Research Project Report Guidelines
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WRITING A LABORATORY REPORT (.doc/docx or .pdf format only)
PARTS OF THE LAB REPORT
Follow the lab project report guidelines but remember this guideline is not comprehensive- be attentive of the guidelines explained by TAs (for modifications/alterations)
To write a lab report, referencing the laboratory manual/ Biology textbook is only a beginning. Seek out original sources, primary literature (peer?reviewed journal articles). Limit textbook citations, as the information is less reliable than primary literature. Use the library/e-library resources to find more detailed information on the topic.
The completed laboratory report is to include the following sections as described:
Informative report title (it should describe lab content concisely, adequately & appropriately)
Your full name: Cyriniti Craig
Your email address (UNT email): CyrinitiCraig@my.unt.edu
Course and section numbers (BIOL1760/61.xxx): BIOL1760.504
Date report submitted: October 27,2022
Laboratory instructor name (TA name): John Evers
Concise summary in one paragraph (200-400 words) that summarizes your report as follows:
The scientific context of your experiment (what are you testing & why?)
What you did
How you did it (generally – NO specifics; do not write the method here)
What you found (state your results qualitatively, not quantitatively)
What it means- 1-2 sentence discussion and conclusion
Background information so that a reader will understand the purpose of your experiment
Explain the purpose of the research project
State the formulated hypotheses /rationale and predictions being tested when appropriate for the research project.
Generally, 2 paragraphs long, 1st paragraph going over major concepts and key terms. While the second paragraph addresses the experiment, questions it is trying to answer, and predicted outcomes.
Talk about the experiment; what are the procedures, what were the controls, independent and dependent variables, what analysis or comparison do you plan on doing to your results etc.
Give a brief description of treatments used and what was measur
- Generally, this part of the lab report will have the most references/citations- cite experiments from journals & relate to your experiment.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
Describe the procedure in your own words (so that the procedure could be replicated)
Make sure to report any changes from the lab protocol!!!
- Methods and materials should be written separately and concisely.
- Details like concentrations (mM, g/L, etc.), temperatures, and sample size should be mentioned.
- Tables can be used to show your different treatment groups (i.e. how you set them up)
- No references/citations usually noted in this section
- Open with a statement of the overall findings from the experiment
- Describe your results (point out trends or important features) and explicitly reference figures/images
Insert tables/figures/graphs/images to describe your results (see below for details)
- Mention in the results, what were the numbers, the calculated data, tables, graphs, charts, any other visuals such as pictures of specimens, gels where applicable, etc.
FIGURES/TABLES/DIAGRAMS- Summarize your data into graphs and tables (in the results section) with headings, labels and legends.
In Cell respiration Project-
Graph: Figure 1 to Figure X
- Include Figure legends (text below the Figure) so that it is not necessary to refer back to the report to understand the F Include information about methods (temperature, concentration), how the data are expressed, sample size, and any abbreviations
- Label the axes and define all treatments (including units if appropriate)
- Make sure to include a title!
- Make sure the graphs are easy to read and sized appropriately
- Pay attention to formatting. For example, the title of a graph should not be on a separate page from the graph itself.
- Table: Table 1 to Table X
Use columns for categories of information (i. size, shape, etc.)
Use rows for the different entries (e. species of bacteria)
- Include Table captions (text above the Table) so that it is not necessary to refer back to the report to understand the A caption presents a succinct statement of the contents of the table.
- In Molecular Biology Project- Images with proper labels
- In Taxonomy/Dissection Project- Images with proper labels
- No references/citations usually noted in this section.
- Open with a statement that either supports/rejects hypothesis or rationale
- Back up that statement by referring to findings from the experiment (briefly, do not re-state the same data from the results section & do not refer to figures/tables)
- Generally, the number of paragraphs reflects the amount of data.
Interpret your results (data/image) and relate to your initial rationale or hypothesis at the beginning of the experiment
Discuss any expected/unexpected findings regarding the hypothesis/rationale you made in the INTRODUCTION section
- Address any issues that you encountered during the experiment (like problems/errors)
Explain why they might have occurred
Explain what you could do to fix the problem/error
Critique the experimental design used
Does it adequately address the hypotheses/rationale being tested?
Were there faulty assumptions in the design that make interpretation of the data difficult?
What new questions are prompted by the results?
Describe technical factors that you believe might help the reader interpret your data
If there are no data (tables/graphs) interpret/discuss problems related to the hypothesis.
- In Molecular Biology Project- discuss the relevance of the data/result of the DNA extraction and Gel electrophoresis
- In Taxonomy/Dissection Project compare and contrast the systems between the dissection specimens.
- What do your results mean? Make a claim if you can “this evidence supports the idea that….” But do not say “proves”.
- Can have references/citations to help back your claim
- The summary of the result and discussion in concise manner.