- Title Page – This page must include the title of your report, your name, course name, instructor, and date submitted.
- Abstract – This section should provide a brief summary of the methods, results, and conclusions. It should allow the reader to see what was done, how it was done, and the results. It should not exceed 200 words and should be the last part written (although it should still appear right after the title page).
- Introduction – This section should include background information on water quality and an overview of why the experiment was conducted. It should first contain background information of similar studies previously conducted. This is accomplished by citing existing literature from similar experiments. Secondly, it should provide an objective or a reason why the experiment is being done. Why do we want to know the answer to the question we are asking? Finally, it should end with all three hypotheses from your Week Two experiments. These hypotheses should not be adjusted to reflect the “right” answer. Simply place your previous hypotheses in the report here. You do not lose points for an inaccurate hypothesis; scientists often revise their hypotheses based on scientific evidence following the experiments.
- Materials and Methods – This section should provide a detailed description of the materials used in your experiment and how they were used. A step-by-step rundown of your experiment is necessary; however, it should be done in paragraph form, not in a list format. The description should be exact enough to allow for someone reading the report to replicate the experiment, however, it should be in your own words and not simply copied and pasted from the lab manual.
- Results – This section should include the data and observations from the experiment. All tables and graphs should be present in this section. In addition to the tables, you must describe the data in text; however, there should be no personal opinions or discussion outside of the results located within this area.
- Discussion – This section should interpret your data and provide conclusions. Discuss the meanings of your findings in this area. Was your hypothesis accepted or rejected, and how are you able to determine this? Did the results generate any future questions that might benefit from a new experiment? Were there any outside factors (i.e., temperature, contaminants, time of day) that affected your results? If so, how could you control for these in the future?
- Conclusions – This section should provide a brief summary of your work.
- References – List references used in APA format as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center.
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