General: Unknown reports in microbiology are written in scientific format. Scientific writing is different from other types of writing in that the results of the exercise or experiment are being showcased, not the writing. The purpose of scientific writing is NOT to entertain, but to inform. The writing should be simple and easy to understand, and it should be written in your OWN WORDS.
There is a specific style that must be followed when writing scientific reports.
Scientific writing is typically written in the passive voice. The pronouns “I”, “we”, and “they” are not used. For example, instead of writing “I used a TSA plate to isolate my unknown….” It is customary to write, “A tryptic soy agar (TSA) plate was used to isolate the unknown.” It is also customary to write in the past tense for most of the report. This includes the summary, introduction, description of materials and methods, and the results. The present tense is reserved for the conclusions and results. Some other general rules that should be followed are:
The name of the bacterium should be written out and spelled correctly.
The name should be italicized for typed text. For example, Staphylococcus aureus.
The genus is capitalized but the species is not. After the full genus name is first used in the paper, it can be written as S. aureus, but still italicized. This is as long as there is no other genus in the paper that starts with the same letter. For example, if you have a Staphylococcus species and a Salmonella species as your unknowns, you cannot abbreviate the name.
The report should be typed using a 12-point with a font such as Arial, and should be 1.5-spaced. The lab report will be graded on content, as well as spelling, grammar, punctuation, and organization.
Sections of the Unknown Lab Report
Identification of __________________ —- ( This one is specifically Micrococcus luteus!!)
This section introduces the reader to the study and why the study was done. This should only be a few sentences long.
For example: “…There are many reasons for identifying an unknown bacterium. The reasons range from…[explain 2-3 reasons why you may want to identify an unknown bacterium]. This study was done by applying all of the methods that have been learned in the microbiology laboratory class for the identification of an unknown bacterium…”
- MATERIALS AND METHODS (SKIP IT)
This is where the details of the study are listed. Where did the specimen come from and what methods were used to identify it? Be specific but do not rewrite the lab manual. One way is to mention the names of the media and reagents used, and reference the lab manual or notes for the procedure or method, and elaborate when necessary. It is NOT necessary to write out the methods in detail, since this lab report is for the identification of an unknown bacterium and the methods are explained in detail in the lab workbook.
This is where the results are summarized. The method results should be in a
Record the color changes or the reactions that were observed. Record results appropriately, according to the test. Include a legend for abbreviations or any use of letter.
There should be 2 parts:
- This section interprets the meaning of the results. How did the test results lead to identification? When discussing the results, specify which organisms were ruled-out and which were ruled-in by each test result. This provides the logic and analysis for the identification of the unknown.
- Background information about the identified organism (environment preferred, pathogenicity, interesting cellular structures, an interesting fact, etc.).
*Example of a discussion:
After several differential tests, it was concluded that unknown G was Escherichia coli. After performing the Gram stain to determine that the unknown was a Gram negative rod, the organism was grown on a tryptic soy agar slant for use in inoculating the rest of the biochemical tests. All of the biochemical tests worked well except for the indole test. It gave a false negative result at first. This was determined since it was inconsistent with the rest of the result. It was suggested that the test be repeated and it was repeated. The repeated test gave a positive result, consistent with the other data. Therefore, it was concluded that the unknown was Escherichia coli. THIS CAN BE ELABORATED MORE FOR EACH TEST.
E. coli is in the Enterobacteriaceae family. It is typically found in the intestines of humans, as well as other mammals. It can cause disease in the right host. THE REST OF THIS INFORMATION SHOULD BE RESEARCHED FROM THE TEXTBOOK, INTERNET RELIABLE SOURCE OR OTHER MICROBIOLOGY RESOURCES.
The minimum number of references is 3, which MUST include the lab manual OR textbook, the CDC website. The other reference may NOT be Wikipedia or sites that end in .com or .net (typically not reliable).
References should be listed in APA format (http://www.wooster.edu/psychology/apa-crib.html (Links to an external site.) and http://citationmachine.net (Links to an external site.) ) and in-text citations should be used where appropriate. Laboratory notes should be referenced as such:
- Bottoms, C., & Cain, D. (2006). Microbiology laboratory notes. 1 ed. Plano, TX: Collin County Community College
I CAN PROVIDE TEXTBOOK AND LAB BOOK PAGES IF NEEDED
- Also if you can attach proof that there is no plagerism that would be great