As always, pay attention to spelling, clarity and appropriateness of sentences and phrases. Materials and Methods There is no specific page limit, but a key concept is to keep this section as concise as you possibly can. People will want to read this material selectively. The reader may only be interested in one formula or part of a procedure.
Materials and methods may be reported under separate subheadings within this section or can be incorporated together. General intent This should be the easiest section to write, but many students misunderstand the purpose. The objective is to document all specialized materials and general procedures, so that another individual may use some or all of the methods in another study or judge the scientific merit of your work.
It is not to be a step by step description of everything you did, nor is a methods section a set of instructions.
In particular, it is not supposed to tell a story. By the way, your notebook should contain all of the information that you need for this section. Writing a materials and methods section Materials: Describe materials separately only if the study is so complicated that it saves space this way. Include specialized chemicals, biological materials, and any equipment or supplies that are not commonly found in laboratories. Do not include commonly found supplies such as test tubes, pipet tips, beakers, etc.
If use of a specific type of equipment, a specific enzyme, or a culture from a particular supplier is critical to the success of the experiment, then it and the source should be singled out, otherwise no. Materials may be reported in a separate paragraph or else they may be identified along with your procedures. In biosciences we frequently work with solutions - refer to them by name and describe completely, including concentrations of all reagents, and pH of aqueous solutions, solvent if non-aqueous.
Methods: See the examples in the writing portfolio package Report the methodology not details of each procedure that employed the same methodology Describe the mehodology completely, including such specifics as temperatures, incubation times, etc. To be concise, present methods under headings devoted to specific procedures or groups of procedures Generalize - report how procedures were done, not how they were specifically performed on a particular day.
If well documented procedures were used, report the procedure by name, perhaps with reference, and that's all. For example, the Bradford assay is well known. You need not report the procedure in full - just that you used a Bradford assay to estimate protein concentration, and identify what you used as a standard. Style: It is awkward or impossible to use active voice when documenting methods without using first person, which would focus the reader's attention on the investigator rather than the work.
Therefore when writing up the methods most authors use third person passive voice. Use normal prose in this and in every other section of the paper — avoid informal lists, and use complete sentences. What to avoid Materials and methods are not a set of instructions. Omit all explanatory information and background - save it for the discussion. Omit information that is irrelevant to a third party, such as what color ice bucket you used, or which individual logged in the data.
Results The page length of this section is set by the amount and types of data to be reported. Continue to be concise, using figures and tables, if appropriate, to present results most effectively. See recommendations for content, below. General intent The purpose of a results section is to present and illustrate your findings.
Make this section a completely objective report of the results, and save all interpretation for the discussion. Writing a results section IMPORTANT: You must clearly distinguish material that would normally be included in a research article from any raw data or other appendix material that would not be published. In fact, such material should not be submitted at all unless requested by the instructor.
Content Summarize your findings in text and illustrate them, if appropriate, with figures and tables. In text, describe each of your results, pointing the reader to observations that are most relevant. Provide a context, such as by describing the question that was addressed by making a particular observation.
Describe results of control experiments and include observations that are not presented in a formal figure or table, if appropriate. Analyze your data, then prepare the analyzed converted data in the form of a figure graph , table, or in text form.
What to avoid Do not discuss or interpret your results, report background information, or attempt to explain anything. Never include raw data or intermediate calculations in a research paper.
Do not present the same data more than once. Text should complement any figures or tables, not repeat the same information. Please do not confuse figures with tables - there is a difference. Style As always, use past tense when you refer to your results, and put everything in a logical order. Spacing Between Words In general, leave one space between words and one space after every comma, semi-colon, or colon. Traditionally, two spaces are required at the end of every sentence whether the sentence ends with a period, a question mark, or an exclamation mark.
Although it is not wrong to leave two spaces after a period, it is quite acceptable nowadays to leave only one space after each punctuation mark. However, NO space should be left in front of a punctuation mark; for example, the following would be incorrect: op. Use the width of your thumb as a rough guide. Your instructor may give you a choice to indent or not to indent your paragraphs. Often times, people who read the summary might only skim through the report, so it is important to remember to include all of the relevant details.
This is where you will clearly explain the problem and advise your audience why you are writing this particular report. The previous sections are to be written in basic English. Depending on the report topic, the body will be more detailed, and include technical terminology from your industry. The body needs to have several sections, each labelled with proper subheadings. Arrange the information in the body in decreasing levels of importance. This is where you will review your findings and determine their significance.
This section should not use technical wording or jargon, but rather be in plain English. You should explain your recommendations and list them in level of importance.
It will house all of the technical details that can be used to support your findings or conclusions.All you writing paper on psalms 1 is stare at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead. To help you become an accomplished writer, you will prepare several research papers based upon the studies completed in lab. Our research papers are not typical "lab reports. Such an assignment hardly represents the kind of writing you might be doing in your eventual career.
Reports may contain some or all of the following elements: A description of a sequence of events or a situation; Some interpretation of the significance of these events or situation, whether solely your own analysis or informed by the views of others, always carefully referenced of course see our page on Academic Referencing for more information ; An evaluation of the facts or the results of your research; Discussion of the likely outcomes of future courses of action; Your recommendations as to a course of action; and Conclusions. You will need to proof read your report for errors of spelling or grammar. Make this section a completely objective report of the results, and save all interpretation for the discussion. Not all of these elements will be essential in every report. However, as a rough guide, you should plan to include at the very least an executive summary, introduction, the main body of your report, and a section containing your conclusions and any recommendations.