Journal Club Reflection

A group task was given to present and discuss a journal article of our choice. As a group, we selected an article about `How the Kennel Club is tackling inherited disorders in the United Kingdom` (Sampson, 2011). However, this presented its own challenges, as the article was a review that also used too much-complicated language.

Hence why the article was changed to `A cohort study of epilepsy among 665,000 insured dogs: Incidence, mortality and survival after diagnosis` (Heske et al., 2014). Overall this article was a huge improvement, as it was easier to read and the aims were clearer.  On the other hand, there were issues raised when working in a group, such as the overall organisation and commitment to the presentation weren’t as high as they should have been. Causing a term know as free-riding, where frustration was created by not every member contributing equally, as confirmed by Hall and Buzwell (2013).

During the presentation, we were still able to present effectively as a group, even though nerves were high. Studies have shown that short-term stress can improve performance from the use of the flight or fight response. As it enables “biobehavioral interventions” to prepare a person for challenges and decrease the effect of long-term stress or bad stress according to Dhabhar (2014). As it shows that the person deems the work as an important part of life.

Despite the negatives, next time I would be able to select a group with members who have a higher group commitment to complete the work earlier. This would enable the group to have more time to check through errors and possible issues that arise. To reduce nerves further, breathing exercises would be used as it improves vagal tone and aids the body to vert back to the parasympathetic nervous system stated by Pal et al. (2014).


Dhabhar, F. (2014) ‘Effects of stress on immune function: the good, the bad, and the beautiful’. [online] Immunologic Research, 58(2-3) pp.193-210. [Accessed on 20 January 2017] http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12026-014-8517-0.

Hall, D. and Buzwell, S. (2013) ‘The problem of free-riding in group projects: Looking beyond social loafing as reason for non-contribution’. [online] Active Learning in Higher Education, 14(1) pp.37-49. [Accessed on 20 January 2017] http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1469787412467123.

Heske, L., Nødtvedt, A., Jäderlund, K., Berendt, M. and Egenvall, A. (2014) ‘A cohort study of epilepsy among 665,000 insured dogs: Incidence, mortality and survival after diagnosis’. [online] The Veterinary Journal, 202(3) pp.471-476. [Accessed on 21 November 2016] http://ac.els-cdn.com/S109002331400392X/1-s2.0-S109002331400392X-main.pdf?_tid=09265478-df23-11e6-abd1-00000aab0f02&acdnat=1484925405_e8d9028bf12d74a99aa9e3453d8b8107.

Pal, G., Agarwal, A., Karthik, S., Pal, P. and Nanda, N. (2014) ‘Slow yogic breathing through right and left nostril influences sympathovagal balance, heart rate variability, and cardiovascular risks in young adults’. [online] North American Journal of Medical Sciences, 6(3) p.145. [Accessed on 20 January 2017] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3978938/

Sampson, J. (2011) ‘How the Kennel Club is tackling inherited disorders in the United Kingdom’. [online] The Veterinary Journal, 189(2) pp.136-140. [Accessed on 9 November 2016] http://ac.els-cdn.com/S1090023311002243/1-s2.0-S1090023311002243-main.pdf?_tid=228d1076-df20-11e6-a04d-00000aacb35e&acdnat=1484924159_0543aded40aab7636025eab18f3e3a4a.


My Reflection on My Animal Biomechanics Assignment

Last month I wrote a piece of literature about an alligator, on a count of their specific type of gait.

First, I viewed a series of different websites and textbooks to obtain a general understanding of the animal. However, this information was limited to a certain extent, as they didn’t cover how limbs are affected or the purpose of the tail. This was to be expected. Therefore, I researched for online journals that could explain how the tail creates drag and changes the central centre of mass (Georgi et al., 2015). However, originally I had only focused on articles within the last four years, making it difficult to find all the information.

Reading the articles enabled me to be able to produce a more sophisticated and professional article, as there was a wider use of extended vocabulary. Studies have shown that reading has been used to upgrade vocabulary especially the use of e-books (Chen et al., 2013). This maybe because computer equipment may affect brain activity allowing people to absorb more information.

However, I was also able to improve my report by using Grammarly, as this has enabled me to make sure I don’t miss any grammatical errors (Qassemzadeh and Soleimani, 2016). An online thesaurus was also used, especially when trying to write up article findings in my own words. Not only did it ensure a reduced chance of copyright, but also improved the range of vocabulary I used.

Next time, I would research older articles first, as this would enable me to have a better understanding of how biomechanics research has evolved. Most recent studies had referenced the older articles, as they had built upon their earlier findings. However, in hindsight, I would have benefitted from starting with these earlier articles to have gained a deeper insight into the research.

If anyone is interested in the information I found out, here is the link to my assignment.

The Biomechanics of an Alligator


Chen, C., Chen, S., Eileen Chen, S. and Wey, S. (2013) ‘The Effects of Extensive Reading via E-Books on Tertiary Level EFL Students’ Reading Attitude, Reading Comprehension and Vocabulary’. [online] The Turkish Online Journal of Educational Technology, 12(2) p.303. [Accessed on 8 November 2016] http://crawl.prod.proquest.com.s3.amazonaws.com/fpcache/3cfed7c13d950ef80b936d595632dd37.pdf?AWSAccessKeyId=AKIAJF7V7KNV2KKY2NUQ&Expires=1478613419&Signature=hAvvZkgkyFTCjcjs5VCb%2B%2BUnx%2Bs%3D.

Georgi, J., Jacofsky, M. and Manfredi, K. (2015) ‘The First Prosthetic Alligator Tail and the Role of the Tail in Normal Terrestrial Locomotion’. [online] The Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, 29(1) p.1. [Accessed on 30 October 2016] http://www.fasebj.org/content/29/1_Supplement/865.14.short.

Qassemzadeh, A. and Soleimani, H. (2016) ‘The Impact of Feedback Provision by Grammarly Software and Teachers on Learning Passive Structures by Iranian EFL Learners’. Theory and Practice in Language Studies, 6(9) p.1884.