Posted: November 9th, 2015

Higher Biology

Higher Biology

Paper Presentation Guidelines

Sections of your Presentation:
I. Introduction
• State the main (very general) question that the author is trying to address.
• Review background for this main question. You will need to start very general
and then get more specific to the particular topic. This will require that you look

and present literature that is not in the actual “introduction” section of the

paper you are presenting. Use figures and information from review papers
related to the topic you are presenting (which might be referred to in the
introduction of the paper). In addition, you may want to use figures from the
textbook. You will need to describe the general topic, relevant definitions, and

specific topic and its importance.
• The introduction/background should provide the audience with an understanding
of what is known about this topic and how the question that is being addressed
by the current study fits into what is already known.
• Don’t make this section too short!
• End this section by defining the hypotheses that the paper intended to test. The
hypotheses are more specific than the main question.
II. Results (integrate methods in with the results)
Review the results. Go through all of the figures in the paper, and have each on a

so that you can go through them with the class. As you present each figure, tell

class the following 4 things:
1. Question – why they did the experiment
a. What hypothesis did this experiment test?
2. Experiment – what they did
a. What methods were used in this experiment?
b. Please explain the methods used in each experiment. This will often
require additional diagrams and slides (that are not in the primary paper)
to explain the method used. Discuss methods in detail, especially if the
method is not common or if it is complicated. Remember your audience –
undergraduates often are not familiar even with routine experimental
3. Results – what they found
a. Go through all parts of the figure (explain x and y axes) and tell what each
graph, blot, etc. shows. That is, what is the result?
b. Are there proper control experiments?
4. Answer to the question and its implications – what do the results mean
a. Do the authors interpret the results correctly? That is, do the data support
the conclusions that the authors make?
III. Discussion
• What are the author’s interpretations of the results? Do you agree or disagree?
• Were the hypotheses that the paper intended to test actually tested? Are there
any other better approaches to test these hypotheses (that you can think of)?
• Why are these results significant (or not significant)? What overall contribution
does this paper make to the field of developmental biology?
• Please also bring up any other points that you think were important that were
made in the discussion portion of the paper.
• Finally, what new questions are raised by this paper and what are some future
experiments that could be conducted on this topic?


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