Biology 103
Fall, 2006

Lab Report Assignment

I haven't written a lab report for about 5 years now, and I assume what you expect is a bit different than my high school chemistry teacher who gave me extra credit for drawing chemistry-inspired illustrations. How many paragraphs in each section? What do I do in the discussion? Do I quote the book?

There is no set format/paragraph number for the lab report (though see below), no "extra credit" for "chemistry inspired illustrations". The length should be appropriate to the objective (see next), generally three or four pages. There is no requirement to quote the book, or provide other references (though these would be needed in a professional research publication).

Motivate some "new" observations (adding to those currently summarized by some existing interpretation/story)

Describe the new observations, as distinct from interpretations/stories

Provide interpretations/stories that

  • are adequate to account for older observations as well as the added
  • give motivation for particular new observations
The aim is to represent the "spirit" of what actually goes on in scientific exploration:

Additional notes (November 2005)

Write about what was observed rather than assignment and thought processes related to it

Introduction to paper should be written AFTER and in light of your observations and what you make of them

Further clarification (December 2006)

Break lab report up into sections

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