formal lab report for anatomy class

Writing a Methods Section

The methods section is usually the easiest part of the lab report to write. It is also very short! The purpose of the methods section is to give enough information so that someone else can read your methods and repeat the experiment. Pertinent details should be included, such as final concentrations of testing chemicals, how long were the paramecia incubated for before being measured or imaged? How were the cells imaged and measured? A few other tips:

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1) Should be written in the past tense.

2) Should have section headers.

3) SHOULD NOT be a list of the supplies used in the experiment (like this):

Materials needed (per 4 member teams):

1.5mL flip-top tubes

3 glass vials

Forceps

10 mL pipette and ratchet dispenser (demonstration of use will take place)

Micropipetters and tips: a 2 to 20 µl, 20 to 200 µl and a 200µl to 1000 µl

Pre-punched filter discs

Timer

Phosphate buffer (pH 7)

1% H 2 O 2 in dark bottle

Flask of potato extract on ice This is your 100% stock of enzyme

Computer with Excel spreadsheet software for graphing
The methods section should be a brief, concise explanation of what you did. The methods should include a description of the experimental treatments and the sample size for each trial. You should describe the dependent and independent variables.

The Bio305 Paramecium Lab Report Methods Section should have (at least) the following section headers:

– Culturing Paramecium

– Stock Solutions

– Experimental Set Up

– Analysis

Each of these should be a section of the materials and methods – and you may have more than this! Let’s help get you started:

Methods

Culturing Paramecium

Stock cultures of Paramecium tetraurelia were maintained at ___________. Each week, sterile wheat medium {see the lab manual to fill in the ingredients here} was inoculated with ______________. The bacteria were grown overnight at _______°C. The following day, __________µL of 1-week-old paramecia were added to the fresh cultures. All experiments were done using _______ old paramecia.

Stock Solution(s)

(Do not include a list of materials or a Table)

A stock solution of _______________ was used. (Or __________ was used for all experiments obtained from_________.) Describe the final concentrations that were used. It is up to the reader to figure out how they want to set up to copy your experiment. Describe the control that was used if necessary.

Experimental Set-Up

How many mL of paramecia did you use for the experiments? What were the controls? When were you observing cells? What concentrations were used (this can include concentrations that killed everything).

And continue writing from here…..

Methods sections do not typically include figures or Tables – everything should be written out.

Here is sample of a materials and methods section from California State University, Bakersfield:

METHODS

We used eight sterile petri dishes with filter paper as the germination substrate for all wheat seeds. Six of the petri dishes were watered with different concentrations of salinity. Two of the petri dishes were watered with distilled water. Each petri dish contained five seeds and was watered with 1 ml of solution twice a day. The wheat seeds were allowed seven days for germination and seedling growth. Following the seven-day treatments we calculated the percent germination and measured the growth of any seedlings. The seedling growth was measured from the base of the stem to the top of the stem, excluding leaf length. A comparison of means test was used to identify differences between treatments.

————————————————————————————————————————————

A special note about using Paramecium, paramecia. and when to use these different forms:

Proper Latin name is Paramecium tetraurelia or P. tetraurelia (should always be italicized or underlined). Use this form when you are talking about the species as a whole.

The use of paramecia is reserved for talking about a “population of cells” – it is plural. Here are some examples:

P. tetraurelia are single-celled eukaryotes that live in ponds and lakes. These cells are commonly used in laboratories because paramecia are easy to maintain and manipulate. Paramecium tetraurelia can be easily viewed using a dissecting microscope and are approximately 100 – 200 µm in length. Paramecium is shaped liked a slipper and rotates while it swims through its media because of how the cilia beat.

09/08/08 (plattsburgh.edu)
Example Results_Sp20.pdf (plattsburgh.edu)

Writing a Methods Section

The methods section is usually the easiest part of the lab report to write. It is also very short! The purpose of the methods section is to give enough information so that someone else can read your methods and repeat the experiment. Pertinent details should be included, such as final concentrations of testing chemicals, how long were the paramecia incubated for before being measured or imaged? How were the cells imaged and measured? A few other tips:

1) Should be written in the past tense.

2) Should have section headers.

3) SHOULD NOT be a list of the supplies used in the experiment (like this):

Materials needed (per 4 member teams):

1.5mL flip-top tubes

3 glass vials

Forceps

10 mL pipette and ratchet dispenser (demonstration of use will take place)

Micropipetters and tips: a 2 to 20 µl, 20 to 200 µl and a 200µl to 1000 µl

Pre-punched filter discs

Timer

Phosphate buffer (pH 7)

1% H 2 O 2 in dark bottle

Flask of potato extract on ice This is your 100% stock of enzyme

Computer with Excel spreadsheet software for graphing
The methods section should be a brief, concise explanation of what you did. The methods should include a description of the experimental treatments and the sample size for each trial. You should describe the dependent and independent variables.

The Bio305 Paramecium Lab Report Methods Section should have (at least) the following section headers:

– Culturing Paramecium

– Stock Solutions

– Experimental Set Up

– Analysis

Each of these should be a section of the materials and methods – and you may have more than this! Let’s help get you started:

Methods

Culturing Paramecium

Stock cultures of Paramecium tetraurelia were maintained at ___________. Each week, sterile wheat medium {see the lab manual to fill in the ingredients here} was inoculated with ______________. The bacteria were grown overnight at _______°C. The following day, __________µL of 1-week-old paramecia were added to the fresh cultures. All experiments were done using _______ old paramecia.

Stock Solution(s)

(Do not include a list of materials or a Table)

A stock solution of _______________ was used. (Or __________ was used for all experiments obtained from_________.) Describe the final concentrations that were used. It is up to the reader to figure out how they want to set up to copy your experiment. Describe the control that was used if necessary.

Experimental Set-Up

How many mL of paramecia did you use for the experiments? What were the controls? When were you observing cells? What concentrations were used (this can include concentrations that killed everything).

And continue writing from here…..

Methods sections do not typically include figures or Tables – everything should be written out.

Here is sample of a materials and methods section from California State University, Bakersfield:

METHODS

We used eight sterile petri dishes with filter paper as the germination substrate for all wheat seeds. Six of the petri dishes were watered with different concentrations of salinity. Two of the petri dishes were watered with distilled water. Each petri dish contained five seeds and was watered with 1 ml of solution twice a day. The wheat seeds were allowed seven days for germination and seedling growth. Following the seven-day treatments we calculated the percent germination and measured the growth of any seedlings. The seedling growth was measured from the base of the stem to the top of the stem, excluding leaf length. A comparison of means test was used to identify differences between treatments.

————————————————————————————————————————————

A special note about using Paramecium, paramecia. and when to use these different forms:

Proper Latin name is Paramecium tetraurelia or P. tetraurelia (should always be italicized or underlined). Use this form when you are talking about the species as a whole.

The use of paramecia is reserved for talking about a “population of cells” – it is plural. Here are some examples:

P. tetraurelia are single-celled eukaryotes that live in ponds and lakes. These cells are commonly used in laboratories because paramecia are easy to maintain and manipulate. Paramecium tetraurelia can be easily viewed using a dissecting microscope and are approximately 100 – 200 µm in length. Paramecium is shaped liked a slipper and rotates while it swims through its media because of how the cilia beat.

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