Biology 181 Laboratory Reports
Write the paper in past tense.
You are reporting on something you have already
done, not something you will do or are in the process of doing.
It’s okay to use pronouns, especially in the results section, but don’t abuse the
privilege. Also, plural pronouns are preferred. Example: We broke the test tube.
Write this paper as if it were to be published in a scientific journal.
do not write sentences that state "in the lab the students did this.
this paper for an audience that has no knowledge of Biology 181 and present the
experiment as your own
Style — The report must be typed,
with one inch margins all
around (top, bottom, left & right).
A workmanlike product is expected and
spelling, grammar and readability will count
in your report grade.
Write this paper
with the same care that you use in preparing papers for English classes.
someone read the paper over if you're not a careful writer.
Also, look over your
hard copy to be sure the result is clean and presentable (no section headings found
floating by themselves at the end of a page, etc.).
Citations — Sources of information must be accurately acknowledged in any
Your report must cite at least
different sources of
information, two of which must be an article from a primary research journal
When turning in your report, you must also turn in a copy of the first page of
each paper or web page that you cite in your paper.
If citing a book, copy the
title page and the page with the cited information
. You may use your lab
manual as a book source, but make sure to cite it.
Websites, such as Wikipedia,
are not allowed.
For examples of how to do in-text citations and how to structure
your references section, please see the reference section.
Remember to use the section headings.
Structure of the paper
The paper will be structured as a typical science journal paper.
Each section is to be headed
with the appropriate heading (you
use the headings that are underlined below
). A good
way to check if you’re formatting the paper correctly is to actually look at a scientific paper.
— An example of a title page is provided as an attachment.
This appears first in the paper, but is often written last.
It is a short paragraph that
summarizes your paper.
The abstract: (1) states the major objectives and scope of the
experiment, (2) describes the methodology used, (3) summarizes the results, and (4) states the