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BIOL 260: Molecular Biology of Disease: Home


This guide was created for the students in Professor Ann Marie Moreno's Biology 260 class. This guide is flexible - please feel free to suggest content.

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Research Proposal - Step 2: Selecting a Target Article & Step 3: Finding Similar References


STEP 2: Creating a main question and hypotheses

Due: 11:59 pm on 5/4

10 points (see breakdown below)

From the papers the instructor approves, choose one as the main focus for your project (your target article). It should be a paper that you can easily propose future research for.


You will now create a question that your proposed work will aim to answer and several hypotheses. The discussion section of the target article will provide information about what the authors believe should be the next step in their research. It will often be written as such: “This is still not well understood”; “Future work will involve…”; “… these observations may mean…”, “… our conclusions suggest…”, etc. It is important that these phrases do not have a citation associated with them (which indicates someone else has already studied them). Choose one of authors’ suggestions to be the main focus of your proposal and submit the following in a single document in Teams:


  1. Write the citation for the target article as outlined above (see page 4) (3 points)
  2. Provide a quote from the target article that gives you an idea for future work (1 point)
  3. Develop a question that your proposed work will aim to answer (2 point)
  4. What are several possible answers to the question? Develop a main hypothesis in if-then format (i.e. If this is changed/observed/tested/compared/etc…, then this will happen) and at least two alternative hypotheses/other possible outcomes (3 points)
  5. Submit a separate document (PDF) of your selected target article (1 point)

STEP 3: Finding similar references

Due by 11:59 pm on 5/7

2 points (1 point per PDF submitted)

Find two more papers that are closely related to the topic of your target article.


Now we will begin building your proposal for future research. Any proposal starts with an introduction of background material on the topic being studied (disease models, recent discoveries, technology and methods currently used, etc.). This information comes from previous research reported in papers such as your target article.

  • You will find at least two papers related to your target article that could be used to write the introduction. (hint: look at the references in your target article for additional articles to research)
  • The same rules apply as when you were searching for the target article and you are expected to have a general understanding of the paper.
  • Submit PDF copies of all articles in Teams