Included in the Abstract are the purpose or primary objectives of the experiment and why they are important, a brief description of the methods and approach used, key findings and the significance of the results, and how this work is different from the work of others. It is important to note that the Abstract briefly explains the implications of the findings, but does not evaluate the conclusions. Often this section is written last to ensure it accurately reflects the content of the paper.
Generally, the optimal length of the Abstract is one paragraph between and words, and does not contain references or abbreviations. All new research can be categorized by field e. Many areas already contain a large volume of published research. The role of the Introduction is to place the new research within the context of previous studies in the particular field and area, thereby introducing the audience to the research and motivating the audience to continue reading.
Usually, the writer begins by describing what is known in the area that directly relates to the subject of the article's research. Clearly, this must be done judiciously; usually there is not room to describe every bit of information that is known.
Each statement needs one or more references from the scientific literature that supports its validity. Students must be reminded to cite all references to eliminate the risk of plagiarism. In doing so, the scientist provides the rationale for the research and further develops why this research is important.
The final statement in the Introduction should be a clearly worded hypothesis or thesis statement, as well as a brief summary of the findings as they relate to the stated hypothesis.
Keep in mind that the details of the experimental findings are presented in the Results section and are aimed at filling the void in our knowledge base that has been pointed out in the Introduction.
Research utilizes various accepted methods to obtain the results that are to be shared with others in the scientific community.
The quality of the results, therefore, depends completely upon the quality of the methods that are employed and the care with which they are applied.
The reader will refer to the Methods section: It is particularly important to keep in mind item b. Since science deals with the objective properties of the physical and biological world, it is a basic axiom that these properties are independent of the scientist who reported them.
Everyone should be able to measure or observe the same properties within error, if they do the same experiment using the same materials and procedures. In science, one does the same experiment by exactly repeating the experiment that has been described in the Methods section.
Therefore, someone can only repeat an experiment accurately if all the relevant details of the experimental methods are clearly described. The following information is important to include under illustrative headings, and is generally presented in narrative form.
A detailed list of all the materials used in the experiments and, if important, their source should be described. These include biological agents e. The reader needs to know as much as necessary about each of the materials; however, it is important not to include extraneous information. For example, consider an experiment involving zebrafish. The type and characteristics of the zebrafish used must be clearly described so another scientist could accurately replicate the experiment, such as 4—6-month-old male and female zebrafish, the type of zebrafish used e.
In addition to describing the physical set-up of the experiment, it may be helpful to include photographs or diagrams in the report to further illustrate the experimental design.
A thorough description of each procedure done in the reported experiment, and justification as to why a particular method was chosen to most effectively answer the research question should also be included. For example, if the scientist was using zebrafish to study developmental effects of nicotine, the reader needs to know details about how and when the zebrafish were exposed to the nicotine e. The reader would also need to know the concentrations to which the zebrafish were exposed, how the scientist observed the effects of the chemical exposure e.
Students must take great care and effort to write a good Methods section because it is an essential component of the effective communication of scientific findings. The Results section describes in detail the actual experiments that were undertaken in a clear and well-organized narrative.
The information found in the Methods section serves as background for understanding these descriptions and does not need to be repeated. For each different experiment, the author may wish to provide a subtitle and, in addition, one or more introductory sentences that explains the reason for doing the experiment. In a sense, this information is an extension of the Introduction in that it makes the argument to the reader why it is important to do the experiment.
The Introduction is more general; this text is more specific. Once the reader understands the focus of the experiment, the writer should restate the hypothesis to be tested or the information sought in the experiment.
It is important to understand whether it affects organisms that are normally found in soil. We decided to use worms as a test organism because they are important members of the soil community. Because atrazine damages nerve cells, we hypothesized that exposure to atrazine will inhibit the ability of worms to do locomotor activities.
In the first experiment, we tested the effect of the chemical on burrowing action. Then, the experiments to be done are described and the results entered. In reporting on experimental design, it is important to identify the dependent and independent variables clearly, as well as the controls. The results must be shown in a way that can be reproduced by the reader, but do not include more details than needed for an effective analysis.
Generally, meaningful and significant data are gathered together into tables and figures that summarize relevant information, and appropriate statistical analyses are completed based on the data gathered. Besides presenting each of these data sources, the author also provides a written narrative of the contents of the figures and tables, as well as an analysis of the statistical significance.
In the narrative, the writer also connects the results to the aims of the experiment as described above. Did the results support the initial hypothesis? Do they provide the information that was sought? Describe the process of preparation of the sample, specifications of the instruments used and techniques employed.
The Method should include such things as sample size, apparatus or equipment used, experimental conditions, concentrations, times, controls etc. While the Method does not need to include minute details e. Do not keep using the word "then" - the reader will understand that the steps were carried out in the order in which they are written.
Massive quantities of data or raw data not refined statistically can be presented in appendices. The Results section should be written in the past tense and passive voice, avoiding the use of "I" and "we". State your interpretation of your findings, perhaps comparing or contrasting them with the literature. Reflect on your actual data and observations. Explain or rationalise errant data or describe possible sources of error and how they may have affected the outcome.
The Discussion must answer the question "What do the results mean? If appropriate, suggest how to improve the procedure, and what additional experiments or research would be helpful.
Cite any references that you have used, ensuring that each item in the reference list has an in-text citation, and every in-text citation has a full reference in the reference list at the end of your paper. If a scientific report is being prepared for an employer or client, the following additional elements may be included:.
A formal covering letter if the the report is for someone outside your organisation or memo if the report is for someone within your organisation which accompanies the report will include the following:. Because the readers of the report will not necessarily be scientists, the Executive Summary should be in simple language, avoiding the use of technical jargon. If the report is of an investigative nature, the final section after Conclusion will be any recommendations that you make on the basis of the scientific results.
Elements of laboratory report writing. Writing a Scientific Report A scientific report is a document that describes the process, progress, and or results of technical or scientific research or the state of a technical or scientific research problem. Title of the report: Usually words in length. Should be short, specific and descriptive, containing the keywords of the report.
Always publish under the same name. Indicate the corresponding author and their contact details. The date when the paper was submitted. Table of Contents A Table of Contents is only required for length reports usually 6 pages or more. Uses present tense for the existing body of facts. Uses past tense for the completed research. Defines specialised terminology and abbreviations.
A well-written abstract can be achieved by following these steps: Write a sentence making a broad statement about the topic of research. Write a sentence or two focusing more narrowly on the particular intent of the research. Several sentences indicating the problem to be solved and the hypothesis that was posed. Write a very brief statement describing the methodology. Write several concise sentences indicating which variables were explored and compared and if the data obtained supported the hypothesis.
These sentences summarise the results and discussion sections of your research project. Write a sentence that gives the conclusions of the research work and a statement of the direction for future research. Put all of these sentences into a paragraph. Introduction The introduction should outline why you are interested in this area, what is already known about the topic, what you will be investigating, and your research question hypothesis. The introduction should provide all of the background information required to understand the topic of research and should include: Results The results should include a written explanation of the major findings in paragraph form, and date presented as graphs, charts, tables and pictures.
Discussion The discussion is one of the most important parts of a student research project. There are three main parts to a discussion: Explanation of Major Findings sentences to summarise your results. Are there any anomalies in the results? Can you explain these? Can you explain the trends or patterns in your results? Try to use some scientific ideas to help you explain what happened. Did your results support your hypothesis? How do your results relate to what was known in this area? Do you your results agree with what you learnt from your references?
How are they the same? How are they different? How do your results contribute to the body of knowledge in this area?
Formatting Science Reports. This section describes an organizational structure commonly used to report experimental research in many scientific disciplines, the IMRAD .
Increasingly, especially in the social sciences, using first person and active voice is acceptable in scientific reports. Most readers find that this style of writing conveys information more clearly and concisely. This rhetorical choice thus brings two scientific values into conflict: objectivity versus clarity.
Writing a scientific report A scientific report should conform to the following general arrangement: Title. Abstract. Introduction. Materials and Methods. In this workshop we will Review purpose and qualities of scientific writing Look at the component parts of the lab report – structure and format.
Writing a Scientific Report A scientific report is a document that describes the process, progress, and or results of technical or scientific research or the state of a technical or scientific research problem. As kids learn to use the scientific method to discover the world around them, keep in mind that the goal of a science report is to explore what exactly the student learned during the experiment. Write down what you hope to prove in your experiment. State your hypothesis .