Scientific method

: You will be writing your lab report on Lab 3, Scientific Method (Daphnia Lab). If you were
absent for the Daphnia Lab, it is your responsibility to talk to your classmates and get the data
needed for the lab. I will not accept failure to attend the lab as an excuse for failure to complete this
A formal lab report is the principle way scientific data are presented to the rest of the scientific
community and preserved for future examination. Each scientific journal has its own way of
formatting, but the most common elements of a scientific report, in order of presentation, are:
 Title
 List of Authors
 Abstract (Optional, 1 pt added to any quiz)
 Introduction (at least 3-5 sentences)
 Materials (and Methods)- (“Methods” are optional, 1 pt added to any quiz)
 Results, including figures and tables (at least one graph and one table required)
 Discussion (at least 3-5 sentences)
 ReferencesThe requirements for each section are outlined below. This information is given in the order that you
might actually write your report rather than the order in which the parts are presented in the final

The authors will be your lab mates with whom you completed the lab. Since each of you will submit
your own report, questions about who the authors will be, in what order, and what responsibilities
each will have are moot. However you should list the name of your partners on your report since they
contributed to the work.

Sequencing and comparison of yeast species to
identify genes and regulatory elements
Manolis Kellis, Nick Patterson, Matthew Endrizzi, Bruce Birren
& Eric S. Lander

The abstract is a very short summary (5-7 sentences) of what the question is, what you found, and
why it may be important.
Many plants in Australia have their seeds
buried in order for the species to survive
fires. The seeds start to germinate under
the soil at certain temperatures. Seeds
of Acacia terminalis and Dillwynia
floribunda were examined in this
experiment. It was hypothesized that
the seeds need heat for the germination
to start. Seeds of the two species were
treated in hot and cold water and left to
start germinating. Acacia terminalis
showed a significant response in
germination after the hot water
treatment while Dillwynia floribunda did
not. Neither seed showed a response in
germination after cold water treatment.
The results for Dillwynia floribunda were
unexpected but may be explained by
factors such as water temperature and
the length of time the seeds remained in
the heated water.

Outline of what was
investigated in this


Summary of Method

Summary of Results

Introduce what your question is. Explain why someone should find this interesting. Summarize what
is currently known about the topic. Introduce a little of what you found and how you found it. You
should explain any ideas or techniques that are necessary for someone to understand your results
section. At the end, you should restate your hypothesis.

Figures and Tables: At least one (1) Table and one (1) graph are required
Some readers begin by scanning the figures first. Graphs or illustrations, collectively called figures,
are used to present numerical trends, raw data (like a picture of a slide), or a model that explains your
work. The figures should provide a self-explanatory overview of your data.
Tables are used to present repetitive data that is numerical (Hint: refer to your lab manual exercise
for your tables!). You may neatly draw your table into your report, or create it using a computer
program such as Microsoft Excel, Word, etc.


To write the results section, use the figures and tables as a guide. Start by outlining, in point form,
what you found, going slowly through each part of the figures. Then take the points and group them
into paragraphs, and finally order the points within each paragraph. Present the data as fully as
possible, including stuff that at the moment does not quite make sense.
Verbs in the results section are usually in the past tense. Only established scientific knowledge is
written about in the present tense, “the world is round,” for example. You cannot presume that your
own data are part of the body of established scientific knowledge, and so when you describe your
own results, use the past tense. If it were true, you may write “Daphnia’s heart rate increased in cold
temperatures,” for example. There are, however, exceptions to this general rule. It is acceptable to
say, “Table 3 shows the different heart rates of Daphnia”. It is also acceptable to say, “In a 1979
paper, Ebright and coworkers used a microscope to visualize Daphnia’s heart.”

Materials (and Methods)
The Materials (and Methods) section should be written in the past tense, since your experiments are
completed at the time you are writing your report.
This is like a cooking recipe. Include enough detail so that someone can repeat the experiment. It is
important that the reader be able to interpret the results knowing the context in which they were

Methods are simply how the experiments were carried out. Include the independent, dependent and
control variables.


This is the section of the paper for you to show off your understanding of the data. You should
summarize what you found. Explain how this relates to what others have found. Explain the


The title should be short (no more than 10 words), interesting, and it should describe what you found.


Table result
Conrtol =111.97

1% =133.3
3% = 125.5
5% = 106
1% =104
2% =0
2% =146.67
10% = 144.65

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