Cannabinoids: The Bio-Synthetic Pathway

BIOL*1090 Scientific Literature Writing Assignment Instructions
Assignment Topic: Cannabinoids: The Bio-Synthetic Pathway
Submission Deadline: Monday Oct. 29th by 4:30 pm
Submission Location: Assignment Dropbox (Black) in front of SSC 3515
Note: (FYI this is a physical drop box for hard copy submission, electronic submissions will not be permitted)
All science involves long/short term projects, whether it is repetitive work in the laboratory in order to
achieve a research objective, writing a scientific paper for publication, grant writing with a tight deadline,
managing a lab full of students/employees or teaching an undergraduate course, scientists are always
required to manage their time and efforts efficiently and effectively to achieve an overall goal.
As an undergraduate student you may not see the similarities of your day to day academic requirements to
those of a working scientist, but essentially you are going through the same fundamental process called,
Project Management.
What is Project Management?
The term “Project management” was generated more than 50 years ago to manage industrial
manufacturing projects of great complexity. Even today, most of you probably think of project
management as a series of complicated graphs, charts and protocols often applied through a software
Thankfully, project management has evolved over the years. Today’s project management is less of a
technical discipline and more of a set of principles intended to provide a structured approach to
completing a large task, project or achieve a long term goal.
This type of planning and preparation to approach a task, goal or project will be essential to any future
academic or career endeavors.
We will use a project management approach to complete the: Scientific Literature Writing Assignment
by breaking down the assignment objectives into smaller more manageable and focused tasks.
BIOL*1090 Scientific Literature Writing Assignment Instructions
Assignment Objectives:
Week 1: Data Gathering- Sept. 24th – Oct. 1st
The objectives of this week are to find good quality journal articles as sources for this assignment, to
improve your ability to use literature databases (Such as PRIMO via the U of G library, PubMed, Google
Scholar etc.) to search for journal articles, and to improve your ability to discriminate between different
types of sources.
Step 1: Access the Information Management workshop on CourseLink to learn about the
different types of sources and strategies for searching the available literature.
Step 2: Complete the quiz at the end of the workshop (worth 1% of grade)
Step 3: Search for journal articles related to Cannabinoids: The-Bio-Synthetic Pathway Select and
download at least two articles for submission. The full PDF of the articles must be available for you to
You must use a minimum of TWO articles to write your assignment, your articles must include:
 At least one primary scholarly journal article
 At least one secondary scholarly journal article.
Week 2-3: Writing rough draft- Oct. 1st – 12th
Excellent written communication skills are essential to scientists. Several requirements must be met for
writing to be effective. For example, the writing must be free of errors in grammar, spelling and sentence
structure. The content must be accurate and delivered in a clear, concise manner. It is also essential the
author knows who the target audience will be. An article written for the general public will differ greatly
in style and in the level of detail compared to an article targeted to a group of experts on the topic.
The objective of this week is to improve your ability to clearly communicate an aspect of biological
science by completing the rough draft of your writing assignment. Your target audience is first year biology
students. You may choose to write about any topic related to the cannabinoid bio synthetic pathway that
is relevant to the material covered in BIOL*1090 using the sources you found last week. Keep in mind
a challenge of this assignment is choosing a focused topic for your paper yourself! (I.e. you may discuss
the topic more generally or focus specifically on a single aspect). Some more specific topic examples
include; the cannabinoid bio-synthetic pathway in the cannabis plant, the genes/genetic control of this
pathway in cannabis or the endocannabinoid biosynthetic pathway in humans.
Step 1: Access the Written Communication workshop on CourseLink to learn about how to refine
your writing skills in the sciences and how to properly reference and cite your sources from last week.
Step 2: Complete the quiz at the end of the workshop (worth 1% of grade)
Step 3: Complete a rough draft of your paper using the guidelines below
BIOL*1090 Scientific Literature Writing Assignment Instructions
Assignment Guidelines:
Your assignment must include the following components in the order listed:
The supplied cover page containing all the requested information.
The content portion of your assignment must be formatted as follows:
1½-2 pages in length, double-spaced. (Do not include figures or diagrams.)
Font: 12 point Times New Roman, black ink
Indentation: 10 spaces
Margins: 1 inch margins on all sides (top, bottom, left side, right side)
Alignment: Left justify
 The first page(s) of downloaded PDF of each of your journal articles used as references
A separate page containing your list of references. At least 2 references must be used. Please use the written
communication workshop to learn how to cite references using the accepted format.
A copy of the marking rubric from this handout with bolded information already filled out.
Week 4: Peer Evaluation – Oct 15th-18th
Peer assessment or peer evaluation can mean many different things—peer grading of homework,
presentations, as an aid to improving team performance or determining individual effort.
For the purposes of this assignment, peer evaluation is a process in which students will use the provided
rubric to assess/evaluate the written assignment of another student during seminar 5 providing
constructive feedback. The evaluator will sign or initial the rubric of the person that they evaluated and
the signed rubric must be attached to the final assignment upon submission. Students will have the
opportunity to use this feedback to refine their paper before the submission deadline.
Please note that peer assessment or peer evaluation is not the same as peer grading, and this will not affect
your assignment grade.
Step 1: Bring a physical copy of your rough written assignment as well as a copy of the rubric to your
regularly scheduled seminar 5. Note this exercise is worth 1% of your grade and students who do not
bring an assignment and who do not participate in the peer evaluation exercise will not receive this
Step 2: Your TA will announce when it is time to for the exercise to begin, find another student and swap
assignments and rubrics with them. Remember to have your evaluator sign or initial your rubric once they
are finished.
Step 3: Review the constructive feedback that you received in seminar as well as the information in the
rubric carefully.
BIOL*1090 Scientific Literature Writing Assignment Instructions
Week 5: Final Draft – Due Oct. 29th 4:30 pm.
Following the Peer Evaluation Exercise students will have over one week to incorporate the pertinent
feedback provided from your peer reviewer and refine your final copy before submission. Be sure to go
over the rubric meticulously to ensure you aren’t missing anything. Once you have made final edits it is
good practice to review your final document yourself at least twice through, and then ask a trusted peer to
read through it to catch any typos or small errors that may have been missed.
Once you are happy with your paper print out a hard copy and attach (staple!) the appropriate documents
outlined in the assignment guidelines. Submit this copy into the black drop box in front of SSC 3515.
NOTE: Plagiarism is a form of academic misconduct and will be dealt with very seriously. Cases of
suspected plagiarism will be reported to the chair of the department for further investigation. To ensure
this does not happen to you, take the time to read the “Avoiding Plagiarism” section of the Written
Communication workshop on CourseLink.
This is not a group effort. You must work on the assignment independently. If your assignment closely
resembles the efforts of another student, both assignments will be investigated and appropriate action will
be taken.
There are NO extensions. Plan ahead. A late penalty of 4 marks out of a possible 16 marks (25%) will be
deducted, beginning at 1 minute past the deadline, for each 24 hour period you are late. If you have grounds
for academic consideration, the weight of the assignment will be transferred to your final exam. To avoid
last minute emergencies, submit early.
BIOL*1090 Scientific Literature Writing Assignment Instructions
BIOL*1090 Scientific Literature Writing Assignment Cover Page
Student Name:
Last 3 Digits of Student ID#:
Seminar Day:
Seminar Time:
Seminar Room:
BIOL*1090 Scientific Literature Writing Assignment Instructions
BIOL*1090 Scientific Literature Writing Assignment Rubric
Student Name: ________________________________ ID#: ________________________
Marks Level 3 (2 marks) Level 2 (1 mark) Level 1 (0 marks)
Content Accuracy
The content is accurate and a
high degree of understanding
of BIOL*1090 material is
2 or fewer errors in
content. An adequate
degree of understanding
of BIOL*1090 material
Many errors in content. A
weak understanding of
BIOL*1090 material
Flow of Information
Logical flow of information.
Coherent, very readable,
unified paper. Sentences are
information rich.
Paper has some problems
with the flow of
information, some
Paper lacks a logical flow
of information and includes
much repetition.
Appropriate Level
Assignment written at the
level of the target audience
(1st year biology student).
BIOL*1090 perspective is
clearly represented.
Some parts of assignment
written below target
audience (1st year biology
student). BIOL*1090
perspective is adequately
Assignment written below
target audience (1st year
biology student).
BIOL*1090 perspective is
poorly represented.
Free of spelling and grammar
errors. Excellent sentence
2 or fewer spelling and
grammar errors. Flow of
sentence structure is good.
Numerous spelling and
grammar errors affect
sentence structure.
Difficult to understand
what is being
All formatting guide lines are
2 or fewer errors made
following formatting
Formatting guidelines not
In-Text Citations
Citations are error-free. 2 or fewer errors in the
3 or more errors in the
Reference list is error-free
and has primary and
secondary sources with 1st
pages of reference pdfs
2 or fewer errors in the
reference list and/or 1st
pages of reference pdfs
3 or more errors in the
reference list and 1st pages
of reference pdfs missing.
Appropriate Length
Assignment is 1½-2 pages in
Assignment is between 1
and 1 ½ pages or between
2 and 2½ pages in length.
Assignment is less than 1
page or greater than 2½
pages in length.
Total Marks
(out of a maximum
of 16)

Assignment is worth
10% of final grade.
Student Peer Evaluator
TA Primary Grader
TA Secondary Grader