lot of graphs, tables and outputs in your report

Assignment [Enter Assignment number]

[Enter title describing your report]

Table of Contents

Introduction 3

Methods 3

Results 3

Conclusion 5

References 6

Guidance:

This is an optional section but should be included when you have a long report of more than ten pages. If you have a lot of graphs, tables and outputs in your report it is also useful to use a table of figures and/or a table of tables. Learning to use the in-built functions in Word now will save you time throughout your career as it is easy to update when you make changes.

Introduction

Guidance:

The introduction section is a brief summary of the background already known about the report’s topic, which is important to provide context for the purpose of the current study. Towards the end it will also state the problem/question that this report is specifically to explore. This should include your expectation of what the result of your analysis will be. i.e. I expect that reaction time will increase with exposure to drug A.

Occasionally this statement would be in a separate section titled “Aim” or “Objective”. For the purposes of this unit, I expect it to be in the introduction.

Methods

Guidance:

In a scientific report, this section details how the experiments were conducted for an experimental studies. It includes sufficient detail of equipment/chemicals/processes used so that someone else, knowledgeable of the area could replicate the same experiment.

In an analysis report, as in this unit, you will be expected to use existing published data and will not be conducting experiments. However, as you will be using existing published data for your analysis, you must include a citation to acknowledge the source of the data/work [CITATION Aut \l 3081 ]. See the referencing section for more detail on how to reference appropriately. Then you can give a brief summary of the data that you are working with, such as sample size, details of collection and any other relevant information so that the reader understands the limitations of the data you are working with.

For data analysis, you should state:

  • The name of the software used
  • What statistical tests you have performed (if used)
  • the chosen level of significance for any statistical tests conducted

I expect this section to be short. You are not required to include the background information about the test or procedure. For example, your report should NOT include a description of what a Pivot Table is.

Results

Guidance:

The results section (also known as findings in some disciplines) is where you should show the summary of the data and the results of the tests you have applied. This may include summaries such as graphs, tables and outputs. In a longer report, a separate discussion section would be included that reflects on the findings and puts it into the context of the existing knowledge. However we are interested in what you have found in your analyses.

I expect this will be the section you will spend the most time (and word count) on. Consider the results you obtain and what they tell you about the data. There is a temptation to produce large amounts of outputs from statistical software. However, it is the correct interpretation of relevant graphs and outputs and whether what you observe supports the question you have asked in your introduction, which will maximise your marks. Correctly interpreting the results will also help you to write the conclusion. Your results will either support or conflict with your original expectation/question (which is fine) but you must describe how the outputs show this by including in the text a brief description of what each of the outputs show. For example, Figure 1 shows a trend of an increase in the reaction time with the increase of drug A concentration, which was expected.

Figure 1 – Results of the ruler reaction test for five subjects 30 minutes after the oral ingestion of a 5 mL preparation of drug A. A caption should include enough information that the content of the figure is clear without having to read through the text. But! Be warned, words here should not replace descriptions in the text as this won’t count towards your mark for “Results” in the rubric.

For the purposes of this unit I do not expect you to discuss other literature or datasets (other than what has been provided).

Conclusion

Guidance:

This is a short summary section to complete your report based on what your results show. It restates the original problem/question but phrases it based on what your results have shown as you have described above. You should not theorise on “why” here, as you are limited only to what your data can show.

If applicable it can also briefly identify the next steps required to explore the problem further.

References

Guidance:

This needs to list all sources you have used to prepare your report and include the details of the citations you have included in your report such as the (Author 1998) from the Methods, which corresponds to the entry below. There are many different ways that the reference section can be formatted and hence you should follow the preferred style of the publication you are submitting to, or the preferred option of your superior/reader audience.

I would suggest Vancouver style, Author-dated or APA. There are many tools available to you that can assist you with the correct formatting. For long reports using software like Endnote to manage this for you is useful. For short reports the inbuilt Word option is fine.

Author. (1998). The title of the scientific article that you have cited. Journal of Science, 88-93.

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