Lab Report Guidelines
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· graphs must be computer generated using Excel of graphing program of choice
It is imperative that exercise physiologists communicate their experimental findings in a way that other scientists can read and understand. The most accepted form of this communication is an IMRaD-style report.
For Lab #9 (Body Composition), you will be asked to write an IMRaD-style document. While class handouts/worksheet should be used as a reference to write these reports, they in no way should be copied directly.
Introduction: The purpose of an introduction is to give readers an overview of the experimental topic, recent findings in the area of research, and why the experiment is important. This section should ultimately end with a statement of purpose and a statement of hypotheses. Think “big picture” (topic overview and significance) to “small picture” (specific experiment you have conducted). This section should be 5-10 sentences in length.
Methods: Describe in detail how you performed your experiment. This section should provide readers with enough detail to replicate your experiment. If an experiment has multiple methodological components, this section is often broken down into subheadings for better clarity. Subheadings may include a description of the experiment’s participants, where the experiment took place, and how the specific tests were performed. This section should be 10-15 sentences.
Results: This is the meat of your report, the part that every reader is most interested in! For each test you reported in your “Methods” section, you should report at least one finding. This section may include a number of visual figures, such as a table of subject characteristics, statistical summaries, or relevant graphs. All graphs must be generated with computer software and must be appropriately labeled (title, x-axis, y-axis, units, legend). This section should be 15+ sentences and include any appropriate figures as discussed in class and completed in your handouts/worksheets.
Discussion: Wrap things up for your reader. Begin this section with a re-statement of the experiment’s purpose and significance. Summarize the major findings and state whether these findings fit within the initial hypotheses. Finally, suggest how your findings are significant to the reader or to the field of study. Briefly describe any limitations of your experiment that could be improved upon. This section should be 10-15 sentences.