Biology 19900407

Lab Report Guidelines
Communication is necessary to disseminate information.  In this regard, beyond talking with
each  other,  scientists  report  on  their  work
by  writing
article
s  on  their  findings  and  publish
them  in
journals  that  other  scientists  read.
The  main  idea  a  scientific  article  is  to  convey
scientific findings
that
usually
emerge
from a hypothesis driven experiment(s).
The structure
or format of these scientific articles is nearly universal irrespective of the length of the article.  
The format
is a convention that guides the author as well as the reader.  At its most basic, the
format guides one through the process telling a story.  
The  format  for  the
L
ab
R
eport  on  the  activity  of  enzymes  will  resemble  that  of  a  scientific
journal article
wit
h some modifications
.    
The
Lab Report
will have a
Title
, an
Introduction
,
a
Methods and Materials
,
a
Results
,
a
Discussion/Conclusion
and an
Appendix
section
.   
Each
section
is
typed in bold and start on a new page.  
An Abstract
summarizing the article
is not
require
d
although   the
y
are
ubiquitous
in   scientific
journal
articles
.    
References
and
Acknowledgments  (for  help  received  and  collaborations)
are  not  required,  but
may
be
included.   Each  section  is unique, different  from
each  other
, but
they
rely  on  each  o
ther  to
convey
the
story
.   
The
Introduction
describe
s
the
reason for the article.  In
clude
enough
background material to
gain  the  readers
interest
,
much
li
ke  all
good  story  tell
i
ng
does
.  For our purpose
s
,
limit
the
discussion of
enzymes
to the material presented in
class lectures and
in
the textbook.  There
is  no  need  to  look  for  additional  information  on  enzymes  unless  you  are  so  drive
n
, but  be
warned, the
amount of information
is overwhelming
.  At the end of the I
ntroduction, list the
hypotheses for all parts
or e
x
periments in
t
he study
.  
The
Methods and Materials
describes all the steps taken to perform the experiments.  The
purpose  of  this  section  is  to  allow  someone  else  to  replica
te  your  work.    Therefore,  all
chemicals   or   reagents,   their   concentration,  how   they   were   mixed   together  and   the
instrumentation used must be noted.  
There is no need to explain how an instrument works
unless it is a newly developed one.  For instance, one c
an assume that the reader knows how
to operate a spectrophotometer.  
This section is the near equivalent of a cook book to a chef.
If there are five experiments, then provide instructions for replicating all five experiments.
The
Results
section
contains
the
study   data
only
.
Present
the
raw   data   and
any
transformation
of the raw data
.
F
igures and tables
are ideal for presenting
the data because
pictures convey information more easily than words.  
L
abel all figure
s, t
a
bles and images
with
a
title,
a very
brie
f
description
of the
dat
a
,
and
an
explanation of
specific
components of the
image
th
at
imp
ortant
for  interpreting  the  data.   
Introduce
each
figure
or
table
in  the  t
ext
.  
Presenting
a figure or table without
any
text is a
serious
mistake
–
you are asking the reader
to read your mind and intentions
.  Avoid the temptation
of
explain
ing
the data
in this section
–
this comes later
in the Discussion/Concl
usion section
.  
However, y
ou may expl
ain
that
one
or two points in the data w
ere
omitted
in a figure or table due to some mishap during the data
collection

t
his is perfectly acceptable.
Remember, t
he focus of this section is the data, and
only the data.  
The
Discussion/Conclusion
section
is  where  you
interpret
your
findings  a
nd
results.
First,
restate the goals of the
study
.  Second,
interpret that data
by
consider
ing
whether the data
from the experiments support your hypotheses
stated in the Introduction
.  
Third,
synthesize
all the data or
observations in the
study
.  Do
the results
fit what you know about enzymes and
what you expected?  
T
he data
make sense with your
knowledge and expectations.  
Discuss
w
hether it does or does not.  
Fourth,
discuss how future work may address any weaknesses
in the experiments perform
ed,
and suggest
possible
studies that will
build on the knowledge
gained from these studies.
Lastly, make a final conclusion about the observations in your lab
and how they fit the topic.  
A
Reference
section  is  included  if  you  wish  to  cite  any  literatu
re  such as  your  textbook,  the
lab or any other source material.
It is not required for this assignm
ent.
An
Ackno
wle
d
gement
section i
s
included if you wish to
thank any
one who provided you some
uniqu
e reagents
,
or
help
in the writing of
the text
.
It is not required for this assignm
ent.
There
are
questions in the lab manual after each experiment
.  
Y
ou
must address these
withi
n
the appropriate section of the
Lab Report.  
Figure out where the answer to each question
fi
ts
in
the Lab Report
format discussed above
before you start writing
.  
The  Lab  Report  should
be  a
m
in
i
mum of 8
typed
pages
of text
(excluding
figu
res,  tables,
illustrat
ions,
or other images)
,
double

spaced
,
and
10
pt
.
–
12
pt
.
fo
nt
.  The Intro
duction (min.
1
.5
page of text),
M
ethods and Materials
(min.
4
page of text)
, Results
(min.
1.5
page of text)
and  Discussion
/Conclusion
(min.  1  page  of  text)
.
For  this  particular
assign
ment,  place  a
ll
figu
res,  tables,  illustrat
ions,
and
images
at
the
end  of  the  paper
and
call
this  section  the
Appendix
.
The
length of the
Appendi
x
does not count towards the
len
gth of the
Lab R
eport
.
Warning:  Do not plagiarize!  This is a serious offense.  Do not copy

and

paste from any source including a classmate’s Lab Report.  The
penalty is a score of zero points (0 points).
 
 
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