This writing assignment is about viruses in general. You must decide if a virus is alive
or dead and defend that point of view. To address, you must also consider the following
questions:
1. Identify 5-7 criteria for an organism to be alive and describe using humans as an
example? Does a virus meet or not meet all of these criteria? Why or Why not?
2. What is a parasite and is it alive or dead? How might this relate to a virus.
3. Let’s have some fun, There are lots of movies out there where zombies take over the
world (World War Z and The Walking Dead Series are two of my favorites). Based upon
what you have learned about viruses, do you think this could really happen? Why or
Why not? You must use science in the first part of this to answer that question.
4. Assuming viruses could cause creation of zombies , would a vaccine help? What
might you need to consider in order to create this vaccine for humans?
Formatting of this writing assignment
1. The minimum number of words for this writing assignment is 250 words (not including
references). It must be written in essay style. In other words, do not copy my questions
above and write a one sentence answer. Failure to do this will result in a 5 point
deduction in the assignment.
2. 1 inch margins, double spaced, Use a font size of 12 point. Font choices can be
Times New Roman, Arial, Verdana.
3. References must be cited appropriately and you must use either APA or MLA style.
References must be primary articles. You CANNOT reference a wikipedia article or a
non-scientific journal (i.e. Time, Vogue, Cosmopolitan, The New Yorker, etc).
4. Please do not plagiarize as that will result in an automatic F on the assignment. You
also may not directly quote text for scientific writing purposes. Please remember your
plagiarism tutorial.
5. You must submit this online either in .DOC, .DOCX, or .PDF format. No other format
will be allowed. You can use Google docs through your SJSU account but then need to
download the file. If you are unsure how to do this, email me and I will do a tutorial.
Resources
1. CDC Website on Influenza
Links to an external site.
(opens a new web page)
2. Your textbook.
3. https://www.khanacademy.org/test-prep/mcat/cells/viruses/a/are-viruses-dead-or-alive
4. SJSU Biological Sciences Librarian: Yen Tran, [email protected]

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Viruses, Alive Or Dead?
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