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Lab Reports- Guidelines for BISC 220 Lab Reports v2

Lab Reports- Guidelines for BISC 220 Lab Reports v2 -...

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Guidelines for BISC 220 Lab Reports – Spring 2010 A. Introduction One of our principal goals in the BISC 220 laboratory is to further the development of your scientific literacy, i.e. , the ability to read and understand the primary literature in biology. Primary research articles are the original and official reports of scientific findings. They are the sources for all the information presented in textbooks like the one we use for the class. Research papers present the background and objectives of a scientific study, describe the important methods and materials used, summarize results of experiments, and discuss the authors’ interpretations of those results in the context of previous work in the field. As a student of biology, your ability to read and understand the primary literature is as important as general literacy is to your role as a citizen. We are asking you to write your BISC 220 lab reports in the format of a primary research article in biology. This will help you gain a deeper understanding of the primary literature and further develop your scientific literacy. Like a research article, your lab reports will consist of 6 parts: Title, Introduction, Methods, Results, Discussion, and References. Actually, most scientific papers include an Abstract that summarizes the entire paper and an Acknowledgments section that credits sources of support, but we will omit these sections for our purposes. B. Topics, Deadlines, and Submission There will be two lab reports. For the first lab report, the subject will be the experiments on Enzymes that you perform in the 4 th week of the semester. The deadline for the first report will be 2 weeks later, at the start of your scheduled lab period in the 6 th week of the semester. For the second lab report, the subject will be the experiments on Cellular Respiration and Fermentation that you perform in the 7 th week of the semester. The deadline for the second report will be 1 week later, at the start of your scheduled lab in the 8 th week of the semester. Penalties will be applied if lab reports are submitted late. Please see p. 9 of the course syllabus for the laboratory schedule that indicates these and other important dates. C. Format and Grading Criteria The sections below describe the required format of your lab reports in more detail. Please read these sections carefully. Your reports will be graded stringently based not only on their content but also on conformity to the required format. Why do we place such emphasis on the format? The standard format provides a convenient way of presenting all the important aspects of your study. It simplifies writing by breaking the task into a series of well-defined parts, which can be written independently. In fact, once you understand what each part contains, you can write them in whatever order seems most convenient. For scientifically literate readers, the standard format facilitates understanding of your work and comparison to other work in the field.
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