Report Guidelines 2017

This lab report should be written in a style similar to a research report that you would find in a peer-reviewed biology journal.

All papers must be submitted electronically to
Details of how to submit will be provided in lab.
No paper copy is required - but do maintain a backup copy.

Report Rubric - please keep this handy while writing your paper - it helps!

Required Components

Your write up should include all of the following (page limits in parenthesis)
Abstract (0.5 pages)
Introduction (1.5 pages)
Materials and Methods - tips (2 pages - but 1 page is plenty)
Results (1.5 pages - not including visuals)
Discussion (2 pages)

Style guidelines

  • Use 1.5 line spacing and point 11 Arial font EXCEPT
    • For figure legends and table titles, use single spacing.
  • Set left and right margins 3.5 cm (1.5 in); top and bottom margins 2.5 cm (1 in).
  • Number pages and include your name in the header or footer of every page.
  • Figures and tables may be included in line with the text as long as they are clearly set apart from the main text (use extra spacing, margins or borders). Alternatively, you can place figures and tables at the end of the report.
  • The title and author(s) of the paper should be at the top of the first page (do not include a title page)
  • Please make sure to keep a backup electronic and or paper copy for yourself.

Please see U of R Biology Reports for tips on how to write a research style lab report.

General Pointers

Keep in mind that your audience is your peers - not your lab instructor. Assume that the person reading this report has the same background as you but has not conducted this particular study. For example, your peers should know how to use pipetters.

While I do not have time to review your full report ahead of time, you can definitely bring me what you are having problems with and I will try and give you some pointers.

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