Lab 3 composing a research paper from notes

Articles

  1. How to write a great research paper
  2. Background and pre-writing
  3. Importance of a Good Abstract
  4. Templates - Journals, CVs, Presentations, Reports and More - Overleaf, Online LaTeX Editor
Research Paper - Organizing Your Notes

Researchers are often encouraged to write only with unerasable pen, to sign and date each page, and to have their notebooks inspected periodically by another scientist who can read and understand it. All of these guidelines can be useful in proving exactly when a discovery was made, in the case of a patent dispute. It is worth noting however that following March , lab notebooks are of limited legal use in the United States, due to a change in the law that grants patents to the first person to file, rather than the first person to invent. The lab notebook is still useful for proving that work was not stolen, but can no longer be used to dispute the patent of an unrelated party.

Several companies now offer electronic lab notebooks. This format has gained some popularity, especially in large pharmaceutical companies, which have large numbers of researchers and great need to document their experiments. Lab notebooks kept online have started to become as transparent to the world as they are to the researcher keeping them, a trend often referred to as Open Notebook Science, after the title of a blogpost by chemist Jean-Claude Bradley. The term is frequently used to distinguish this aspect of Open Science from the related but rather independent developments commonly labeled as Open Source , Open Access , Open Data and so forth.

The openness of the notebook, then, specifically refers to the set of the following points, or elements thereof:. The use of a wiki makes it convenient to track contributions by individual authors. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Main article: Open notebook science. Rusche, Laura N ed. Russey,"The art of scientific writing: from student reports to professional publications in chemistry and related fields", 2nd edition, Wiley, , pp. Categories : Scientific documents Research Notebooks.

Hidden categories: Commons category link is on Wikidata. Often there are two principle investigators, and in this case both should be mentioned. For example, the work by Jackson, A. If there are more than two principle investigators, it is best to use either of the formats given in example a or b , or to use some other wording to avoid this construction entirely.

How to write a great research paper

Sections should appear in your paper in the order described below. All sections but the title have the section explicitly labeled, usually in bold letters to differentiate it from the rest of the text, and left aligned on the page. A blank line should appear after the last word of the section to separate the various sections, but a line should not be placed after the section title. Please note that you should not physically assemble your paper in this order. Then put all the sections together in the final paper in the order outlined above. A template is available to help you organize your report.

Click here to learn more about it. It may be helpful to organize sections further into subsections.


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These subsections should have their own titles that are italicized and followed by a period. A title reflects the emphasis and contents of the paper. Therefore, it is not uncommon for the title to reveal the results or major conclusions of the experiment. Examples are given below. The title should be on its own page the title page , left-aligned at the top of the page, in bold letters.

The title must be brief 2 lines maximum and grammatically correct. The abstract is a one-paragraph summary of the paper that is written in the present tense.

Background and pre-writing

As the abstract is the only part of the paper that is entered into article databases, it should be able to stand alone, separate from the paper. The first one to three sentences of the abstract should briefly introduce the reader to the problem studied. Next, the scientific approach, major results and primary significance of the findings should be presented.

The abstract is generally words less for shorter papers.

This section is normally written after the body of the paper. Because the abstract is separate from the paper, all abbreviations should be written out, or defined, and any references should be written out in full. An example of how a reference might appear in an abstract is. Note that in some journals that inclusion of the title in a reference is not required vide infra. The introduction should present the scientific problem at hand to the reader.

Explain to the reader why the experiment was conducted, how it was designed and perhaps, if appropriate, what was found. Literature that is relevant should be incorporated and will help the reader understand the context of your study. A good rule of thumb is to start at the most general topic and progressively move towards the specific.

Here is a general outline for an introduction:. In this section, consider including figures, schemes and equations that complement the text. While this is similar to the information that you should have written your notebook, the introduction to a paper is different than the background that you included for an experiment or experiments in your notebook.

Importance of a Good Abstract

Remember that you are trying to reach a larger, more general audience with your paper, and the introduction must be structured to draw the reader in and help them focus on your important results. The experimental section of your paper should be a logical, coherent recount of the experiment s conducted. This section should be complete enough for a trained scientist to pick up your report and replicate your experiment. The experimental section in a laboratory report is more concise than the corresponding section in the laboratory notebook.

It should not be a step-by-step procedure of the activities carried out during the laboratory period. The first paragraph of the experimental section contains information on key chemicals used in the procedure. When the chemicals are used as received, there will usually be a statement to that effect and further details are not usually necessary. Do not list lot numbers. If a starting material was synthesized according to a literature procedure, then state this in the opening paragraph and reference the procedure.

If purification or drying of the compounds is required, it is described here, also. The first paragraph often will also list the instruments used to characterize the newly synthesized substances. All instruments and equipment should be specified including the model number of the instrument and the name of the manufacturer serial numbers are not included. When a spectroscopic or physical method is the focus of the report, it will be described in its own subsection.

You are not required to write the experimental in this fashion. For common techniques, laboratory textbooks should be referenced. However, if a previously published procedure was modified, then this is stated and only the modifications performed are included. If the procedure is your own, then outline the procedure with the main points, including details that are critical to replicating the experiment. These might include the type and size of your HPLC column, the buffer or the concentrations of chemicals.

When the syntheses of substances are reported, the synthetic procedure used to make each substance is described in its own separate paragraph. The paragraph begins with the name of substance, or its abbreviation if the abbreviation was defined earlier in the paper , in bold face. If numbers are assigned to the compounds, these are also included in parentheses. Often the synthesis will be written out, even when a literature procedure was followed. The mass and percent yields must be reported.

These include: melting point range and literature value, if known , elemental analysis both calculated and found , selected peaks from the mass spectrum with assignments , selected IR peaks also with assignments , and any NMR peaks with their chemical shift, multiplicity and integration you will often find the observed coupling quoted and the assignment of the peaks.

The experimental section has two quirky wrinkles on the general scientific style. These are:.

In the Results section, the results are presented and summarized in a reader-friendly form. Raw data are not presented here.

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Templates - Journals, CVs, Presentations, Reports and More - Overleaf, Online LaTeX Editor

For instance, it is appropriate to include the average calculated concentration of a solution but not the original absorbance values that were collected from the spectrophotometer; that information is best left in your laboratory notebook. A graph is presented in the paper as a figure. In general, a graph or table is an appropriate representation of the data when more than 2 or 3 numbers are presented.

Data that are presented in the form of a graph or table should be referred to but should not be repeated verbatim in the text as this defeats the purpose of a graph. Observation of trends in the numerical data is acceptable. However, interpretation of the trend should be saved for the Discussion section. Remember, do not simply report your numerical results. The Results section must have a narrative that describes your results. This narrative can include a description of the data such as spectra or data in graphs , what problems were encountered during data acquisition and how they were resolved, or not and a general description of how the raw data were processed to give the final results not a step-by-step description of everything you did.

The reader wants to know what you did, how you did it, what problems you encountered and finally what your results were. Each of these topics must be addressed in the Results section in a way that is clear, yet concise. This is the section where the results are interpreted. This section of the paper is analogous to a debate. First, evaluate your data. Do you have good, mediocre, terrible, or un-interpretable data? Evaluate your results by comparing to literature values or other precedents. Explain what results should have been obtained and whether you obtained these expected values.

Note that even if expected results were not obtained, you did not fail. Unexpected results are often the most interesting. Perhaps your hypothesis was not correct. Why is this? What new hypothesis do your data suggest? If you feel that your results are not reliable, you need to explain why.