TENSE:In all sections of the paper, present tense should be used to report background that is already established. For example, "The cell membrane is the barrier which separates the inside of the cell from the outside." Use future tense for work that you will do. For example, "This experiment will test the hypothesis that some anti-microbial agents can permeate the cell membrane during division to inhibit growth." Use past tense to describe the methods (what you did) and results of your experiment. A "Table of Contents" is not necessary. Use a regular font such as Ariel or Times New Roman at 12 size font and double spaced.
Headings show organization and identify the topic for a section or a block of information. Capital letters, underlining, point size, and position on the page help to differentiate rank or level. For example, note how the headings of this document are uppercase and bolded. Use headings for the main sections: Introduction, Materials and Methods, Results, Discussion, and Literature Cited.
Your name, date, and title of the paper should be on a cover page, and not on any other part of the paper. Your title should be specific in describing the experiment you performed. For example, "Effects of a Variety of Anti-microbial Agents on Four Bacterial Cultures" is much more interesting than just "Anti-microbial Agents". In other words, “Pond Water” is not specific enough.
ABSTRACT: A paragraph summary of the paper. See lab manual for more directions.
Keep the introduction brief, but do present appropriate background information as well as indicate the purpose of the experiments performed. Make sure that the reader knows enough to appreciate the relevance of the work and why it is appropriate to ask the question that you will address with your study. Always state the hypothesis/prediction in your introduction. Steps for Introduction: 1.What is a pond?
2.What types of organisms can live in a pond?
a.e.g. Green algae are common inhabitants of ponds (author, date). b.Just list a few organisms from each group.
3.What factors determine which organisms will live in a specific pond? a.Dissolved oxygen levels and pH levels are important factors that limit which species can survive in different ponds (author, date). 4.Purpose of the experiment and statement of the question and hypothesis – e.g. This experiment was conducted to see how the chemical and physical properties of a pond can determine the organisms living. If dissolved oxygen levels remain high then organisms will thrive in pond water. 5.There should be a lot of references to sources in this section (examples in steps 2 and 3). 6.There’s some info in the back of your lab manual that might apply here.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
You must document all methods performed in your study. Do not, under any circumstances, report methods word-for-word from any of the written sources you used. You need to summarize, in your own words, what you did. Also, do not give unneeded detail. For example, instead of "I took up a drop of pond water from a 5 ml tube with a 2 ml plastic pipette and expelled it onto the surface of a microscope slide", write "Wet mount slides containing one drop of pond water were made.” We can also see that in this latter sentence passive voice was used to report methods, a standard for most scientific publications. To give another example, one would write "Cultures were maintained at 37°C." instead of "We grew the cultures at 37°C.". Steps for Materials and Methods: 1.List the materials used.
2.When, where and how did you collect the sample?
3.How was the sample stored for the duration of the experiment? a.E.g. Pond water samples were stored under grow lights at ambient temperature in the biology lab for the duration of the experiment. 4.What measurements did you take every week and how did you do it? 5.How did you monitor changes in the...