Cell Biology

Cell Biology Review Paper

Each student will write a review paper/article on a topic of his or her choice within the field of cell biology. A review article is a summary of the state of the field. After picking a topic and narrowing it down, each student is to write a review article by summarizing several primary literature articlesrelated to his or her topic. This will allow a student to explore deeper into a topic covered in class, or to research a topic of interest not discussed in class.

Review papers should be:

  • APA Format
  • 12” font (Times New Roman or Calibri only), with 1” margins on all sides.
  • 5-7 pages, double-spaced, not including references or figures/pictures. Figure are encouraged.
  • A summary of at least 5 primary literature articles (peer-reviewed and published articles showing data)



All facts and ideas that are not directly your own must be cited once in the text itself (**see below**), and again in the references page (**see below**). When in doubt, cite it out…

References should be entirely or almost entirely from PubMed.gov. This searchable website, run by NCBI / NIH, is the online repository for all biomedical research. Be sure to narrow your searches using specific key words, or you will be presented with thousands of articles (i.e., don’t simply type “cancer” or “stem cells”, but rather “ER-positive breast cancer therapies” or “adult stem cells in blood”). Many articles you will find are free, which I recommend (i.e. I don’t want you to have to purchase articles to complete this assignment). Additionally, the NOVA library may have a subscription to the journal you want, and may be of assistance in helping you find the information.

Specific sections of your review article depend on the topic you’ve chosen, but might generally follow the following format:

Introduction and Background


Summary of Current Research

Unanswered Questions/Future Directions

Conclusions and Discussion

Each section should be labeled with a boldedsection heading.

An example review article can be found here: (Note that the section headings are specific to the topic, rather than the generic headings demonstrated above. Similarly, your review article should have specific sections depending on the topic):


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