The topic for the report in TMA04 is Yellow fever

The World Health Organisation has an ongoing strategy to eliminate Yellow fever epidemics, which runs until 2026.

 Your report should address each of the four following points:  

•   What is the causative agent of Yellow fever and how is the pathogen transmitted?

•   What is the current geographical range of Yellow fever and how is this changing?

•   Summarise the main features of the Eliminate Yellow fever Epidemics strategy, including measures to prevent disease spread. 

•   Discuss in more depth some of the issues relating to the measures you have outlined, which you consider to be important.  Issues may relate to surveillance, and/or to interventions to prevent disease spread and morbidity at environment, population, and individual level. 

Please note that you will not be able to cover all the information available in detail within the 1500 word limit, so you must decide what you consider to be particularly important, or focus on areas of particular interest.   

To start, you may like to visit this WHO website

You are required to find other sources yourself, and you must include references to material in at least two peer-reviewed journal articles.

Assessment section

You should arrange your report into two main sections:

  • The main text of the report, containing various formal sections (see 1.1 below) together with two figures and/or tables, must be in a maximum of 1500 words. Note that words in tables (including the title/caption and the column headings) count towards the total word count, but words in diagrams do not.
  • A reference section, including citation details for two of the references you have used. This section may also contain screenshots of any diagrams or tables you used to compile your own figures in the main report. This section has no word limits since references can be quite lengthy. More details of the requirements for preparing and writing TMA 04 are given below.

Citation searching

You should have completed an activity in Block 3 Unit 1 that required you to practise using citations from papers and reports to locate more recent publications on the same subject. You should use these citation-searching skills to find out how many times two of your peer-reviewed sources have been cited. You may find it useful in your research to look at some of the papers which you identify with the citation search. You can revisit the citation searching activity, if you wish, via the link provided below:

Click here to revisit the Citation Searching activity

Other searches you might use, such as Google Scholar, also tell you how many times an article has been cited by others:

You can find instructions on how to set up Google Scholar to work via the OU library here library/ help-and-support/ access-eresources-using-google-scholar

Please provide evidence of your citation search by taking screenshots of these search results for your two chosen articles, and stating which search you used (eg. Web of Science, Google Scholar). If your article is very recent it may not yet have been cited, but this is still a valid citation search and is acceptable.

Note: Marks are available in this assignment for evidence of citation searching.

1.2 Report structure

Your report should have a title, an abstract, and a main body of text that begins with an introductory paragraph and ends with a conclusion which draws the themes of the report together. You should include headings for the abstract, the introduction and the conclusion. Please distinguish the introduction from the main body of your article with a space or line. Further structural requirements are outlined below.

  • The title should be punchy, grabbing the reader’s attention while emphasising the main thrust of the report. Do not simply copy the title of the topic as listed on the Module website. Use 10 words or less for the title.
  • The abstract should summarise the main point (or points) of the whole report. It should not simply be used as an introduction. Do not include any references in the abstract. Use 40 words or less for the abstract.
  • The introductory paragraph should give some general background to the topic. Avoid the temptation to plunge straight into detailed descriptions at this point.
  • The main body of the report should cover all the points raised in the TMA question. It is likely you will wish to write in more detail on some aspects than others, and this is fine as long as the report is balanced overall. However, please demonstrate you are aware of all the areas of the TMA question.
  • Within the main body of the report, you should include two tables and/or figures of your own construction, each with an appropriate legend (see Section 3.1 for details).
  • Your conclusion should sum up and round off the arguments.

You should include a references section at the end of your report. Instructions for how to do this are given in Section 4.

Please pay close attention to the important information given in Section 5.1 of this assignment about the marking penalties that will be applied if you fail to comply with the word limits for your report.

2 Writing tips

You should adopt a ‘viewpoint’ style in your report, which means that you can express opinions as long as they are supported by evidence that you quote in your References section.

Viewpoint style

Think about your audience

A journal such as Science or Nature is aimed at a wide range of the scientific community. While the research reports in these journals are aimed at a highly specialised audience, more general reports (e.g. ‘Viewpoint’ or ‘News and Views’) are intended to deliver important scientific messages to the broadest possible scientific audience. Thus scientists from other disciplines might read your report, so you should try to minimise the amount of complex biological or epidemiological terms.

3 Tables and figures

As mentioned in Section 1.2, you are required to produce two tables or figures of your own (i.e. substantially different from any of the sources of information you based your figures on). You may produce one table and one figure if you like, but you should not exceed a total of two of either element in your report.

3.1 Presenting tables and figures

The tables and/or figures presented within the report should be numbered as Table 1, Figure 1, etc. One of their purposes is to summarise or clarify points that you raise in your report that would be cumbersome to explain in words. Thus, you should refer to your table/figure in the text, making clear its purpose in the report. However, each table/figure should be understandable on its own, without the need to refer to the text of your report. This means that they each require a brief but comprehensive title or caption and, where necessary, a key.

Good design or layout of a table or figure is fundamental to its success in conveying complex information. There are several examples of good figure and table designs in the module materials. These include figures showing:

  • data or quantitative trends derived either from experiments (e.g. Block 1 (Unit 5) Figure 5.16)
  • samples from host or pathogen populations (e.g. Block 1 Figures 1.3, and 1.4)
  • life cycles (e.g. Block 1 Figures 5.24, 6.4, and 6.6)
  • geographical distributions of hosts or pathogens (Block 1 Figure 8.6)
  • biological (including biochemical) details of pathogens, hosts and their interactions.

Tables include those detailing the relationship of items or examples in particular categories (e.g. Block 1 Tables 3.1, 5.4, and 6.1) and those showing the organisation and relationship of data (e.g. Block 1, Table 1.3).

Please note that it is up to you to decide what kind of information will add significantly to a report answering the specific questions on the topic you have been given. Some of the above may not add usefully to every given topic.

You may use spreadsheet, graphical or word-processing software to generate the tables or figures, but scanned versions of hand-written or hand-drawn materials are equally acceptable as long as they are clear in your finished report.

If you include more than two tables or figures, only the first two will be marked. Also, remember that words in the title/caption, column headings and body of tables are included in the word count of the report, but words in figures are not.

3.2 Showing your sources of data

The purpose of each figure or table that appears in your report is to gather and summarise data from a variety of sources and re-present this in an accessible and comprehensible manner. You must provide full References for all the sources you have used, and where this might be helpful to your Tutor to check that your use of the data is original, please include either a scanned copy of the originals or screenshots of the web pages that they came from. These source images should be placed at the end of your References section.

If you fail to provide full references you will only receive half of the marks for the un-referenced figure. If it is later discovered that the figures or tables in your report are simply copied from other sources (e.g. module materials, internet, or other students), then this will be treated as plagiarism and you will receive no marks for the copied figure/table.

4 References

It is essential in scientific writing to quote your evidence and the sources of your information, so that others can verify your assertions and confidently build on your ideas. You need to pay particular attention to any assertions you make in the report and ensure they are adequately supported by the evidence you present. You should use the OU Harvard system of referencing, and a guide for this is available from the ‘Assessment‘ section of the module website.

You also need to ensure that at least two of your reference sources are from peer-reviewed journals. You should perform a citation search for these two references (see Section 1.2) and state at the end of each reference the number of times they have been cited in the scientific literature using a named citation search. You should verify this by providing screenshots of the citation searches.

Finally, at the end of your References section, include the references for any articles, books or webpage(s) you used as sources of data for your tables and figures, and any scanned images or screenshots.

Journal articles

Surname, Initial. (Year of publication) ‘Title of article’, Title of Journal, volume number (issue number), page reference. doi: doi number if available OR Available at: URL (Accessed date).


Shirazi, T. (2010) ‘Successful teaching placements in secondary schools: achieving QTS practical handbooks’, European Journal of Teacher Education​, 33(3), pp. 323-326. 

Shirazi, T. (2010) ‘Successful teaching placements in secondary schools: achieving QTS practical handbooks’, European Journal of Teacher Education​, 33(3), pp. 323-326. doi: 10.1080/02619761003602246.

Barke, M. and Mowl, G. (2016) ‘Málaga – a failed resort of the early twentieth century?’, Journal of Tourism History, 2(3), pp. 187–212. Available at: (Accessed: 23 April 2018).

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Newspaper articles

Surname, Initial. (Year of publication) ‘Title of article’, Title of Newspaper, Day and month, Page reference.

Surname, Initial. (Year of publication) ‘Title of article’, Title of Newspaper, Day and month, Page reference if available. Available at: URL (Accessed: date).


Mansell, W. and Bloom, A. (2012) ‘£10,000 carrot to tempt physics experts’, The Guardian, 20 June, p. 5.

Roberts, D. and Ackerman, S. (2013) ‘US draft resolution allows Obama 90 days for military action against Syria’, The Guardian, 4 September. Available at:… (Accessed: 9 September 2015).

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Web pages

Surname, Initial. (Year that the site was published/last updated) Title of web page. Available at: URL (Accessed: date).

Organisation (Year that the page was last updated) Title of web page. Available at: URL (Accessed: date).


Burton, P.A. (2012) Castles of Spain. Available at: (Accessed: 14 October 2015).

The British Psychological Society (2018) Code of Ethics and Conduct. Available at: (Accessed: 22 March 2019).

5  How your report will be marked

Your tutor will mark your report out of 100. Your total for TMA04 will then be weighted by 30% to convert it to the appropriate contribution to your overall examination score (OES) (remember that TMA04 contributes 30% of your OES). For example, if you scored 45% for TMA04 this would contribute:

45 × 30/100 = 13.5% towards your OES. If you scored 65% for TMA04, it would contribute 65 × 30/100 = 19.5% towards your OES. There is no threshold for TMA04, which means that you do not have to achieve a minimum score in this assignment in order to pass SK320.

5.1 Marking scheme for the report

A total of 75 marks are available for the main part of your report, and the maximum marks that can be awarded for the different aspects of your work are shown below.

  • Title: 3 marks
  • Abstract: 6 marks
  • Quality of Introduction and Conclusion: 12 marks
  • Appropriate use of two diagrams and/or tables: 12 marks
  • Other factual content: 36 marks
  • Cohesion of argument, organisation, presentation, and use of an appropriate viewpoint report style for a general audience: 6 marks.

Word limits

Please note the following very important advice on word limits.

Most scientific journals impose strict word limits on the articles that they publish and will reject articles that exceed them. You will be under the same requirements to remain within the word limits, as would any professional author. Marking penalties, which are detailed in Table 1, will be applied if you stray over the word limits.

Table 1 Word-limit penalties will be applied to different parts of your assignment answer

Aspect of answerWord limits and marking penalties
TitleA title of more than 10 words will receive no marks.
AbstractAn abstract of more than 40 words will receive no marks.
Figures/tablesWords within figures are not included in the word count. However, words within tables, including the title and caption and the column headings, are counted towards the report word count.
ReportAim for around 1400 words for the entire report. Writing more than: 1500 words will lose you 2 marks; more than 1600 words will lose you 4 marks. Please state your word count at the end of your report, just before the References section. Remember your word count includes in-text citations. You can obtain your word count using the Word Count tool in Microsoft Word, or equivalent.
ReferencesThere are no word limits for the references.

5.2 Marking scheme for the references

A total of 25 marks are available for your references, as shown below:

  • Quality of sources, completeness and relevance of the references: 20 marks
  • Stating the number of citations for two of the scientific articles you have referenced, with screenshots: 5 marks.

6 Checklist

Please check that you have met all of the requirements for the report (summarised below) before you submit your assignment. We also recommend that, once you’ve written your report, you carefully re-read all of the instructions in TMA 04 to make sure you’ve not missed anything out. Failure to comply with all of the instructions can cost you marks!


  • Correct structure/use of section headings, and adherence to word limits: title (≤10 words), abstract (≤40 words), introduction, main body, conclusions.
  • Two tables or figures: these must be your own work, each with a concise title or caption. Remember, words within tables must be included in your overall report word count.
  • References to sources within the text must be in the Harvard referencing style.
  • Total word count of the report stated just before the References section (ideally 1400 words, but no more than 1500 words).


  • Full reference details for sources you’ve drawn information from, presented alphabetically in the Harvard referencing style.
  • At least two references from peer-reviewed journals. You must perform citation searches for both of these peer-reviewed articles and, immediately after each reference, state how many times it has been cited in a named citation database, and provide a screenshot.
  • Reference information for, and where appropriate screenshots or copies of, source images on which you have based any of your figures and/or tables.

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