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This guide was created to help Biology students in their senior seminar courses. You will find resources for help with your research.


Welcome to the BIO 500 Research Help guide! This is a compilation of electronic as well as print resources that will direct you to scholarly information useful in your senior seminar research. The most significant and impactful databases and titles to which Centre College has access are included here. If you would like assistance in using these resources, or need help finding additional information, please contact a reference librarian.

Literature Review

What is a literature review? A guide or an overview to a particular topic. Literature Reviews collect the most relevant and significant publications in order to provide a comprehensive look at what has been said on a topic and who has said it. 


The Value of Literature Reviews

   Traces- the progression of a topic or field

   Evaluates- the sources and advise on most pertinent and relevant information

   Reflects- upon the importance of the literature on current or future research


How does one write a literature view?

  • Research a topic
  • Focus on aspects from your sources that connect
  • Find common themes among all sources
  • Summarize and synthesize the themes, arguments, data, and ideas from the sources
  • Use your own words to convey your organizing principles


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Reading a Scientific Article

Streamline Your Research

As BIO500 Senior Seminar students, most of you already have experience using the library and its resources for researching project or paper topics. Whether you enjoy the research process or dread it, there are many tools at your disposal that can make the job more organized and researcher-friendly.

Many of the online databases and resources the library provides come with built-in features that can help you build your research. Here are some general tips for using these bells and whistles to help you keep track of your materials and stay informed about the latest research on your topic:

  • Create an account. Information providers such as JSTOR, Ebsco (including Academic Search Premier, Medline with Full Text, and other databases), ScienceDirect, and others allow users to create free accounts for saving and sorting journal articles and other content for future use.
  • Save your favorites. If you received good results from a particular search and find articles crucial to your research, many database platforms make it possible for you to save your searches and favorite articles to go back to at another time. You can re-run searches manually later or, in some cases, choose to have the search run automatically and send you the latest results via email.
  • Set up alerts. Many of these providers also offer RSS feeds, email and social networking alerts when new research is published on your specified topic or within the parameters of a saved search you run on a regular basis.

Related Research Guides

Tips for Writing Grant Proposals

General Proposal Layout*

  • Title page
  • Abstract
  • Introduction (statement of the problem, purpose of research or goals, and significance of research)
  • Literature review
  • Project narrative (methods, procedures, objectives, outcomes or deliverables, evaluation, and dissemination)
  • Personnel
  • Budget and budget justification

*Check each Funding Agency's specific requirements