Give background information on both bacteria and all three antibiotics; write about what is already known about them in the research literature.
What is left unanswered and what is the significance of your experiment?
Mention your experimental design. Don’t forget to cite throughout the text – (author, year), for example: (Jensen, 2006) or(Stevens and Bonvecchio, 2001) or (Zhou et al., 2010).
Written in present tense, and past tense if mentioning previously found data.
4. Materials and Methods
Explain the procedure so someone who needs to repeat this experiment clearly understands all the steps (replications included) and will be able to repeat it in the same exact way.
Written in paragraph form. Do not use bullet points!
Do not list all the materials one by one – include them in your procedure description (leave out the unnecessary details).
Specify all materials, reagents & organisms and add their source (manufacturer/catalog number). Mention what concentrations were used.
Include the controls that were used and explain why they were used.
Explain how data was collected.
Explain how data analysis was done (including the statistics).
Written in passive voice and past tense (e.g. Plates were incubated at …)
Italicize species names, e.g. Staphylococcus aureus.
Write a summary paragraph emphasizing important patterns or trends that can be seen in your tables and graphs (do not list one by one all of the results from your tables and graphs).
State whether increase or decrease in specific values was recorded but do not explain or discuss why you got those particular findings, do not draw major conclusions (leave that for the ‘Discussion’ section).
Present your data (illustrate your findings) in the form of tables and figures. Throughout the text refer the reader to see the appropriate figures and tables by inserting (Figure 1) or (Fig. 2A), or (Table 1) at the end of the sentence in which you mention them, or by inserting ‘as seen in Fig. 1.’ in the text. One of the figures should show a photo of the Gram stained bacteria, both S. enteritidis and S. aureus (individual cells, not clumps of Gram stain), and the other figure should show a graph that displays data from the table. Your table should show averages and standard deviations for each of the treatments. Check with your lab instructor whether or not you need to include all of the measurements in this table.
Remember to show a natural progression of how results were collected – from the collection of raw data to the illustration of analyzed data in figures.
Correctly label those figures and tables. Take a look at the figures and tables from the primary scientific papers you chose as your references. The title or heading of the figure/table has to be descriptive and specific to your experiment. A legend should state
what is shown in those figures/tables. If error bars for all your data in the graph look the same, go back and select ‘Custom Error Bars’ option in Excel.
Use past tense to state what you found out in your experiments, whether your results support the hypothesis, or your results falsified the hypothesis.
Interpret your findings and discuss their significance.
As you explain what your findings mean, mention relevant figures and tables again.
Draw conclusions and relate your data/findings to what has already been done in this field.
Compare your data to findings from published peer-reviewed papers to prove the results you got are valid (or not).
NO QUOTES! You need to paraphrase the information you got from your sources and cite the author(s) of those papers – you cannot just put the text from those scientific papers in quotations and cite the authors because that does not show us that you actually understood the experiments and the results from the papers you are citing.
Discuss the limitations of your experimental design, explain why something went wrong and what you could have done differently.
Propose future experiments.
Talk about implications of your research.
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