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Research Lab Report 1: Research Methods, Context and Question
This report will contain the information listed below. The page limits for the text are exclusive of figures, tables and references.
Title: A concise statement of your research topic
List of Research Methods (Table)
Include the table of methods used by your researchers that has already been submitted to your TA. This table should be approximately 1 page long and follow the format below. Indicate which methods are standard to microbiology (and hence don't require references), which are typical and familiar to you, unusual or particularly critical to the reported research (provide a reference). One of the critical methods will be described in this report.
1N/A means Not Applicable. This method is standard to microbiology.
2This method is particularly critical to the reported research and is therefore described below.
For example, in the table above (1) might refer to appropriate pages in Gerhardt's Methods for General and Molecular Bacteriology, (2) might refer to Gerhardt's book again, or to Freifelder's Physical Biochemistry: Applications to Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, (3) might refer to a document provided online by Qiagen Inc., (4) might refer to a journal article that describes a particular protein assay and (5) might refer to a relevant volume of Methods in Enzymology or a journal article. If a method is described fully in the article you are analyzing, your article can be used as the citation for that method. Please do not cite undergraduate lab manuals as they are not published documents.
Explanation of a Research Method (up to 2 pages of text)
Explain the method that you selected during Lab 3 by answering these questions:
Usually diagrams help to explain research methods. You may include diagrams in your report (and they are not included in your page limit!).
In writing this explanation, imagine that you are answering the questions above for a student colleague who is not familiar with the selected method. For examples of explanations like the one you will write, see Lehninger, Principles of Biochemistry, 5th Edition (Working with Proteins) or the explanations of research methods provided by the reference books cited in Lab 3. Also, think about the best lab manuals provided during your undergraduate studies. Your goal will be to write such an explanation of the most important/novel method used by your authors, in your own words.
Research Context and Question(s) (up to 5.5 pages of text)
Summarize the intellectual and human contexts of the research reported in your article, including answers to all the questions considered during labs 4 and 5. Use no less than 2 pages to discuss the research literature relevant to the work (the intellectual context). Using up to 1/2 page of text, state the questions asked/hypotheses tested by the authors of your article.
List the references cited in your report, using Journal of Bacteriology format. Marks will be deducted if the reference citation format is incorrect. Remember that this is a reference list, not a bibliography – every item in your reference list must be cited in the text of your Report. Check the Project Orientation page to make sure that you are citing references correctly and avoiding plagiarism (a serious academic offense).
The report must be typed, double spaced and with 2 cm margins, using a font that is no smaller than 12 point. It should include a title page (title, article citation and your name), up to 7.5 additional pages of text, excluding tables, figures and reference list. The pages must be numbered, with the title page as page 1.
A hard copy of your report (not an electronic file) must be delivered to Dr. Wood by the dealine specified on Courselink. Electronic submissions will not be accepted. This deadline will be extended only if you provide appropriate documentation (otherwise a grade of zero will be assigned). Computer problems are not an acceptable basis for deferral, so take care to back up your work!
Click here for examples.
Click here to see how your report will be graded.
Revised December 2012
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