Informal Lab Report

Abstract: Short {250 words max) overview of the experience that will summarize the objectives, methods, data collection and conclusion for the reader. This is a snapshot (advertisement) of your paper to entice the reader! Introduction: {WHY} you did this lab. For observation and dissection lab reports you simply want to inform the reader of your prior research/ readings on the subject and point out that before you did the experiment you had gaps in your knowledge and understanding of the topic. In other words this is the objectives section! Materials and methods- list the materials needed to repeat this lab and describe your methods {dissection procedure), how to use the microscope. Results/Observation Table

Specimen Image/ Name/ magnification| Structures | Examples and functions| (Image)| Cell types, structures present, identification specific characteristics.| Describe where it is found in the body, its function as a unit or within a system.| | | |

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Explanation of results: describe what you have observed as a narrative of the observation table in detail to a reader as if they were not there.

Discussion- The “so what” portion of the lab report! Discuss findings and the significance of your data. You can use strong first person statements like I conclude that the samples of cardiac muscle were significantly different from skeletal muscles in that cardiac muscle tissue shows obvious intercalated disks and lacks the multinucleate presence of the skeletal muscle. Include a sentence or two on How to improve the experiment in the future or what the next step could be… References: APA format is common and most acceptable.

Sample discussion: The student performed the sheep eye dissection by following the standard procedure outlined in the Carolina guide. This dissection required proper safety equipment and attention to detail when making the initial incision through the sclera in order to maintain the choroid and retinal areas within the eye. The student used dissection scissors to remove the outer muscles and expose the location of the optic nerve within the adipose protective tissue associated with the posterior and lateral eye. Scissors were used to further open the sclera since the pressure from the scalpel would detach internal structures. Delicate and precise incisions were required to maintain the lens and attachment to the cilliary bodies or ligaments that suspend the lens within the aqueous humor behind the cornea. Aqueous humor and vitreous humor were observed in situ as the cornea and sclera were separated using scissors and pins to stabilize the specimen. The student made note of the unique structure called the tapetum which allows the sheep to have acute nocturnal vision. The tapetum is located deep to the retina and serves as a reflector and enhancer of the light wavelengths available at night. Having completed the dissection the student decided to further the experience in a future lab by comparing eye structures of other mammals or non-mammal animals in order to determine if there are structural similarities to the mammal eye.

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