discussion post

Learning Goal: I’m working on a biology discussion question and need an explanation and answer to help me learn.

This consists of 1) one original post about a pathogenic microbe and resulting infection/pathology relating to either the skin, eye, or respiratory system and 2) two peer responses. (respond to the two examples down below)

Provide 2 different, accredited sources:

For your original post, you need at least 2 different sources about your pathogen cited using APA format. One source is an article about a current event and one source is a general review on the pathogen/infection involved in the current event article.

Source 1 needs to be a current event article (within 5 years) on your chosen pathogen. This can be a current event article (an outbreak reported, community survey, novel therapy discovered) or a research article (peer reviewed journal article that summarizes a novel study and the results). Something that has an EVENT or some RESULTS you can report on. It should not be a general info article about your pathogen- that is for source 2.

  • When looking for current event articles, I suggest using google scholar There is a year filter to bring up current articles. – type in key words such as “pathogen name, transmission, outbreak.”
  • If you do a regular google search, make sure to review where the article came from and the context behind it to ensure it’s about a specific event. Not all articles in the ‘News’ tab on google are current events! Many are just general information published recently- save for source 2. This first source needs to describe a specific event (outbreak, survey, study, discovery, etc.) that you summarize.

Source 2 should describe the pathogen and any relevant information about your pathogen. This can be your textbook, another research article, a report from a hospital etc. If you use an online website from a hospital, find the author information. Look up who/what/where wrote the article and make sure it is something you trust to include in your own work. See below for citing websites, media, reports etc. These are harder to vet and cite.

  • Many times, your current event article/research article will cite very useful foundational sources that they used- you can look them up and use if relevant! *** Do not just use the first post that comes up on google.

These sources should be accredited, which means they have either been issued by an organization that is widely recognized as a legit scientific community or has been peer-reviewed and published in a journal. Blog posts and personal websites can be used only if you have deemed them legitimate. Do not cite Wikipedia, as that is a secondary source (just reiterates the original source) that changes frequently. If you find information in a Wikipedia article, look up the primary sources provided (via the in-text citations and bibliography) and read them and cite them. More information on citation format is below.

In addition to these two sources of information, you will also need to include a photo that is cited both at the end of your post and mentioned in the text of your post (or in a caption). Tell your audience what the photo is, why you’re including it, and where it came from. Example- “Active lesions can spread across the whole body in a red and sometimes purple rash (Photo 1 below).” You can then cite with a caption under the photo.

For each of your two peer responses, you will then introduce an additional new source about the pathogen you are learning about from your peer. One new source per peer response that is different than the ones cited by said peer. This source should supplement your feedback on their pathogen/infection and not just repeat the same information they gave in their original post.

3) APA citation and references

This assignment uses APA citation guidelines, which means you need to internally cite throughout your text AND include a bibliography/reference/works cited list at the end. Here is a great resource on how to do both from Blackboard. Do not just paste links-full credit requires APA format for all sources including photo.

How do you cite the information you find?

Internal citations– After you summarize the data or results from an article, you include the author(s) name and year at the end or beginning of said sentence. Make sure to provide information to the audience about who/what/where/why.

  • Example- “Williams (1997) did the following experiment and found XYZ (these are the results, paraphrased by you!). I find this important because XYZ explains ABC (these are your thoughts, no in-text citation needed).”
  • Example- “Helicobacter pylori can infect the lining of the stomach (American Journal of Managed Care 2021)”.

Include full citation at the end of post. This is the bibliography and usually ordered alphabetically. All references should be in same format. Don’t just paste the link. If you are using a non-peer-reviewed research article (website, report, presentation, media etc) you must search for the author or editors and use the same information as above. At the very least, you need the name of organization, title of article, date published, and date accessed.

The textbook is a book. Cite it as such following APA’s book or e-book guidelines. “Openstax 2022” is not an acceptable citation as it’s the online platform the book is published, not the author.


Quotes of people’s words are only used when the content and context of that direct quote is necessary for making your point. This is not common when reporting on scientific facts or data. When summarizing science, you cite the content you are reading/using while paraphrasing those observations in YOUR OWN WORDS. If you do choose to include quotes, please make sure to do so appropriately-

When to use them…

To use quotes in any of your work you need to introduce the quotation, explain who said it (background info), and include how it relates to and builds your argument.

Ex- “When Parker et al. (2012) and team interviewed community members about the spread of the pathogen they received a variety of responses with one person stating, “Everyone on the block has had some type of symptom, mainly due to the contaminated water.”

Introducing new words/phrases- this is rare, but sometimes found in science articles. You can use quotes if the word or phrase developed in the article has no other description.

Ex- “The authors coined the assay “lyse-o-meter”.”

4) What to include in your posts:

The information presented in your original post and peer responses should be in your own words.

Contents of what to include in your summary is on Blackboard. Briefly, you need to summarize your current event article (who wrote it, what it’s about, why it’s important, what were the results/outcome, why you chose it etc.). This introduces your pathogen and its relevancy. You also need to provide general information about your chosen pathogen(microbe characteristics, symptoms of infection, mode of transmission, treatments etc.).

Paragraphs should be 3-5 sentences. Separate and trim your text so that it is readable. Organize your paragraphs in the “burger outline” topic sentence, supporting sentences 1-3, concluding sentence. This is a strong suggestion for ALL future writing in this course and other science courses. Having organized paragraphs allows you to make sure you are putting in the needed information to make your point (i.e. you have a logical and correct answer).

You can use first person -“I think this is important because I too experienced xyz”. And third person- “Dr. Velasco conducted bacterial killing assays to find xyz.”


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