The goal of this assignment is for you to write a report detailing the bacteria artificial selection
experiment you performed in class. This report should be written as though for a scientific
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audience who is unfamiliar with your experiment, and it must be structured like a primary
research article written for a peer-reviewed journal. See Appendix F of your lab manual for
additional guidance on this format.
You may work either alone or in a group of two. Anyone who wants to work in a larger group
must first get permission from their TA. You may not work with students enrolled in other
sections of this course.
Write your report in paragraphs, using 12-point font (preferably Times New Roman), 1-inch
margins, and whatever line spacing you prefer to use. This assignment has a maximum length
of 4 pages not including references. The goal of a research article is to thoroughly but concisely
describe and discuss an experiment. Your focus should be on choosing your words carefully
rather than trying to increase the length of your report by including irrelevant information or
using two sentences where one would suffice.
Divide your lab report into the sections described below and give each section a heading. Note
that for this assignment you are reporting an experiment you performed yourself. Use “we” or
“I” to reflect that. For example, instead of saying, “The hypothesis stated…,” or, “The zone of
inhibition was measured…, ” it’s preferable to say, “We hypothesized that…,” or, “We measured
the zone of inhibition…”
Your lab report is due at 11:59 p.m. on 5/1/19. At least one electronic submission with the
names of all contributing authors must be submitted to D2L before this deadline. Partner non-
participation will not be an acceptable excuse for late work. Do not include the names of non-
Title (10 pts): Create an informative title that makes the subject of your article clear to your
audience. Look at one of the research articles you read at another point in this course for
inspiration. Note that some article titles can be up to a full sentence long.
Abstract (10 pts): Provide a 100-200 word statement summarizing the study. State your study’s
purpose, hypothesis, a very general summary of your experiment, important results, and final
conclusion, all in that order. Do not report any actual data here. Once again, look at a research
article you’ve read previously if you aren’t sure how to begin.
Introduction (10 pts): Familiarize your audience with the background of your study by
introducing the concept of natural selection. Then, provide some basic information about your
ECOL 182L Artificial Selection Experiment Report Spring 2019
study organism to make it clear why that organism was used for this study. Finally, present your
experiment’s question, hypotheses, and predictions. You will fail to earn points on this section if
you confuse hypotheses and predictions, or if your hypotheses don’t meet the basic criteria for
Methods (10 pts): This section should get straight to the point. Provide enough details that a
person could replicate your experiment on their own, but make sure you leave out details that
would not probably not affect their results. For example, it probably does not matter where you
recorded your data. However, it probably does matter what kind of agar you used and how you
kept your agar plates from becoming contaminated. You must explain measurements and include
units. Do not use bullet points or copy directly from the lab manual.
Results (10 pts): Report the data collected during your experiment which you will use to
evaluate your hypothesis, but don’t try to explain the data yet. In paragraph form, state the actual
numbers that make up your data and any trends that you may have appeared. Do not forget to
Table/Figure (10 pts): Include a table or figure (or both) depending on which you feel makes
your results easiest to understand. You must create all of your own tables and figures, and each
must have its own title and a caption explaining it. Copying them directly from shared lab
spreadsheets will not earn you credit.
Discussion (10 pts): Briefly summarize again the purpose of the study, and then discuss what
your data means by directly addressing your predictions, and then whether you reject your
alternative hypothesis or your null hypothesis. Finish by describing what other authors have done
with similar experiments and whether they agree with your conclusions. If you think something
went wrong during your study, describe it here and how you would correct it in the future. If you
believe an unplanned occurrence may have affected your results, then you can discuss it here.
References (10 pts): All information coming from another source must be cited in-text using the
format in Appendix E. At least two primary research articles must be cited for full credit. In
addition to in-text citations, full citations formatted like in Appendix E must appear at the end of
your report under their own “References” heading. You are expected to summarize information
from outside sources in your own words. Directly quoting sources will result in reduced credit.
In addition to the sections described, your report will be graded based on the following.
Style (10 pts): Proofread your report so that spelling and grammars errors are minimal. Use
active voice and simple syntax such that your report reads as if it could be spoken aloud
comfortably. Your report should use 12-pt. font, 1 in. margins, section headings, and your text
should be divided into logical paragraphs. Total length should be ≤ 4 pages.
Taxonomy (10 pts): The first time a species is mentioned, you must use its full taxonomic
species name and format it correctly. If you put its common name in parentheses, you can later
refer to the species by that common name. Example: Drosophila melanogaster (fruit fly).
ECOL 182L Artificial Selection Experiment Report Spring 2019
Alternatively, after using a full taxonomic name, you can later refer to the species with an
abbreviation like “D. melanogaster.”