Central Michigan University Evaluation of Tree Biology Lab Report

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Evaluation of tree 

Write a brief introduction and briefly explain your methods (1/2 page). Describe your results (up to 1 page + 1 page figures/tables). Write a brief discussion (1 page). Include at least four references.

Write this report as if you actually performed field work on real trees on WMU campus, rather than using data from previous labs. The idea of this assignment is to clearly describe a scientific study. The important thing is to clearly explain why, what, and how you conducted your study, and what the results showed.

Your experiments should test at least one hypothesis (but two different hypotheses would be great). The hypothesis must be cleared by your TA. Be sure to state clearly what the null and alternative hypotheses are for each hypothesis.

Title 

Your title should be concise and should explain the purpose/findings of the experiment. It should not be a copy of the lab title. See titles of journal articles. Your title can be on the first page of text, with your name directly below it. A title page on its own is unnecessary (save paper).

Introduction 

The introduction should give the background to the experiment or study, and then explain the purpose of it. Generally, an introduction discusses the more general field of study (referencing appropriate literature), and then leads into the specific experiment and the purpose of it. Avoid referring to figures and tables in the introduction. You should also describe a hypothesis or hypotheses in the introduction.

Methods:  

For the methods section, be careful to describe your procedures as closely as possible. Remember, you should pretend that you actually conducted the field study. Write in first person and focus on the most relevant details.

Results 

Summarize in words what you have found. Focus on the patterns, trends, and findings that are relevant to the objectives and hypotheses of your study. Refer to your figures and tables in this section. For important comparisons, you can mention actual numbers (include units). Avoid interpreting your results here—that should be left for the discussion.

Figures and Tables 

All figures and tables should be individually numbered and should be mentioned in the text (e.g. “Figure 2 shows the relationship between…”). Each figure and table should contain an explanatory caption (see journal articles for guidance). Use one page for figures and/or tables.

Discussion 

In this section the results should be interpreted, critically evaluated, and compared to the initial hypotheses. You can speculate about broader meanings of your conclusions. Use the literature to put into context your results and conclusions. You can also mention possible sources of error and/or potential improvements in experimental design.

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