Writing a Scientific Report to Present Data
A. Give an overview/context for the topic that was explored
Example: change in land-use from forest to residential development leads to serious issues related to land, water, and air pollution.
B. Get more specific about the area where you collected data and the specific questions you asked
C. BREIFLY state what you measured to address the questions
D. Set up and then present your hypothesis
A. Describe the field site where you collected data—what city or county, near what landmarks or roads, date, weather conditions
B. Describe the field methods you used to collect the raw data
C. Explain how you further manipulated the data to answer your questions (calculating wood volume and biomass from tree height and diameter)
D. Describe any statistical methods you applied
A. Present summaries of the data in tables or graphs. There is no need to print out several sheets of paper of the raw data.
B. Describe WITH WORDS the trends in the data that you are presenting in tables or graphs.
A. Summarize the results and interpret the significance of your results
B. Revisit your hypothesis in light of your results. Do your results support your hypothesis? Why or why not?
C. If appropriate, describe any weaknesses of your study and what could be done in the future to improve the study.
D. Did any new questions arise from this field study that you would explore further if given the time and opportunity?
* It is inappropriate in scientific writing to make irrelevant statements of opinion. For example, “I thought the forest was really pretty.” Or, “I wish we didn’t have to collect data in the cold and pouring rain.”
* You need to cite sources of information you are referencing in your introduction and discussion. Please also include a bibliography.
*It is very important that each student write his or her own report independently. Although all students will have access to the same data, each student will present and interpret the data in their own way.