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Virus Newspaper for AP Biology

Kathy Paris

First due date: _____________ (show me what you've done; if nothing has been done by this date, parents will be called)

Final due date: ______________

Late work will lose 1/2 credit if not turned in the date due. The 1/2 credit will last for a period of one week after the due date. After that, no points will be given and you will probably be dropped from the class at semester since your grade will probably drop below a C.

Introduction: With all the news, books and movies centering on viruses lately, I thought this would be a good time to use your creative juices to design a unique, interesting and very visual presentation on viruses--a newspaper.

Grading Criteria: attached are the rubrics that will be used to grade your newspaper--one set is for the content and one set is for the newspaper design. A checklist has also been provided to help make sure you cover the necessary areas.

Other students will grade your work, but they won't know it is yours.


  1. Size--I will provide the paper. It will be the approximate size of a real newspaper.
  2. Length of cover story or main news article--a minimum of 24 inches of 2 1/2 inch columns (typed).

  3. Appearance--it must be typed using a font no larger than Times 12 point; neatness counts.

  4. No name--put your period and gradebook number in the upper right corner. (1-19, 1-4, etc.)

  5. Include in the newspaper:

    1. Title to newspaper, headlines to articles, captions to any visuals
    2. Cover story or main news article
    3. Editorial cartoon
    4. Editorial comment (opinion)
    5. A letter to the editor about viruses. It can be from a victim's point of view.
    6. Want ads and recipes and advertisements (see rubrics for #)
    7. An interview with or a diary by a fictitious doctor, victim, or vector (virus).
    8. An editorial on a plan to solve the threats and a justification of each of the recommendations.
    9. Visuals to enhance specific areas.
    10. Bibliography

  6. The content is to be covered using any of the parts of the newspaper above. The content areas are (also see checklist below):
    1. Basic structure
    2. DNA viruses
    3. RNA Viruses
    4. Retroviruses
    5. Gene therapy
    6. Treatments
    7. Emerging threats

  7. I will provide a few articles--you are to find others. You are required to use AOL and/or the Internet (World Wide Web). You are also encouraged to use library resouces. Include in your bibliography (how to's attached).

Grading Scale: 260 points possible


Checklist for Virus Newspaper

  1. Basic Structure:
    1. Capsid __________
    2. Capsid components __________
    3. Shapes __________
    4. Sizes (what does this mean?) __________
    5. Internal components __________
    6. Basic explanation of what they do (parasitic mode of life-explain) __________
    7. Why are most viruses not lethal? __________

  2. DNA Viruses:
    1. Definition __________
    2. How do they work (life cycle) __________
    3. Examples/diseases caused __________

  3. RNA Viruses:
    1. Definition __________
    2. How do they work (life cycle) __________
    3. Negative strand __________
    4. Positive strand __________
    5. Examples/diseases caused __________

  4. Retroviruses:
    1. Definition _________
    2. Life cycle of HIV
    3. How does it work? __________
    4. What cells are attacked? __________
    5. Why are these viruses lethal when most viruses are not? __________
    6. Retroviruses and their relation to oncogenes (Can they turn them on? Can they insert oncogenes?) __________

  5. Gene Therapy:
    1. Definition of ge ne therapy using viruses as vectors __________
    2. How is this done? __________

  6. Treatments:
    1. Vaccines-how do they work? __________
    2. Interferon-how does it work? __________
    3. Do antibiotics work? __________

  7. Emerging Threats:
    1. Ebola and Marburg Viruses-what are they? What do they do to primates? (The Hot Zone may help) __________
    2. Where did they come from? Why are they lethal when most viruses are not? __________
    3. Hantavirus or ? What are they? What do they do to their victim? __________

  8. Parts of Newspaper:
    1. Titles, headlines, captions __________
    2. Cover story or main news article __________
    3. Editorial cartoon __________
    4. Editorial comment __________
    5. Letter to editor __________
    6. Want ads/recipes/advertisements __________
    7. Interview or diary __________
    8. Editorial plan to solve the threats __________
    9. Visuals __________
    10. Bibliography __________


  1. Examples of forms for listing books in a bibliography:

    1. Baugh, Albert C, . and C. Frank. A Literacy History of England. ed. Albert C. Baugh. New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts, Inc. , 1988 

    2. Guberlet, Murial. Explorers of the Sea. New York: The Ronald Press, 1988.

    3. _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ , Seaweeds at Ebb Tide. Seattle: The University of Washington Press.

    4. Powell, J .H. "The War of the Pamphlets," Literacy History of the United States. Vol. I, Robert E. Spiller, et al., eds., New York: Macmillian Co., 1988, pp. 131-145. 

    Note "et al" means "and others" ; ed. means editor

  2. When using periodicals (magazines) :

    1. Lamborn, R.L. "Must they be Crazy, Mixed-Up Kids ?" The New York Times Magazines. June 26, 1995, pp. 2-4.


      Lamborn, R.L. "Must they be Crazy, Mixed-Up Kids?" The New York Times Magazine. pp. 2-4, June 26, 1995.

    2. "U.S. Delegations to International Conferences: Timber Committee," United States Department of State Bulletin, XXXIII (Sept. 5,1995), 440.

    3. Winterich, John Tracy. "Kneeside Reminiscences," Saturday Review. XXXIII(July 23,1995),12-13.


    4. Winterich, John Tracy. "Kneeside Reminiscences," Saturday Review. 38:12-13, July 23, 1995.

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