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Biology Reseach paper topic - Come up with a hypothesis

May 8, 2009   #1
HELP!!! I have to write a ten page research paper for my Bio class and the due date is coming up and for some reason i can't come up with a topic.

These are the guidelines my professor gave us.

Come up with a hypothesis based on previous observations or information. This is easier if it pertains to a topic of interest to you. You then need to decide how to test your hypothesis. The accumulation of data can take many forms including observations and measurements, survey documents, record reviews, etc. If you are testing a particular variable, be careful to identify other possible variables and control for them. You will also need a control group if you are comparing populations or testing the effect of something on a population, whether it is mineral, plant or animal.

After you have accumulated sufficient data, having reached a preset time frame, or number count, you will analyze that data to determine what conclusion you can draw from the data collected. You should use graphs and/or charts to graphically show data results as well as a narrative. The graphical displays will assist you in drawing your conclusion.

After the analysis of the data, you will be able to determine whether you have a conclusion that supports or refutes your hypothesis. This will be the final statement of the paper.

The problem with this is that i have to test the hypothesis. That means any far out topics such as stem cell research, virus identification etc. is out because i don't have the materials needed to test it. Please help!!!! any suggestions would be really helpful. Thanks.

EF_KevinThreads: 8
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May 8, 2009   #2
This is a tough assignment! I hope the prof gave plenty of guidance to help you understand experimental research.

How about if I wanted to test the question of whether my sunflowers will grow better if I talk to them every day. Have you ever heard of that idea? Many people swear that giving their plants attention makes them grow better.

In that example, the control group is the group of plants that you do not talk to.

That might not be the best example, because it has been done before. However, if you are in high school it is probably okay.

What about a variation of it? What about if you bought some mice from a pet store? The kind often used for snake food is very inexpensive, I assume. Buy 12 of them and divide them into an experimental group and a control group. Then, make a hypothesis like... it could be anything... it could be that you hypothesize that the group you cuddle with and talk to every day will eat more food than the group you ignore.

So, you can have 6 mice in individual containers, and 6 mice altogether in a container that you often take into another room -- so you can play with them.

you should have NO problem filling 10 pages, because you are supposed to record every detail of your idea, the process, and the results.
May 8, 2009   #3
I never heard about the talking to your plants experiment, and the mice experiment also sounds good. Do you have any suggestions for a hypothesis dealing with humans. I'm thinking about doing something about memory, and sleep, but i can't figure out an experiment. Thanks for the speedy response.
May 9, 2009   #4
How about "sleep deprivation reduces short term memory more than long term memory." Easy enough to test. Have one group of test subjects stay awake for a night, have them look at some set of symbols they are suppose to memorize, test them immediately for short term memory, then let them sleep, and when they wake up, test them again without showing them the symbols a second time. Do the same thing with people who don't get sleep deprived in the first place, and voila!, you have a control group.

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