Major Assignment Instructions – Laboratory Report
This assessment task involves writing of a laboratory report in a form of a scientific paper. Students are required to select ONE of the following topics from laboratory sessions:
1. Characteristics of Selected Protein Food Sources OR
2. Milk and Milk Products
Each laboratory report topic is weighed equally.
Please follow the marking criteria as identified in the document Marking Scheme for Laboratory reports.
The laboratory report should be organised into the following sections; Abstract, Introduction, Materials and Methods, Results, Discussion and References. The report should not be longer than 2000±200 words (Excluding the Abstract or References), and format should use line spacing 1.5 and report should be written using size 12 font Times New Roman.
Briefly, Abstract (although not included in the final word count still has to be written) should provide clear statement of major and specific objectives with the brief outline of methods used and key quantitative results reported. This section should also provide a one sentence conclusion of the study.
The Introduction section should provide a brief but adequately referenced background to the report in which the significance of the project is clearly defined. This section is not a complete review and should contain background necessary to conduct the experiment as well as aims and objectives.
Methods section is a summary of essential experimental procedures (verbatim reproduction of the instructions in manual is not allowed) and this section needs to be referenced adequately including the Laboratory notes. In particular, any changes to the published procedures (of the laboratory notes) are to be included. The purpose of this section is to provide enough information and detail to allow a competent worker in the field to reproduce the experiment.
Result section could include all three forms of data representation (text, table and figure) [Note; this does not mean that you have to include all three types of data representation, but you do have to represent data somehow]. A series of tables or figures presented by themselves is insufficient. The text following each data set should summarise quantitative data and observations presented in the data set (tables, figures as appropriate). The author’s interpretation of the data should always be described in the text, but results are not to be discussed at this stage. In this section use of simple statistical analysis may also be utilised to evaluate whether treatments are real or due to the biological variation. Figures and tables have to include title and number (Figure 1, Table 1…). Figures should be accompanied by a figure legend (which includes the title of the figure) placed beneath the figure and clearly distinguishable from the main text of the results section. Tables should have a title placed above the table and tables should not be broken across the pages.
Discussion should discuss the obtained results highlighting any important findings and any inadequacies of the data. Referral to the literature to support the arguments is essential as well as addressing of the aims presented in the introduction section. This section is to be completed with a final sentence (or two) presenting overall conclusion of the experiment with the reference to the original aims. The concluding paragraph should not include references.
References used should be in accordance to Vancouver style.