Skip to Main Content
The University of Massachusetts Amherst

BIOLOGY 312 Writing In Biology - Joshua Lonthair

Course Guide

Welcome to the Course Guide for Professor Joshua Lonthair's Writing in Biology junior year writing course.  Your librarian, Melanie Radik, and your professor have put together these resources specifically for the assignments you'll be completing in this class. 

If you have any questions about any of the resources here, or elsewhere in the Libraries, please don't hesitate to ask Melanie about them.  Her contact information is in the lower left column. 

If you have questions about your assignment requirements or instructions, please reach out to Professor Lonthair.


For your 'General Audience Article' assignment you will need to find a peer reviewed original research article. The best database to use to find research articles will depend on your topic, but here are some good places to start:

Background Research

You might not be very familiar with your topic to start.  Coming up with good keywords to use in a database can be challenging.  Use reference sources like encyclopedias to investigate your topic.  You can discover new keywords and form a more complete picture of your topic before diving into the journal literature.


If you are interested in browsing some of the peer-reviewed science journals, here are some suggested titles to start with.

NOTE: Not everything in these journals is peer-reviewed. Be sure to look for research articles (with Abstract, Introduction, Methods, Results, Discussion, References) to use in your assignments!

Popular Science Articles

For your 'General Audience Article' assignment, get a feel for how information from a primary research article is summarized in a news article by reading examples of exemplary journalism.  While there are many places to find popular science articles or articles written more for the general population, not all of them do a great job.  Some suggested websites and journals: