Materials and Methods When writing a lab report, it is often a good idea to begin by writing the Materials and Methods section. This section is usually very straightforward, and writing it first helps many people establish the proper thought process and understanding of the work that will allow the rest of the report to flow more smoothly.
The content represents the researcher's interpretation of meaning found in data that has been gathered during one or more observational events. How to Approach Writing a Field Report How to Begin Field reports are most often assigned in disciplines of the applied social sciences [e.
Field reports are also common in certain science disciplines [e. Professors will assign a field report with the intention of improving your understanding of key theoretical concepts through a method of careful and structured observation of, and reflection about, people, places, or things existing in their natural settings.
Field reports facilitate the development of data collection techniques and observation skills and they help you to understand how theory applies to real world situations. Field reports are also an opportunity to obtain evidence through methods of observing professional practice that contribute to or challenge existing theories.
We are all observers of people, their interactions, places, and events; however, your responsibility when writing a field report is to create a research study based on data generated by the act of designing a specific study, deliberate observation, a synthesis of key findings, and an interpretation of their meaning.
When writing a field report you need to: Systematically observe and accurately record the varying aspects of a situation.
Always approach your field study with a detailed plan about what you will observe, where you should conduct your observations, and the method by which you will collect and record your data. Continuously analyze your observations.
Always look for the meaning underlying the actions you observe. What's going on here? What does this observed activity mean? What else does this relate to? Note that this is an on-going process of reflection and analysis taking place for the duration of your field research.
Recording what you observe should not be done randomly or haphazardly; you must be focused and pay attention to details. Enter the observation site [i. Consciously observe, record, and analyze what you hear and see in the context of a theoretical framework.
This is what separates data gatherings from simple reporting. The theoretical framework guiding your field research should determine what, when, and how you observe and act as the foundation from which you interpret your findings.
Techniques to Record Your Observations Although there is no limit to the type of data gathering technique you can use, these are the most frequently used methods: Note Taking This is the most commonly used and easiest method of recording your observations.
Tips for taking notes include: See drop-down tab for additional information about note-taking. Photography With the advent of smart phones, high quality photographs can be taken of the objects, events, and people observed during a field study. Photographs can help capture an important moment in time as well as document details about the space where your observation takes place.
Taking a photograph can save you time in documenting the details of a space that would otherwise require extensive note taking. However, be aware that flash photography could undermine your ability to observe unobtrusively so assess the lighting in your observation space; if it's too dark, you may need to rely on taking notes.
Also, you should reject the idea that photographs are some sort of "window into the world" because this assumption creates the risk of over-interpreting what they show. As with any product of data gathering, you are the sole instrument of interpretation and meaning-making, not the object itself.
Video and Audio Recordings Video or audio recording your observations has the positive effect of giving you an unfiltered record of the observation event.
It also facilitates repeated analysis of your observations. This can be particularly helpful as you gather additional information or insights during your research. However, these techniques have the negative effect of increasing how intrusive you are as an observer and will often not be practical or even allowed under certain circumstances [e.
This can also take the form of rough tables or graphs documenting the frequency and type of activities observed. These can be subsequently placed in a more readable format when you write your field report. To save time, draft a table [i. You may consider using a laptop or other electronic device to record your notes as you observe, but keep in mind the possibility that the clicking of keys while you type or noises from your device can be obtrusive, whereas writing your notes on paper is relatively quiet and unobtrusive.
Always assess your presence in the setting where you're gathering the data so as to minimize your impact on the subject or phenomenon being studied. Techniques of observation and data gathering are not innate skills; they are skills that must be learned and practiced in order to achieve proficiency.
Before your first observation, practice the technique you plan to use in a setting similar to your study site [e. When the act of data gathering counts, you'll be glad you practiced beforehand.In high school, hands-on labs teach students about scientific procedures and method.
A crucial part of a lab is the proper writing of a lab report.
Fly lab report p. SAMPLE LAB REPORT Perception of Different Sugars by Blowflies by Alexander Hamilton Biology October 24, Lab Partners: Sharon Flynn, Andi Alexander Fly lab Fly lab report p.
off properly before the test. Flies taste food with specific cells on their tarsal hairs. Each hair has, in addition to a mechanoreceptor.
Unlike an essay, a report has a formalised structure. Taking into account disciplinary differences, scientific or laboratory reports written by undergraduates share the same format as scientific reports written by academics for publication. Mar 27, · How to write a Science Practical report.
This is by no means an extensive guide, just a good introduction for students to use. Cameron Sparkes - February Example Report.
Warning: copying any part of this student example report is plagiarism. Recombinant DNA Technology: A student’s first practical application using the Escherichia coli host, the pBluscript IISK+ cloning vector, and the bacteriophage lambda insert..
Department of Biochemistry, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia. SAMPLE LAB REPORT. The Optimal Foraging Theory: Food Selection in Beavers Based on Tree Species, Size, and Distance Laboratory 1, Ecology Abstract.