Skip to main content

CCC BIO 100 Application Project

Research Guide for Biology 100's Application Project. Instructor: Ana Novak


Welcome! You've found a research guide for the Application Project assignment in BIO 100 at CCC. These pages are full of (hopefully) amazingly helpful tips, links, search boxes, and other resources. Its aim is to support your work on this project and make it easier for you to get help when you need it. 

What is an I-Search?

Unlike most research assignments, where you may be asked to explore a topic that you have little to no interest in, an I-Search asks you to research something that really matters to you. You should be able to tell your audience how doing the I-Search pertains to or affects your life. 

The best way to go about this is to come up with a very specific research question; then your paper can very clearly explain what exactly you tried to find out, how you went about researching it, how successful that search was, and what impact and meaning this all has for you.

Here's a simple example of how to get a research question out of a general topic.

Topic: Alcoholism

Why am I interested: Because my father was an alcoholic and I've heard that children can inherent genes from their parents that makes them become alcoholics too.

What do I hope to learn: Are there genes that predispose people to alcoholism, and if I have them, what can I do to make sure I don't become an alcoholic? Is there an easy and affordable way to check for this? Are the tests reliable?

Research Question: How can people at high risk to become alcoholics protect themselves, and am I one of those people?

Check out more advice and another topic example in this guide to writing an I-Search: Writing an I-Search Paper

Evaluating Websites

How do you decide whether a website or other source is good enough for your paper? Give it the CRAAPP test.


  • Is the information timely or current? When was it last updated?
  • Does your topic require current information, or will an older source work just as well?


  • Does this information relate to your topic?
  • Does it help answer your research question?
  • Did you look at a variety of sources before choosing this one?


  • Who is the author/publisher/sponsor?
  • What credentials or qualifications does the author have? Do they line up with the subject he or she is writing about? In other words, a medical doctor has the credentials to write about medicine, but an engineer might not be qualified to write about philosophy.
  • Does the URL reveal anything about the source? Examples: .com, .edu, .gov, .org, .net


  • Is it clear where the source's facts and information come from?
  • Are the author's assertions supported by evidence?
  • Does the language or tone seem unbiased, or does the author seem to have a hidden agenda?


  • What is the primary purpose of the source? To inform, teach, sell, entertain, etc.?
  • Does the author make their intentions or purposes clear? 
  • Is the information mostly fact, or opinion?

Potential Bias

  • Is the point of view objective or impartial toward the subject?
  • Are there political, cultural, religious, institutional, or personal biases to consider?
  • Does the author or website stand to gain something from publishing this information?

Need more help evaluating sources? Check out Purdue OWL's pages on Evaluating Resources, talk to Luke, or ask an NAU librarian