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Course Catalog

260.615.01 Critically Reviewing the Scientific Literature

Molecular Microbiology and Immunology
2nd term
2 credits
Academic Year:
2019 - 2020
East Baltimore
Class Times:
  • Wednesday,  3:30 - 5:20pm
Auditors Allowed:
Grading Restriction:
Letter Grade or Pass/Fail
Joseph Margolick
Course Instructor s:



MHS students in MMI are expected in their theses to critically review and comment on the scientific literature in their chosen topic. This course teaches this skill set as part of the preparation for writing the thesis.

Unlike the typical literature review course, focuses specifically on literature that is flawed in the approach or methods used to examine a scientific question and examines how well the conclusions drawn are justified by the data. Oral discussions of assigned literature are accompanied by weekly 2-3 page written reviews, which provides opportunities for students to get feedback on their writing skills, as well as their critical reading skills.

Learning Objectives:

Upon successfully completing this course, students will be able to:

  1. Critically review methods used to analyze a scientific question
  2. Identify biases in scientific literature
  3. Identify conclusions in literature that are not justified by the data
Methods of Assessment:

Participation 20% and Weekly papers 80%

Enrollment Restriction:

MHS students in MMI

Instructor Consent:

No consent required