2.3-Interpret Literature

Students will be able to evaluate and interpret data in scientific literature and other sources.

Longwood University has put a big emphasis on evaluating and interpreting data from scientific literature throughout my whole time here and still to this day. I have learned so much about reading scientific literature and understanding it in a different way. Some courses I have taken that have helped me grow have been Biology 288: Sophomore seminar, Biology 473: Comparative Biomechanics, and Biology 342: Biogeography.

In my Biology 288 I was asked to write a literature review on a current issue, my topic was wildfires and their effect on aquatic ecosystems. For me to be able to write this literature review in the right way I had to be able to read literature, understand the literature, and interpret so I could use it on my on paper. This was the first time I had done anything like this, it was difficult because I was a beginner at reading scientific papers. This assignment really helped me grow as a student and helped introduce me to reading scientific papers.


In my Biology 473 Course I had to read an article that was assigned and give a lecture/presentation on that paper for the class. The article I had to discuss was on glide performance and aerodynamics of non-equilibrium glides in northern flying squirrels. While creating this presentation, I had to be able to read the literature and understand it in a way so that I could present it to the class so they could understand it.


In my Biology 342 Course we have been assigned a literature review, I chose to write my review on Conservation strategies for sea turtles. This assignment is another example of having to read literature and use it in your own work to support your ideas. I have learned so much in the past about reading scientific papers and in this course, I get to utilize that skill. Literature reviews are all about using other literature to support your ideas. I don’t have the finished paper yet and will attach it when it is finished.

Through these three courses I have been able to understand literature in a way that I can use it to support my theories. These assignments helped me better analyze papers and just understanding them better. These skills can help me in the future while I am in graduate school as well as in my future career.