How can metabolic engineering be implemented in new ways, or altering existing practices, to increase its accessibility and to propel equity?

  1. Write a 8+ page double-spaced proposal with 1 inch margins with a normal font [Times New Roman or Arial, 11 pt font] that introduces the background relevant to your topic, specifically states your RQ and then describes your proposed solution.
    1. Your background and solution must be well supported by references. It is unlikely that the minimum page number is sufficient to adequately establish the rationale for your ideas and represents only a minimum [not a target]. See below for more info.
  2. You should have at least 10 [ten] primary references [ideally several more] as part of substantial scholarly support.
    1. Note that a primary reference is one that describes an author [or more commonly a group of authors] who are doing original experiments/analyzing original data.
    2. Secondary references are review articles that summarize the work done on a given topic [note that primary papers will have introductions or backgrounds that summarize previous work to help promote the rationale for their work – much like YOUR background in this paper]. Secondary sources are news articles or databases.
  3. SUBMIT your Final Paper in Google Assignments through Moodle as a .docx, .pdf, or google doc file. If you submit a google doc, you will no longer have permissions to edit, but you can request them back [as I do not mind you editing after submission if you find something you want to fix].


Format for Assignment:


Title Page and Abstract [on separate first page]

Create a title for your paper and include your name. On the same page, include an abstract that summarizes your paper. This summary abstract will describe your research question, the rationale in a few sentences leading to your RQ and your proposed solution. Your abstract should be no more than 300 words, so brevity is key. This is probably the last thing you want to write.



The bulk of your total paper is background for most students. The goal of this section is to set up your RQ as important, worthwhile, and necessary. It should represent the interdisciplinary nature of your project [Biology and another discipline should be equally represented].



  • Consider using sub-headings that better organize or describe components and naming your background something more descriptive than “background”. Your background must have several primary peer-reviewed sources. You can almost always incorporate more to fully support your ideas.
  • Most sentences should have an in-text citation. The sentences that do not have an in-text citation are ONLY those that represent YOUR ideas and
    • Avoid quotations – in scientific writing, you state a claim and cite the sources that led you/contributed to that claim.
      • This may be different from writing you’ve done in other courses. Every discipline and even journal differs.
    • Your background explains why the RQ is

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