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BIOL 211 Microbiology: General Assignment Information

Assignment Information

The report should be formatted like a scientific journal article. The goal is to report conclusive evidence that you have identified two different organisms from your assigned isolation location.

Include the following sections in your report.

  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Materials and Methods
  • Results
  • Discussion
  • References

Required Sections in Report






Materials & Methods







Very briefly describe the relevant history and background for your investigation, and describe your results and conclusions.  

Provide the reader with any information that would be necessary for the reader to understand the context of your discovery. 

  • What is your discovery?
  • Is there relevant history to explain your choice of inquiry?
  • Which techniques did you use to make your discovery?
  • Which concepts are important to understanding how the techniques work?

Describe the techniques that you employed as you identified your organism.  Despite the name of the section, you should not report the materials separate from the methods.  Describing the techniques (methods), you will inherently also be describing the relevant materials.  When deciding how to describe the techniques, consider the following questions:

  • Which molecules are essential to the purpose of the technique?
  • Is there a specific tool or strategy used in the technique that is essential to the success of the technique?

Describe your data.  The most effective way to present your data is in a figure or table or series of figures or tables.  The figures that you decide to use are entirely at your discretion.  Use the text of the results section to explicitly describe the data while referencing the figures and/or tables.

Describing the data includes describing what was observed and the relevance of the observations to the principles of the techniques and to your conclusions.  You should not describe the relevance of your results to any information broader than your own work, but you should provide all observations that can be used to relate to broader information in the discussion.*  

Relate the results of each experiment to each other experiment overall, and relate your overall conclusions to everything that is known and relevant beyond your particular study.  

List all sources of outside information that are referenced in your in-text citations.  References should be assembled according to the rules of the American Society of Microbiology.  


In-text citations:  All non-general facts require citation, so the reader can evaluate your use of those facts.  The citation should be parenthetical after the fact is stated in the text, usually at the end of a sentence.  The citation should include the last name of the first author of the reference and the year of publication.


Results (cont)*

Figures:  Figures should have a title and a legend below the figure, and they should be numbered in the order that they appear in the text.  Include enough information in the legend such that the figure and the legend should be able to stand alone from the rest of the text. 


Tables:  Tables should have a title above each table, and they should be numbered in the order that they appear in the text.  Tables should not have a legend.