The format is based on the format used in scientific journal articles where papers have an
introduction, materials and methods, results and discussion. It should be written in 12-point
font (Arial, Helvetica or Calibri), double-spaced and formatted using the APA style for in text
citations and references cited.
• Scientific papers are written in the third person.
o Avoid the use of first person: I, us, we, etc.
• Avoid direct quotes; rather paraphrase
o Inclusion of direct quotes will result in a point deduction.
• Include page numbers on all pages except the title page. The Introduction begins
with page 2. The References Cited page has a page number on it by is on its
• Include a running head (described below).
Direct quotes are rarely used in scientific writing. This means you must PARAPHRASE (rewrite
the information in your own words). Please consider seeking help at the Writing Center if you
need help with choosing sources, paraphrasing, use of in-text citations, or any other aspect of
writing. The only time direct quotes are used in scientific writing is when changing the quote
would change the meaning of the author’s words. In scientific writing there is a fair amount of
shared language. For example, how many ways can one describe, “add 500 microliters to the
reaction tube?” or “the sample dialyzed for 30 minutes.” Please be sure to include an in-text
citation and reference for all materials that you have to look up. When in doubt, include an intext
citation and reference on the References Cited page.
APA FORMATTING GUIDES:
REQUIRED SECTIONS OF LAB REPORT
• Title page
• (Overview of) Material and methods
• References cited
All sections should be labeled with their section (e.g. INTRODUCTION, RESULTS) except for the
title page. Each section will be described below:
The Title page is on separate page from the Introduction. Type your title in upper and
lowercase letters centered in the upper half of the page.
• Title should be centered and in the upper half of the page as
Title here in sentence case
The effects of body position on electrocardiogram
• The following information should be centered and in the bottom half of the page:
Date (the due date)
Professor’s name name
The title page should also contain a running head (abbreviated title). It is typed in upper case
letters and is located in the top header section of the page, aligned to the right side of the
paper. On the title page include the words, Running head: TITLE OF PAPER. Thereafter don’t
repeat the words Running head; just the running head in all caps. Please note that on the title
page, your page header/running head should look like this:
Running head: ABBREVIATED TITLE
Pages after the title page should have a running head that looks like this:
APA recommends that your title be no more than 12 words in length and that it should not
contain abbreviations or words that serve no purpose. Your title may take up one or two lines.
All text on the title page, and throughout your paper, should be double-spaced.
• Briefly introduce the subject of physiology.
• Explain the significance of this project for you as a physiology student.
• Provides sufficient background, leading to main objectives and hypothesis/hypotheses.
• This section should NOT be a detailed narrative of every step in your experimental
process but rather an overview of the general materials and methods. Reference the specific Lab Exercise and provide an overview of the experiment. Professor Thomford is the author of the Lab Exercises. For example:
A solution of 0.5% starch, 10% glucose and 1.5% protein was placed inside a dialysis bag. The bag was placed in a dish of Lugol’s iodine (0.4% Iodine potassium iodide) solution for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, the contents of the dialysis bag and the solution (environment) were observed for color changes (Lab exercise #, Author last name, year). A change in color to blue in the dialysis bag indicates that the Lugol’s iodine
solution for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, the contents of the dialysis bag and the solution (environment) were observed for color changes (Lab exercise #, Author last name, year). A change in color to blue in the dialysis bag indicates that the Lugol’s iodine penetrated the dialysis bag and reacted with glucose. It shows the presence
of glucose in a solution. The negative control for the experiment was a dialysis bag
filed with 0.5% starch and 1.5% protein, and the positive control was a bag filed with
0.5% starch, 10% glucose and 1.5% protein. The experimental and control samples
were tested under the same conditions. …
• Summarize the purpose of the test, how it was done, and what a positive and negative
control result should look like. Reference the appropriate Lab Exercise, include in-text
citation(s) and reference(s) on References Cited page.
• In paragraph format, describe your results.
• Don’t interpret results; just state them.
• Include results for positive and negative controls.
• In addition to the written description of your results, present your data in table and
o Tables: Include a descriptive title centered over the top of the table.
o Figures (this includes graphs): should have a title and figure caption below the
figure. The figure caption should very succinctly describe the results. Include a
legend if necessary (blue = group 1, red = group 2,..)
The Discussion section is used to explain and describe the results (in this order please):
• The main goal of this experiment is to….
• All the key results and steps used in your experiment should be included.
• Next discuss the relevance of the experiment performed to an aspect of physiology. For
example, relate the dialysis experiment (Lab 2) to digestion or exchange in the kidneys.
• Follow the APA formatting for in text citations and the works cited page. See below.
• Provide the complete in text citation and works cited for all sources referenced in the
paper in APA format. This includes the in text citations and references cited page at the
end of your report.
• References should appear in alphabetical order by the first author’s last name.
• Provide a reference for all facts discussed in the introduction, methods and discussion.
• Include reference to the appropriate Lab Exercise.
APA IN-TEXT CITATION BASICS
When using APA format, follow the author-date method of in-text citation. This means that the
author’s last name and the year of publication for the source should appear in the text, for
example, (Jones, 1998), and a complete reference should appear in the reference list at the end
of the paper.
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