Unknown reports in microbiology are written in scientific format. Scientific writing is written
differently from other types of writing. The results of the exercise or experiment are what are being
showcased, not the writing. The purpose of scientific writing is not to entertain, but to inform. The
writing should be simple and easy to understand. There is a specific style that must be followed
when writing scientific reports.
Scientific writing is typically written in the passive voice. The pronouns "I", "We" and "They" are
not typically used.. For example, instead of writing "I used a TSA agar plate to isolate my
unknown," it is customary to write, "A trypticase soy agar (TSA) plate was used to isolate the
It is also customary to write in the past tense for most of the report. This includes the introduction,
the summary, the description of the materials and methods and the results. The present tense is
reserved for the conclusions about the results. See the examples given below.
Some other general rules that should be followed are:
Microbial nomenclature: The name of the bacterium should written and spelled correctly. The name
should be italicized or underlined. Italicized is preferred. For example, Staphylococcus aureus.
The genus is capitalized but the species is not. After the full genus name is given in the paper, it can
be written as S. aureus, but still italicized. This is as long as there in no other genera in the paper
that starts with the same letter.
PARTS TO THE UNKNOWN LAB REPORT
(Note: Other than the title page, the pages of the report must be numbered)
There should always be a title page and should include the following information:
EXAMPLE OF TITLE PAGE
Title should be centered and at the top or in the middle of the page
UNKNOWN LAB REPORT # 1
This information should be centered and at the bottom... [continues]
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