms" or "keywords". These words are learned by (what else) searching and reading the literature. Using these words in conjunction with the proper dtaabase and Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT) can markedly increase the relevance of your searches.
Writing an Abstract: For your abstract, it will help IMMENSELY to already have an outline of your paper prepared. Technical paper abstracts are comprised of several 1-2 sentence summaries of each of the major paper sections. For a research paper, for example, the first 2 sentences describe the motivation and background of the work. Next there are a few sentences describing the experimental methods used and the results of the experiments. The final sentences usually describe conclusions drawn from the experiments, their significance, and suggestions for further work. For this assignment, abstracts should be based off an outline of the major sections of the paper.