U BIOS Laboratory Log Guidelines and Grading Scheme
Students should maintain a notebook in order to record their observations, thoughts, and conclusions. In your notebook, write down anything you learn or would like to revisit to enable you to
study for quizzes and write your lab logs. This notebook will never be graded or collected and is different from your laboratory log.
Your laboratory log is something that you should type up and submit to your instructor through Turnitin.com and is due at the start time of your lab section the following week. The experiment we are conducting this semester is an “iterative” or “time course’ experiment, meaning we will revisit the collection of similar data multiple times during the course of our study. Lab logs will be assigned at the conclusion of each cycle of three experimental manipulations.
For each day of lab, you should record the following details in a numbered format so that they are easily translated into your lab log, which will be in the same format as listed here. Everything in bold below should be copied exactly in your notebook. Failure to follow this format will result in unnecessary difficulty in writing your log. These are not meant to be difficult or particularly long-they are meant to help you to reflect and analyze, and to show your instructor that you have understood the importance and relevance of each step of our experiment.
- Date: note the date of the lab exercise (5 pts.)
- Question: In the form of a question, express what we are trying to answer today. This should be specific and answerable. What is your experimental subject, and what biological phenomenon are you trying to uncover? (10 pts.)
- Approach: In no more than five sentences describe the manipulations you performed to answer the question. This is NOT a methods section or an introduction. It should not be numbered or written as instructions. Instead, fill this section in as if a scientifically literate person in your field is riding with you in an elevator and asked you what you are working on. Think of it like this for each assay/technique:
- “What did you do, how did you do, and why did you do it?” (10 pts.)
- Results: The results must contain a minimum of one graphical representation of your results.
The results must also contain no more than three sentences summarizing the TRENDS in the results (not a sentence that mentions every single result recorded, nor any mention of interpretation-that is what the discussion is for). Crucially, be sure to include the data from each manipulation you conducted. (25 pts.)
- Discussion: In five or fewer sentences explain what the results mean and how you came to your conclusion about what the results mean. If there are several possibilities, explain which you think is most likely and why. Propose biological hypotheses to explain your observations. This is where you get to really understand the biology at play. Critically, this section contains the answer to the question section or an acknowledgement that you failed to answer the question. (30 pts.)
- Improvements: what could have been done differently if this experiment were repeated to improve it? (10 pts.)
- Future directions: Having now answered the question you set out to answer- propose another question. (10 pts.)