General Guidelines for Writing your BCMB 4960/4970 Report
Goal:A major goal of this course is to effectively communicate your scientific findings in writing as they relate to a central hypothesis. As such, an 8-page report that describes your research is due at the end of the semester. This report constitutes 25% of your grade.
Tip:Begin writing early. Follow the instructions outlined below and on the BCMB undergraduate webpage (http://www.bmb.uga.edu/students/undergraduate-program).
Timeline:The following schedule, which begins four weeks from the end of classes, is strongly recommended for students writing their first report:
Detailed Instructions for Specific Sections
Title and Cover Page– Create a few informative and descriptive titles. Select the most appropriate title after completing the document. Include the name(s) of all the contributing authors and the site/department where the work was done. The Cover page should include the following:
Note: the cover page does not count toward the 8 page minimum!
Summary– This section is a concise description (less than 300 words) of your research project and findings. Define the scientific problem, principal objective, methodology, results, and conclusions of your study. If applicable, explain the implications of your work to future research. This section should be clear enough to be readily understood by a general reader with some scientific background. Although this section is the first one in the body of the report, write this section last, after you’ve formulated your ideas for the rest of the paper.
Introduction– The introduction is meant to familiarize the reader with the scientific area you are studying. In doing so, you should provide a foundation for describing the overall importance of the specific problem you are addressing. State your hypothesis(es) and/or objective(s), and describe the reasoning behind them. Describe your model system and its advantages over other approaches.
Experimental Methods– Concisely describe all of the specialized and general methods used in your study so that another individual could potentially use the information to repeat and verify your observations. This section should not be a step-by-step instruction manual. Include the names of specialized chemicals, biological materials, and/or other equipment or supplies not typically used by laboratories. Do not include general laboratory supplies and/or equipment. If your project involved the use of buffers and/or solutions, include the final concentrations of all ingredients and final pH (applicable to buffered solutions). If a well-documented procedure was used as method, provide a brief general description along with a reference to the original procedure. Determining what to include or exclude may not be easy for you to determine without experience. A good rule of thumb is to ask your peers if they’ve heard of a particular method. If so, you can consider not including detailed descriptions of these methods (i.e., SDS-PAGE, agarose gel electrophoresis, PCR,etc.)
Results– This section should represent an objective view of your results; reserve all data interpretation for the discussion. You should refer to figures, tables, and other data presentation formats to effectively communicate your results. Use the text to point the reader to the most relevant observations. In this section, you should also describe the results of control experiments and observations that are not presented as part of a formal figure or table. Do not use raw data as your figures. Also, mark your figures with appropriate identifying labels; improperly labeled figures are impossible to evaluate. All figures and tables are part of the appendix of the report and should be placed at the end of the report. The minimum page limit for the report does not include Figures and Tables.
Discussion– This section provides an opportunity to interpret your findings as they support (or contest) your hypothesis(es) and objective(s). Do not simply restate your results. If you believe that your results are supportive, describe your rationale for this conclusion and describe follow-up experiments that may be necessary. If your results contest your hypothesis, explain possible alternative hypotheses and how you might go about experimentally testing your new hypothesis(es). If your results are inconclusive, describe alternative methodologies that could be used to come to a final conclusion regarding your hypotheses. Keeping in mind that one study will not necessarily answer an overall question, where does your study lead you next? What questions remain? Be creative, and don’t be afraid to speculate.
References– Cite articles that the instructor provides or that you find for yourself that are relevant to your study. Use the “author, date” format, and list referenced articles in alphabetical order at the end of the report. Use only primary literature (original research articles authored by the original investigators) and/or reviews. Do not use a web site as a reference ! If you prefer to use bibliography software, keep in mind that the UGA library has a site license for EndNote (seehttp://www.libs.uga.edu/liaison/endnote/endnote.html for details). Software distribution is slated to begin Spring 2005.
Figures and Tables– Each figure must be numbered consecutively and be associated with a figure legend that briefly describes the method(s) used to generate the data. Tables should have clear and descriptive headers.
General Formatting Considerations- Follow the specifications described below and in the course description:
- Font – 12 point Arial, Helvetica, Palantino, Times, or Times New Roman
- Length – 8 pages, double-spaced (not including figures, tables, reference list, cover page)
- Margins – 1 inch (top, bottom, and sides)
- Page #s – top right or anywhere on the bottom
- Page Breaks – do not use page breaks between sections!
What To Include In An APA Format Research Paper In Biochemistry
If you are to create a research paper in biochemistry, then you may be already very worried about it. The subject seems tough for those who do not have an interest or experience with it. For research papers, it is important to use the right format and style if you want to score well and get a good grade. Your teacher will specify the instructions for you and you will have to stick to them if you want to succeed. If your teacher likes you to write your research paper following the APA format, then here are some important things to remember
What is APA?
APA stands for American psychological association and is a popular style manual for academic papers. Generally you will use a standard sized paper with one inch margin on all sides in this format. The font you use should be clear and readable like Arial or Times new roman and the size should be 12 points
What to include in an APA paper
Generally the structure of research paper assignments stays the same, and for APA here are the four major sections you must include in your paper
- The title page
- Main body
The title page is optional for other formats but this one requires you to must include this page on the front. It does not have anything difficult rather you simply have to enter the name of the author, the affiliation with the institute and other small details about the paper. You will have a running header on the title page. The title should not be more than 12 words according to APA and you should avoid using abbreviations and jargons in it
After the title page, you will have an abstract to give an overview about your project. Write the word abstract centered on a new page without any formatting like bold, italics or underline etc. Ideally the length of the abstract is 150-250 words for APA style. It include the summary of the key points in your paper and includes your topic of the research, questions of research, methods, result, data analysis and conclusion in the most precise way possible
This is how the rest of the research papers are. Just make sure you include each section in the right order
The last section where you cite your sources and stay careful about the punctuation and citation rules in this section