Plants and Society
The well-being of humans depends on plant foods. To live a long and healthy life, we
have been advised to eat a diet that is rich in vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients. In
recent years, phytonutrient has become a new buzz-word in health and science news. So,
what are phytonutrients? Phytonutrients refer to the chemicals that are made in plants and
function as antioxidant, anti-tumor, and anti-cancer reagents in humans. In plants, these
chemicals protect the host from bacterial, fungal, and viral pathogens. The three major
classes of phytonutrients are polyphenols, terpenoids, and alkaloids.
The objectives of this assignment are to research a topic on phytonutrients and to
present the results of your literature investigation in a paper. The goal is to gain a better
understanding of how phytonutrients are made in plants, their roles in plant disease
resistance, and their functions in human nutrition and health. The writing assignment will
also provide a training opportunity in gathering, interpreting, and documenting
information as well as communicating them clearly.
The executive director of the Health and Fitness program at PBS (Public
Broadcasting Service) is soliciting proposals for an educational program featuring
phytonutrients. The primary audience of this TV program is K-6 students. Because you
are very interested in this topic and have been paying close attention to research on
phytonutrients, you are considering submitting a proposal to this program.
a. Choose one phytonutrient from the following list and use it as the focus of your
b. The outline of your paper should include a tentative title, a proposed organization of
the paper, and a list of potential references.
c. Your paper should address the following questions in separate sections: (i) How do
plants synthesize this phytonutrient? A brief introduction of the building blocks of the
selected phytonutrient is sufficient. Please also indicate which class of phytonutrients this
chemical belongs to. A detailed description of the relevant biosynthetic pathways is not
required. (ii) What is its function in plants? (iii) What are the major dietary sources for
this phytonutrient? (iv) What are the health-promoting properties of this phytonutrient in
humans? (v) How do you plan to convey the above information to the target audience?
Please describe the strategies that you will employ to deliver this information (i-iv) to the
audience of K-6 students.
*You need to provide scientific evidence (e.g. articles published in peer-reviewed
scientific journals) when addressing questions (i) through (iv).
d. At least 5 references, such as scientific journal or book articles, are required.
Quotations from Wikipedia or other non-peer-reviewed internet sources may be used, but
do not count as references for this assignment. List references alphabetically following
Reference to a journal publication:
Van der Geer, J., Hanraads, J.A.J., Lupton, R.A., 2000. The art of writing a scientific
article. Journal of Science Communication 163, 51-59.
Reference to a book:
Strunk Jr., W., White, E.B., 1979. The Elements of Style, third ed. Macmillan, New
Reference to a chapter in an edited book:
Mettam, G.R., Adams, L.B., 1999. How to prepare an electronic version of your article,
in: Jones, B.S., Smith , R.Z. (Eds.), Introduction to the Electronic Age. E-Publishing Inc.,
New York, pp. 281-304.
Cite references in the text by name and year in parentheses. Some examples:
• Negotiation research spans many disciplines (Thompson 1990).
• This result was later contradicted by Becker and Seligman (1996).
• This effect has been widely studied (Abbott 1991; Barakat et al. 1995; Kelso and
Smith 1998; Medvec et al. 1993).
1. The paper should be 5 – 6 pages long (double spaced, 12 pt Times New Roman, 1
inch margins). All pages should be numbered.
2. Paper organization: a descriptive title, an abstract of the proposal (no more than
200 words), description of the proposal, and references.
1. Friday Oct. 11 – The outline of the paper is due. Submit an electronic copy of
your paper outline to SmartSite and a hard copy to Ben.
2. Wednesday Oct. 23 – Paper due by the end of the class. Submit an electronic copy
of your paper to SmartSite and a hard copy to Ben. 10 points/day will be deducted for
assignments that are turned in late.
Writing Report Abstracts
(Retrieved from Purdue Online Writing Lab)
This handout discusses how to write good abstracts for reports. It covers informational
and descriptive abstracts and gives pointers for success.
Contributors:Dana Lynn Driscoll
Last Edited: 2013-03-12 09:58:07
Types of abstracts
There are two types of abstracts: informational and descriptive.
• Communicate contents of reports
• Include purpose, methods, scope, results, conclusions, and recommendations
• Highlight essential points
• Are short—from a paragraph to a page or two, depending upon the length of the
report (10% or less of the report)
• Allow readers to decide whether they want to read the report
• Tell what the report contains
• Include purpose, methods, scope, but NOT results, conclusions, and
• Are always very short— usually under 100 words
• Introduce subject to readers, who must then read the report to learn study results
Qualities of a good abstract
An effective abstract
• Uses one or more well-developed paragraphs, which are unified, coherent,
concise, and able to stand alone
• Uses an introduction-body-conclusion structure in which the parts of the report
are discussed in order: purpose, findings, conclusions, recommendations
• Follows strictly the chronology of the report
• Provides logical connections between material included
• Adds no new information but simply summarizes the report
• Is intelligible to a wide audience
Steps for writing effective report abstracts
To write an effective report abstract, follow these four steps.
1. Reread your report with the purpose of abstracting in mind. Look specifically for
these main parts: purpose, methods, scope, results, conclusions, and
2. After you have finished rereading your report, write a rough draft without looking
back at your report. Consider the main parts of the abstract listed in step #1. Do
not merely copy key sentences from your report. You will put in too much or too
little information. Do not summarize information in a new way.
3. Revise your rough draft to
• Correct weaknesses in organization and coherence,
• Drop superfluous information,
• Add important information originally left out,
• Eliminate wordiness, and
• Correct errors in grammar and mechanics.
4. Carefully proofread your final copy.
SAS/PLS12 Writing Assignment Grading Criteria Sheet
Grading Criteria Points
Paper submitted on time 0*
Outline A tentative title is included 3
A proposed organization of the paper 4
A list of potential references is included 3
Title Descriptive and informative 5
Abstract Clear and concise 10
Clear statement of why the topic is
Organization is present through a
logical sequence of thought
Information from the literature is well
integrated (not a compilation of facts)
The five suggested questions are
Bibliography Appropriate format, with adequate
number of references
Grammar Good sentence structure, proper
punctuation, proper word choice
Clarity and style Clear, easy to understand, and gets to
Language use is professional and
appropriate to the audience
* Ten points/day will be deducted for assignments that are turned in late. Five points will
be awarded for attending the library session.
University of California, Davis Office of Student Judicial Affairs
How to Cite Sources
One citation method is to identify the source in the text, putting the author’s last name and publication year in
parenthesis and giving the page number where the cited information appears. (Hacker, 2003, p. 391). The author’s
name links the reader to a list at the end of the paper giving full publishing information. Example:
Hacker, D., A Writer’s Reference, 5th Ed. (Bedford/St. Martin’s Press 2003) pp. 391-2.
Two other methods are footnotes and endnotes, which use raised numbers at the end of an idea or quoted words to link
the reader to the source which is given either at the bottom of the page (footnote) or at the end of the paper (endnote).
For all three methods, you must include the source in a reference list at the end of the paper, fully identifying each
source by author’s name, title, publisher’s name, year of publication, and page numbers. Citations to electronic
resources such as websites should include the exact URL, the date last revised, and any available information about the
writer, publisher and/or creator of the site.
Resources on citation include:
• MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, 6th ed., J. Gibaldi (Modern Language Assn. 2003)
• Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 5th Ed., American Psychological Association (2001)
• UC Berkeley Teaching Library Internet Workshops “Style Sheets for Citing Resources (Print & Electronic)”
In writing, we draw upon others’ words and ideas and the intellectual heritage underlying
human progress. Scholarship entails researching, understanding, and building upon the
work of others, but also requires that proper credit be given for any “borrowed” material.
Under our Code of Academic Conduct, UC Davis students are responsible for ethical
scholarship, and for knowing what plagiarism is and how to avoid it.
Why be concerned about plagiarism?
* If you plagiarize, you are cheating yourself. You don’t
learn to write out your thoughts in your own words, and
you won’t receive specific feedback from your instructor
geared to your individual needs and skills.
* Plagiarism is dishonest and/or misleading, because it
misrepresents the work of another as your own.
* Plagiarism violates the Code of Academic Conduct
and can lead to Suspension or Dismissal.
* Plagiarism devalues others’ original work. Using and
submitting a professional’s work as your own is taking
an unfair advantage over students who do their own
* It is wrong to take or use property (an author’s work)
without giving the owner the credit due. Further,
copyright violations can result in damages, fines, or
* The reputation of UC Davis affects the value of your
degree; student dishonesty hurts UCD’s standing and
can diminish the worth of your diploma.
Mastering the Art of Scholarship
What is plagiarism?
Plagiarism means using another’s work without
giving credit. If you use others’ words, you must
put them in quotation marks and cite your source.
You must also give citations when using others’
ideas, even if you have paraphrased those ideas in
your own words.
“Work” includes the words and ideas of others, as well
as art, graphics, computer programs, music, and other
creative expression. The work may consist of writing,
charts, data, graphs, pictures, diagrams, websites,
movies, TV broadcasts, or other communication
The term “source” includes published works — books,
magazines, newspapers, textbooks, websites, movies,
photos, paintings, plays — and unpublished sources
(e.g., materials from a research service, blogs, class
handouts, lectures, notes, speeches, or other students’
papers). Using words, ideas, computer code, or any
work without giving proper credit is plagiarism. Any
time you use information from a source, of any kind,
you must cite it.
UC Davis, Div. of Student Affairs, Office of Student Judicial Affairs, September 2006
Citing a source for factual information:
In describing the personal circumstances and political beliefs of author
George Orwell at the time he wrote his greatest novel, 1984, I have relied
upon the factual account given in Gordon Bowker’s biography Inside
Here the source is identified in the text, and page citations for any
quotes or ideas can be given at the end of the material used.
Additional citations to the source, with page numbers, are required
to reference facts or quotations used later in the paper.
Paraphrase vs. Plagiarism
Original Source: ‘[A totalitarian] society … can never permit either
the truthful recording of facts, or the emotional sincerity, that
literary creation demands. … Totalitarianism demands … the
continuous alteration of the past, and in the long run … a disbelief
in the very existence of objective truth.’ 3
Student Version A — Plagiarism
A totalitarian society can never permit the truthful recording of facts;
it demands the continuous alteration of the past, and a disbelief in the
very existence of objective truth.
This is plagiarism; the student has combined copied pieces of the
author’s language, without quotation marks or citations.
Student Version B — Improper paraphrase, also plagiarism
A totalitarian society can’t be open-minded or allow the truthful
recording of facts, but instead demands the constant changing of the
past and a distrust of the very existence of objective truth. (Orwell)
This is plagiarism because the student has woven together sentences
and switched a few words (“open-minded” for “tolerant,” “allow”
for “permit”) has left out some words, and has given an incomplete
and inaccurate citation.
Student Version C — Appropriate paraphrase, not plagiarism
Orwell believed that totalitarian societies must suppress literature
and free expression because they cannot survive the truth, and thus
they claim it does not exist. (Bowker) pp. 336-337
This student has paraphrased using her own words, accurately
reflecting and citing the author’s ideas.
Student Version D — Quotation with cite, not plagiarism
In his biography of George Orwell, Gordon Bowker discusses the
themes of 1984, quoting a 1946 essay by Orwell: “’Totalitarianism
demands … the continuous alteration of the past, and in the long run
… a disbelief in the very existence of objective truth.’” (Bowker p.
337, quoting Orwell, 1946)
By introducing his source, the student signals that the following
material is from that source. Verbatim words are in quotation
marks, omitted words are marked by ellipses (…), and both the
book used and the original source of the quote are cited.
3Bowker p. 337, quoting Orwell, G., “The Prevention of Literature,” Polemic, No.
2, January 1946
Getting Help: Read the syllabus and assignment; ask your instructor how to cite sources; and carefully check class rules on citation
format. Use resources such as Brenda Spatt’s Writing from Sources (Bedford, Freeman & Worth 2003) and Diana Hacker’s A Writer’s Reference,
cited above. In addition, contact the UC Davis Learning Skills Center at 530-752-2013 http://www.lsc.ucdavis.edu/ For questions contact
Student Judicial Affairs, (530) 752-1128 or visit http://sja.ucdavis.edu
How can you avoid plagiarism?
Know what plagiarism is: ignorance will not excuse a
violation. Intentional plagiarism, such as deliberate
copying or use of another’s work without credit,
submitting a paper from the Internet as one’s own, or
altering or falsifying citations to hide sources is very
serious, likely to result in Suspension. Unintentional
plagiarism may result from not knowing how to cite
sources properly, sloppy research and note-taking, or
careless cutting and pasting from electronic resources
– it is still a violation of the Code of Academic Conduct
and subject to discipline.
Guidelines for Avoiding Plagiarism1
* Use your own words and ideas. Practice is essential to
learning. Each time you choose your words, order
your thoughts, and convey your ideas, you can
improve your writing.
* Give credit for copied, adapted, or paraphrased
material. If you copy and use another’s exact
words, you must use quotation marks and cite the
source. If you adapt a chart or paraphrase a
sentence, you must still cite your source.
Paraphrasing is restating the author’s ideas,
information, and meaning in your own words (see
* Avoid using others work with minor “cosmetic”
changes. Examples: using “less” for “fewer,”
reversing the order of a sentence, changing terms in
a computer code, or altering a spreadsheet layout. If
the work is essentially the same as your source, give
* There are no “freebies.” Always cite words,
information and ideas that you use if they are new to
you (learned in your research). No matter where
you find it – even in on the Internet or in an
encyclopedia – you cite it!
* Beware of “common knowledge.” You may not have
to cite “common knowledge,” but the fact must
really be commonly known. That George Orwell
was the author of the anti-totalitarian allegory
Animal Farm is common knowledge; that Orwell
died at age 46 in 1951 is not.2
* When in doubt, cite. Better to be safe than not give
credit when you should!
1 See Henderickson, R.J., The Research Paper (Henry Holt and
Company, 1957, xiv-xv; McGill University “Student Guide to
Avoid Plagiarism,” last updated 8/22/06
2Bowker, G., Inside George Orwell (Palgrave MacMillan 2003)
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