Dr. Ray L. Winstead
Professor of Biology, Indiana University of Pennsylvania

General Biology I
Supplemental Reading Assignment - Summer 2012

         This course is part of the university's Liberal Studies program and therefore, as mandated by the program, requires that you have a supplemental reading assignment beyond the textbook. The required supplemental reading for this course is the book  Your Inner Fish 2009 by Neil Shubin (ISBN: 0307277453). This assignment counts the same as TWO lab quizzes and is due during your next-to-last lab period.   Follow the instructions below EXACTLY.  Because of the subjectivity of the assignment, this assignment will be graded primarily on how closely you follow the instructions.  Also see the required Turnitin.com procedures.  The assignment consists of both a written and oral component as follows:

I. Written Assignment.

         Referring to THREE different specific quotes, events, or episodes from different places in the book, give your personal reaction to each quote, event, or episode, and tell me why you think the way you do in some depth.  (Also include the short quote or a very brief summary of the chosen event or episode plus the page numbers in the book.) Perhaps you find that some of the author's attitude about different issues, as reflected not only by his explicit statements but also by his choice of words, is something you wish to make a comment about. Tell me what you think. One purpose of this assignment is to stimulate some independent thought. Note that just a summary, description, or evaluation of the book's contents is NOT what I am asking for. To fulfill this assignment you must give your personal reaction to specific parts of the book, perhaps based on your own previous experiences and current perspectives. Your reaction is the most important part of this assignment and should make up most of the paper.  In addition to your comments about three quotes, events, or episodes from the book, tell me your reaction to the book as a whole - and tell me why. Furthermore, clearly organize and explicitly label the different sections of your paper in the following way:

     I. First Reaction.
           A) Brief Summary and Page numbers
           B) Reaction
     II. Second Reaction.
           A) Brief Summary and Page numbers
           B) Reaction
     III. Third Reaction.
           A) Brief Summary and Page numbers
           B) Reaction
     IV. Overall Reaction to the book

  • The written part of this assignment should be at least 1,000 words long.  (In Microsoft Word, go to Tools, then Word Count for this information.)  Be aware that plagiarism, e.g., copying from the Internet, on the supplemental reading assignment on this book will result in failure for the course.  (Be aware that this penalty has been officially implemented in this course in the past.)
  • II. Oral Presentation.

    During your next-to-last lab period, tell the rest of the lab class your reaction to one quote, event, or episode from your written report, plus tell the class your reaction to the entire book. The oral report is not to be read and should be about five minutes long.
    NOTE: Although the lowest score of the lab tests will be dropped, the grade for this assignment will not be dropped.


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    Dr. Ray L. Winstead
    Direct e-mail Link: RWinstea@iup.edu