Results of careful laboratory work are not useful unless they can be presented in a clear, concise manner to others for comment and evaluation. Such presentations are usually in the

Results of careful laboratory work are not useful unless they can be presented in a clear, concise manner to others for comment and evaluation. Such presentations are usually in the form of a scientific paper published in a reputable scientific journal. Scientific communications have many things in common, which leads to a rather standard style of writing that allow the results and meaning of experimentation to be quickly grasped by the reader. Scientists do not expect to read attractive, stimulating prose to obtain information from technical scientific papers. The experimental design, results and explanation of results are what are attractive and stimulating not the cleverness of the prose. The following discussion should be useful in ing you prepare your laboratory reports, which are scientific reports. Read it carefully before beginning your reports. Your laboratory instructor may make additional comments. The specific format of a scientific paper varies among journals. However, the format presented below is the most commonly used. It is the format you must use in your scientific writing for this course. The scientific report will be composed of seven sections. Each section will have a heading immediately followed by the text, figures or graphs. The order of the sections is: title, abstract, introduction, methods, results, discussion and literature cited. ·  typed ·  double spaced ·  10-12 font, Times New Roman ·  1 inch margins ·  pages numbered ·  titled sections ·  untitled hypothesis ·  Quotes are allowed. Everything must be properly paraphrased. ·  No website references are permitted as sources. No exceptions. ·  Everything must be properly cited. It is considered plagiarism if it is not. ·  Write in third person, past tense The overall presentation/grammar/spelling will be evaluated. Although this is not an English class, these elements are important to the proper communication of science. Before you turn in your final version, use the spell check function and reread your report. You should also take the time to visit the Center for Academic Success to participate in the Read, Write, and Cite Workshop series for additional on writing your reports. Create a title that briefly conveys to the reader the purpose of the paper. The title of your report must be informative. Many readers scan journal article titles and the decision whether or not to pursue an article is based on the information in the title. Generally, this information includes: primary factor(s) manipulated or studied; outcome of manipulation (the response or effects); and organism studied, if relevant. An example of an informative title would be: “The Effect of Varying Serotonin Concentrations on Calcium Release at Synaptic Membrane in Motor Neurons of ” The title page must contain your name, Panther ID, lab partners’ names, title, and lab section. The Abstract should be an of the entire report. It serves to readers determine how relevant the report is to their own interests. This section is brief, only one paragraph, in which the author indicates what was done, the reasoning behind it, the results and the conclusions. It must highlight only the most important elements of each major sections of the report (Introduction, Methods, Results, and Discussion). The scientific report can be summarized into an abstract with four types of statements: purpose statements that are general in describing the importance and/or goals of the research; methods statements that explain what was done and how it was done; results statements that describe what information or data was acquired; and discussion/conclusion statements that explain what the information or data probably means and what conclusions are drawn. Only the most important aspects of the report should make it to the abstract. This section should be at least 200 words in length. This section should contain a clear summary of what was demonstrated, how each part of the lab was carried out and how conclusions were reached. This section should contain one or two purpose statements (without saying “The purpose of this experiment is…”), a complete summary of each experiment (method statements) in a few sentences, and brief, accurate explanations of the results. The final sentences should be the concluding statements. This section should indicate why the study was done and give the reader sufficient background to understand the report. The “why” of the study will include historical information that leads to your study and the significance of the study to a specific discipline (such as developmental neurobiology) to which the study belongs. The reader, after perusing the introduction, should know precisely the importance of the problem being addressed. You should write about the questions you will be answering in this experiment. Although, the content of the introduction should start broad and narrow in scope as the introduction proceeds, be careful not to start too broad. This could lead to problems with the scope of the paper. Note: any historical background (that is, previous studies) must be properly cited. This section must include 4 peer reviewed outside sources (outside of lab book and text book), of which 2 should be primary literature. This section contains the basic background information for the lab report. Be sure to comment on what is the significance of this study and its relation to the larger field. Give an example of why the study is significant. Your hypothesis is used to make the prediction(s). The predictions are based on the background information that was gathered. You should have a clear statement of the reason for performing the lab along with including the rationale for each technique used. ·   was the purpose of each experiment? For each experiment, include questions that will be answered and the expectedpredictions of the results for each question. Try to include a hypothesis. (without saying “My predictions are…” or “My hypothesis is…”) ·  Note: Just because you are writing a report about a lab exercise does not mean you are basing the entire report on one hypothesis. You are more than likely going to need to discuss more than one set of variables, which would lead to more than one hypothesis or prediction. ·  This section should be at least 400 words long and smoothly flow from one topic to the next. A reader can evaluate the results of your study only if he or she understands the experimental design, the materials used and the reasoning behind them. Thus, it is important to carefully outline procedures and techniques used. Complicated procedures might be graphically outlined. Besides procedures, this section should include models or equipment used (this should not be written like a laundry list of materials), source of chemicals (if relevant), numbers and types of organisms used, including sex and strain sample sizes, number of times experimental procedure was performed, and other pertinent factors. note: There should NEVER be a list of materials in this or any section. ·  This section is at least 200 words and is a . No credit will be given for a methods section written in a bulleted format. ·  Include a brief description of how each experiment was performed. There should be enough detail so the reader (experienced researcher) could repeat the experiment. This does not mean having an extensive section on how you labeled a test tube. That is not important for the replication of the experiment. You need to include the aspects of the methods which are crucial for replication. ·  You should explain the procedural steps taken (summarize) and not create a duplicate of the instructions from the lab manual. You must write the procedures in your own words, not the manual’s or anyone else’s. ·  Again, NO list of materials is permitted. It is crucial that the outcomes of experiments are carefully organized and clearly presented. This is best accomplished by presenting data in clearly labeled graphs and tables. the tables and/or graphs are meant to indicate should be clear without reference to text. However, references to each graph and table MUST be made in the text of the Results section. Graphs and tables should be numbered in the order in which they are mentioned in the text; that is, tables should be labeled as consecutive series (Table 1, Table 2, etc.). Each figure should have a figure title, number, and brief caption. The section text should elaborate on the information presented on the table as well as, summarize information presented in tables and/or graphs that will be pertinent to the discussion section. You cannot turn in a lab report with a results section that does not have associated text explaining the incorporated figures. Analyses must be performed on class data. Thus, the data represented in your report should be representative of the class data, not just your group’s data. Included in this section should be sample data in the form of a picture. This can be a picture of your groups data as representative of the type of data collected. ·  All graphs and tables should be your own work! Graphs and tables should not be identical to anyone else’s in the lab, including your lab partner’s. ·  Also include a concise detailed description, which clearly summarizes the graph or table. Include comments about the results foreach experiment and control. This text is a verbal description of what the table/graph/picture is illustrating (enough detail to be on itsown). ·  The text should be at least 200 words long ·  Do not interpret the results in this section. This section focuses on what you observed quantitatively and qualitatively throughout the collection of data. The discussion section will include why things happened the way this did. In brief, the Discussion section is where results are interpreted and conclusions are drawn. The significance and interpretation of the study should be explained in this section. Specific points made in the Results section should be discussed in light of previous studies and hypotheses. This means there needs to be cited literature in this section. Often, new hypotheses are put forth, based on the experimental outcome. This may be included in your discussion. The most important part of the Discussion section is establishing what the results indicate, both for the ongoing study and for future studies. For each point made in the results, you need to discuss why things happened the way they did. If there were errors made, then this needs to be included and in context with the interpretation of the results. Were the questions you included in the Introduction section, answered by this study? If not, how could the study be redesigned? Some questions that can be answered in interpreting the results in the Discussions section are: Why are these results the same as (or different from) previously published studies? parameters of the experimentaldesign were important in the expected (or unexpected) results? Are some of the results due to artifacts? How do you know? How might the experimental design be altered to diminish artifacts? are limitations of the experimental design? Why are these results important in a broadercontext? ·  This section should be approximately 500 words long. ·  This section should include a clear discussion in relation to each hypothesis and/or prediction and should discuss what is known about the topic (reported by other researchers). ·  Include a brief summary of your results with reference points to your results, and explain how you interpreted your results (why did things turn out the way they did?). Be sure to refer to the specific illustration whenever discussing the results. ·  Remember nothing is EVER proven. So the results either support or refute your original hypotheses/predictions. ·  Also, explain why the control and experimental outcomes were what you expected or were not what you expected. ·  Comments should also be made about problems and/or improvements for the next time. This is where you can discuss the experimental design and follow-up studies. ·  This section is where you are essentially asking “why” everything/anything happened during the experiment. This section includes the alphabetical listing of all sources of fact or theory mentioned in your paper that were not generated by you. This will primarily include research articles, but may include review articles and texts as well. The citations should be written using APA (6th edition) format. ·  You MUST include at least six references. There should be at least 2 primary sources, 2 secondary sources, and you must include the general biology textbook, and lab manual (don’t forget to cite the methods). ·  You must include 4 peer reviewed outside sources (outside of lab book and text book), of which 2 should be primary literature. ·  No website references or any encyclopedia references ·  Any citation in the body of the report is put at the end of a sentence and should be done like this (Author’s last name, year). There are very few exceptions to this. Do not write all of the author’s names for in-text citations. If there is only one author, then write the name of the principle author. If there are two authors, then you must write both names and if there are multiple authors write after the name of the principle author (Yes in italics- it’s in Latin). Example: (Alberte , 2012) ·  Anything that you or other biology students reading your report would not know off the top of your head, needs to have a citation at the end of the sentence. This includes anything looked up and used. This is especially important in the introduction. ·  Your textbook can be cited as the source of basic biological information related to the topic of the report. ·  Many sentences in the introduction and discussion will have citations at the end, so make sure the content flows smoothly from beginning to end. Try not to have every sentence with a citation. Use connecting sentences and your own ideas or summaries of the experiments where possible. Remember to put the in- text citation before the final punctuation of the sentence. References should be listed in alphabetical order If a particular reference takes more than one line, then all lines (except the first) should be indented Include ALL authors, never write “ .,” when writing the full literature cited page Remember to write “and” before the name of the last author, if the article or book has multiple authors. References should not be numbered nor bulleted. · ·  You need to be an active participant in all labs which contain experiments for the lab report. You will clean up your bench area before you leave the lab. ·  You will be present (or have a make-up) for the lab. Refer to the syllabus for the make-up policy. ·  You will turn in your lab report in its entirety. Turning in one or more components or sections of the lab report after the due date and time will make the entire lab report late. ·  This lab report must be your own work (no plagiarism). Content used from references needs to be cited. ·  You will need to turn in only an electronic copy. Turnitin will be used to check for plagiarism. 10 points per day will be deducted from your lab report until your instructor has your report through Turnitin. ·  It is your responsibility to turn your lab report on time electronically to your instructor, per their instructions. A late lab report will lose 10 points every day it is late. It is your responsibility to know how to properly submit your report AND to check to make sure it is submitted. Even if it is a “careless little mistake” it is a “careless little mistake” which cost you points on your report. Be absolutely sure you submitted your report. ·  The due dates have been posted since the first week of the term and are well known. nts for Scientific Writing: Problems arise in writing scientific papers because of specific aims of scientific writing: to be clear, concise, unambiguous, and accurate. Due to the space restrictions in journals and time limitations of your instructor, every word must to convey the required information. The report as a whole should be objective and self-explanatory. The following seven recommendations should you with your writing for this scientific report. 1.  Avoid wordiness. Eliminate redundancies. 2.  Write in the past tense. You can use the present tense for conjectures in the discussion section. 3.  Do not use footnotes. 4.  Be sure that there is text in the Results section. Also, make sure that each graph and/or table is referred to and that reference is not made to nonexistent tables or graphs. 5.  Check that each section contains the proper information; for example, do not put results in the Methods section. 6.  Check that each Literature Cited item is in the text and that each citation in the text appears in the Literature Cited section. This includes proper in-text citations. 7.  Never write “My hypothesis is…”, “The purpose of this experiment is..”, “My predictions are…”

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