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If you read the directions right away, you are less likely to leave out mandatory parts of the lab report, you will be able to ask your instructor for clarification if necessary, and you can get set aside an amount of prep time appropriate to the scope of the project.
Different writing guides will suggest different sections to start with – our suggestion is that you start with whichever section, in your opinion, will be easiest.
As you write, focus on the big picture for each section before focusing on detail; that is, set up a logical flow of paragraphs before worrying too much about the specific wording in the paragraphs.
When reading the directions, be sure to make note of the due date(s).
Depending on the assignment, there may be a single due date for a complete lab report or multiple due dates for different lab report components and/or drafts.
Next, list the topics or even topic sentences for paragraphs in each section; in the results section be sure to note the locations for your figures and/or tables.
If you haven’t created your figures and tables yet, sketch an outline of how they will be set up (axis labels for figures, column and row headings for tables).If you feel that your search terms are not yielding the types of articles that you are looking for, consult a research librarian, your instructor or your teaching assistant for assistance.The biology libguide ( hosted by Freel Library contains a variety of search resources, including links to the online collections of journals housed in the Academic Search Premier and JSTOR databases.Typically this is a journal article describing original research.Since a several types of article are published in research journals (e.g.In most cases, however, the articles most relevant to your work will not be freely available.You have several options for obtaining these articles.In most, if not all, of your lab reports you will have to put your work in the context of previous research – that is, you will have to discuss your work as it relates to research described in primary references.A primary reference is a peer-reviewed, original description of a research study.A secondary reference can also be very valuable in preparing your lab report, even though it will not count as one of your required primary references.Many journals publish review articles, for example, that give you an overview of a specific topic.