Biology 110 Formal
Your formal lab report should be at least 3-5 pages and
include the following sections: Abstract, Introduction, Material and Methods,
Results, and Discussions. You should also include the worksheets from the lab
text as well.
Title (3 pts):
On a separate page you should write the title of your paper. The title of a scientific article should be
fairly detailed and include the subject and the aspects of the subject that
were studied. For example, if you were studying how long it took for a student
athlete to display symptoms after receiving a concussive blow to the head, you
might title your article “Time Interval Between Concussions and Symptoms in
College Athletes” as opposed to a non-descriptive title like “Concussions and
the College Athlete.”
On the same page
as the title you should write the name of the author (that is the student) and
the affiliation of the author (Department, School, and Institution). This does
not count towards the page total.
The remaining pieces should be separated by section
headings, but do not need to be on separate pages.
Abstract (5 pts): This is a single paragraph (5-7 sentences)
that is meant to allow your audience to quickly decide if the article contains
information or data that they require.
The abstract should include the purpose for the study, the primary results
and the main conclusions.
pts): This section should state the main purpose for the study, the
hypothesis or hypotheses and relevant scientific background. The relevant
scientific background should cover material that your audience needs to know in
order to understand the study and its purpose. Two to four paragraphs are
usually sufficient. For this paper be sure to discuss yeast, fermentation, and
Methods (2 pts): This section states how the study was performed. If the
materials and methods that you are using having been previously published (e.g.
in a lab manual) then you can state that the experiments were performed using
methods previously published in [insert source material]. If modification were made
to the existing methods (either at the direction of your instructor or
accidentally by your lab group) then you should state that the experiment was
performed using methods previously published in [insert source material] with
the following modifications: [list changes].
Results (10 pts):
This section presents the data that was collected during the study in a logical
fashion with both text and illustrative materials (such as tables and figures).
The results section begins with text that reports the data and then refers the
reader to the figures and tables as it proceeds. Ideally, you should state key
trends in the data as opposed to reiterating each value from a Figure or Table.
The same data should NOT be presented in both a Table and Figure format (this
would be redundant). Raw data values should be avoided when they can be
summarized as averages, ranges or percentages. Avoid interpreting your data in
this section. Interpretation should be saved for the Discussion section.
For example, a
typical results section could read: “In student athletes that received
concussive blows to the head, the more severe the force the greater the impact
that was seen (see Table 2 and Figure 2). The student athletes that experienced
greater than 15lbs of pressure per square inch had the fastest rate of symptom
onset, 15 minutes versus 25 minutes for other groups.” You would then insert
Table 2 and Figure 2.
All tables and
figure must be computer generated. Graphs must be made with graphing software
such as Excel. Hand drawn graphs will not be accepted. Graphs must contain
individual points/colors for different conditions, labels with units of measure
on the x- and y- axis, and symbol legend. Figures (such as graphs) are
consecutively numbered and titled (i.e. Figure 2: Time to symptoms onset
compared to force of blow). Tables should be consecutively numbered and titled
(i.e. Table 2: Time to symptom onset in student athletes hit with concussive
Tables and graphs
do not count towards the page total.
pts): This section has two main functions. The first is to interpret your
results in light of what was already known about the subject (as stated in the
introduction) and then to explain our new understanding of the problem after
taking your results into consideration. You should connect the discussion to
the introduction through the hypotheses you posed, but it should not repeat or
rearrange what was stated in the introduction. The second function is to
examine the significance of your findings in the context of your field. Choose a field of biology you are interested
in and then explain why or how this could be an important finding to the field
you have identified. The discussion section is traditionally the most difficult
section to write so you might consider the following questions to help you:
Do your results
provide answers to your hypotheses? If so, how do you interpret your findings?
Do your findings
agree with what others have shown? If not, do they suggest an alternative
explanation or perhaps a design flaw in your experiment?
How can your findings help advance
knowledge in your field of study?
(5 pts): This section presents an alphabetic listing of all of the
literature that was cited in your article. For this article you must cite at least 4 sources, one of which will
be your lab manual. Of the remaining 3, only one may be a website. You must use
credible scientific sources (no popular sources, Wikipedia, dot com web sites,
dictionaries, social media, class presentations and/or PowerPoints). Literature
must be cited in APA format. This does not count towards the page total.
(5 pts): What you would normally turn in minus summary and conclusions