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BY 103 - Principles of Biology

Step 1: Choose a Topic


Step One - Choose a topic from the following pseudoscience topics, falsely controversial topics, or a topic of your own:

Pseudoscience topics:

  • Alternative or fringe medicine:
    • Acupuncture/acupressure/reflexology
    • Cancer cures (alternative/fringe cancer cures)
    • Chiropractic
    • Colon cleansing/colonics/colon hydrotherapy
    • Crystal healing
    • Detox diets
    • Eating for your blood type
    • Ear candling
    • Essential oil therapy
    • Health bracelets (ionized bracelets, hologram bracelets, magnetic jewelry, etc.)
    • Oil pulling
    • Paleo diet
    • Reiki
  • Astrology
  • Conversion therapy
  • Lunar effect (the belief that the full Moon influences human behavior)

Falsely controversial topics:

  • Climate change/global warming
  • Evolution by natural selection
  • GMO safety
  • The necessity of animal testing
  • The necessity of embryonic stem cell research
  • The safety of nuclear power
  • Vaccine safety

Step 2: Narrow Your Topic

Step Two - Narrow your topic

This paper is very short so you must narrow your topic from one which is too general.  First, identify the most important of the non-scientific claims made about your topic and then find out what the science literature has to say about these claims.  Below, I have linked some sample websites with non-scientific claims about a few of your possible topics:


Step 3: Find Appropriate Sources Using Library Resources

Step Three: Find peer-reviewed journal articles - At  least six sources including at least four peer-reviewed journal articles

Step 4: Cite your Sources in APA Style


APA is the official citation style created by the American Psychology Association.

You will use APA when writing papers for psychology, some science classes, social science classes, and education.  

APA Resources:

APA 7th Edition Workshop 

APA Citation Guide (7th Edition) at Brenau University

APA Elements of Style (video)

Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL) 



Writing in college can be difficult, but like all things, it improves with practice. Here are some resources that will help you:

If you prefer to have a book to reference when you are writing:

As a student at Brenau University, you are able (and encouraged) to download a free copy of Office 365 for your schoolwork. 

To download your free copy go here:

Office 365 works better with Canvas and other programs than Google Docs,

Your professors will thank you!