Trace the Scientific Method in a Primary Scientific Article


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Written Assignment 1: Trace the Scientific Method in a Primary Scientific Article

Addresses course outcomes 1 and 4:

  • use knowledge of biological principles and the scientific method to ask and answer relevant questions about the human body
  • weigh and make health-related decisions based on an understanding of the value and limits of scientific knowledge and the scientific method

A primary research article is an article in which authors conduct experiments and report their original findings, while a secondary research article reports or summarizes information presented from another source (for information of primary and secondary sources please go to Online Guide to Writing and Research).

For this assignment we will use a secondary article to trace the scientific method in a primary article.

Before starting this assignment, you might want to revisit the Scientific Method Tutorial in the Science Learning Center under the Content area.

Summary of Instructions:

Select a topic from the article options below. Next, click on the associated link to read the Science Daily article (the peer-reviewed scholarly primary article is also provided. Use this article as needed for additional details). Finally, write a paper that addresses the points outlined below.


Article options (choose one):

**Reducing total calories may be more effective for weight loss than intermittent fasting.?Timing from first meal to last meal was not associated with weight loss in a six-year study: Eating less overall and fewer large meals may be a more effective weight management strategy than restricting meals to a narrow time window.

American Heart Association. (2023, January 18). Reducing total calories may be more effective for weight loss than intermittent fasting. ScienceDaily.

Di Zhao, Eliseo Guallar, Thomas B. Woolf, Lindsay Martin, Harold Lehmann, Janelle Coughlin, Katherine Holzhauer, Attia A. Goheer, Kathleen M. McTigue, Michelle R. Lent, Marquis Hawkins, Jeanne M. Clark, Wendy L. Bennett. Association of Eating and Sleeping Intervals With Weight Change Over Time: The Daily24 Cohort. Journal of the American Heart Association, 2023; DOI: 10.1161/JAHA.122.026484

**Traffic pollution impairs brain function First-in-the-world study suggests that even brief exposure to air pollution has rapid impacts on the brain.

University of British Columbia. (2023, January 24). Traffic pollution impairs brain function: First-in-the-world study suggests that even brief exposure to air pollution has rapid impacts on the brain. ScienceDaily.

Jodie R. Gawryluk, Daniela J. Palombo, Jason Curran, Ashleigh Parker, Chris Carlsten. Brief diesel exhaust exposure acutely impairs functional brain connectivity in humans: a randomized controlled crossover study. Environmental Health, 2023; 22 (1) DOI: 10.1186/s12940-023-00961-4

**Ultra-processed foods may be linked to increased risk of cancer. Higher consumption of ultra-processed foods may be linked to an increased risk of developing and dying from cancer, an observational study suggests.

Imperial College London. (2023, January 31). Ultra-processed foods may be linked to increased risk of cancer. ScienceDaily.

Kiara Chang, Marc J. Gunter, Fernanda Rauber, Renata B. Levy, Inge Huybrechts, Nathalie Kliemann, Christopher Millett, Eszter P. Vamos. Ultra-processed food consumption, cancer risk and cancer mortality: a large-scale prospective analysis within the UK Biobank. eClinicalMedicine, 2023 DOI: 10.1016/j.eclinm.2023.101840

**Risk of autism is not increased by ‘too many vaccines too soon,’ study shows. Although scientific evidence suggests that vaccines do not cause autism, approximately one-third of parents continue to express concern that they do; nearly 1 in 10 parents refuse or delay vaccinations because they believe it is safer than following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) schedule. A primary concern is the number of vaccines administered, both on a single day and cumulatively over the first 2 years of life. Researchers concluded that there is no association between receiving “too many vaccines too soon” and autism.

Frank DeStefano, Cristofer S. Price, and Eric S. Weintraub. Increasing exposure to antibody-stimulating proteins and polysaccharides in vaccines is not associated with risk of autism. The Journal of Pediatrics, 2013 DOI: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2013.02.001


After selecting a topic and reading both the Science Daily article (see above) and the provided peer-reviewed primary research article as a reference, please write a paper adhering to the following guidelines:

Write a paper with title page, introduction, numbered paragraphs addressing the questions, conclusion and references.

1. Use this format for your paper (please number your responses in order):

A. Title of the study you are analyzing:
B. Which observations do you think the scientists made leading up to this research study? (look for these in the scientific article Introduction)
C. Given your understanding of the experimental design, formulate a specific hypothesis that is being tested in this experiment. If a hypothesis is stated, please rewrite it IN YOUR OWN WORDS. (look for the hypothesis near the end of the scientific article Introduction)
D. Describe the experimental design including control and treatment group(s), and dependent and independent variables. (look for these in the scientific article Methods)
E. Summarize the results and the conclusion of the experiment. (look for these in the results and/or Conclusions section of the scientific article)

2. Criticize the research described. Things to consider: Were the test subjects and treatments relevant and appropriate? Was the sample size large enough? Were the methods used appropriate? Can you think of a potential bias in a research study like this? What are the limitations of the conclusions made in this research study? Address at least two of these questions in your critique of the research study.

3. Discuss the relevance of this type of research, both for the world in general and for you personally.

4. Cite your sources of information within your text and in a References list in APA format (7th edition). As a minimum, you should have TWO references (the Science Daily article and the Journal Reference). You must write in your own words and paraphrase information from the selected information sources, addressing each of the questions for your chosen topic. Your paper should consist of less than 10% direct quotes. Your paper should be 500 – 750 words, excluding references and title page. Use APA style 7th edition for references, See Spelling, punctuation, capitalization, sentence construction, and paragraph construction will be considered in the grading of this assignment.

Use this format for a web article:

Author, A. A. (pubication year, month day). Title of the article.

Site name. URL

Use this format for a scientific journal article:

Author, A. A., Author, B. B., & Author, C. C. (Year). Title of

article. Title of Periodical, volume number(issue number),


5. Submit your assignment to the Assignment folder by the due date listed in the course schedule. This assignment will automatically be checked for originality by Turnitin after submission. Please review the Originality Report and when needed, submit a revised assignment before the deadline.

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