ARKY 201 - Tips for Writing the Final Lab Report

ARKY 201 - Tips for Writing the Final Lab Report - Tips for...

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Tips for Writing the Arky 201 Lab Report Writing an excavation report is an important skill in archaeology. An archaeological excavation uses the scientific method of inquiry to collect information, analyze the information, and draw conclusions from the information. Thus an excavation report is very similar in format to a laboratory or research report written for the natural sciences, but as archaeology is a social science we are also interested in the study of human behavior and societies. Because of this, one of the most important parts of an archaeological excavation report is the interpretation of the data and recommendations based on those interpretations. Please closely follow the instructions given to you on the “Arky 201 Final Lab Report” handout as well as the American Antiquity style guide (the link is posted on Blackboard for Arky 201).. Keep the following additional comments in mind when planning and writing your report: Introduction: Like a lab report you would write for a chemistry class, this is the “why” part of your report. Describe the purpose of the excavation and give the reader sufficient background to understand the rest of the report. Archaeologists do not decide willy-nilly to dig and only do so for specific purposes. Outside of academic research, most excavations in Alberta are conducted in advance of proposed construction. Thus, an historic impact assessment must be conducted in accordance with provincial legislation. Methods: This is the “how” section. Where and when was the work done? Briefly explain how the excavation and the analysis proceeded without detailing the results. Provide enough detail to let the reader know why your steps led you to the associated conclusion. Data Analysis: Outline the results of the excavation. Give all necessary qualitative and quantitative observations. Generally, the quantitative aspects of the results are best presented in graphs and tables, if you choose to present your data this way. Data included in a table should not be duplicated in a figure or graph. Graphs and tables should be accompanied by a written description of the data and any patterns or trends that occur . If you use tables, the title should be above the table. Graphs have the title below the graph and are called Figures (Figure 1, Figure 2, etc.). All figures and tables should have descriptive titles and should include a legend explaining
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