standard analysis of water (using faecal coliforms and faecal streptococci ).
MICR5836 LABORATORY REPORT GUIDELINES – DETAILED INSTRUCTIONS
FOR STANDARD ANALYSIS OF WATER WRITE-UP
The report you will write up is the standard analysis of water practical. Results are
your own and must include the Gram stains, where you got the water sample from and
include counts to see if the water is potable. Remember to put your calculations per
100ml and remember that you put on 100 ml but diluted your original sample 1 in 10 and
Treating the word ‘data’ as singular rather than plural (Bacterium is singular,
20. Incorrect expression of ‘et al. ‘
21. Including discussion in results section and results in the discussion section.
22. Failure to provide a key for figures.
23. Figure legends incomplete.
24. Failure to read final product for clarity and grammar.
25. Use of inappropriate colloquialisms e.g. spin instead of centrifuge.
26. Use of anthropomorphic terms as though things were human e.g. “happy” bacteria.
1. You must reference all quotes, figures and tables that are not your own. Not to do
so is plagiarism. Do not use “old” references >20 years old unless historical. You
cannot cite a whole book. You must say in ref pages to which pages you are
referring. You are expected to read relevant published work and to incorporate
that information into your essay. The style of referencing is important and marks
will be deducted for (a) non inclusion of references and (b) using a style contrary to
that requested. The style of referencing is stated above. Publications with three or
more authors should be abbreviated in the text to include the first author followed
by “et al.” and the date, e.g. Smith, Jones, Barker and Thompson (1974), should be
8reported Smith et al. (1974). Publications involving only two authors should be
reported as Smith, T.A. and M. Jones (1974). They should include name, initials of
each author, followed by title of paper, journal, year of publication, volume number
and page numbers of article. Do not include the issue number of the journal. In
reference section, use legitimate abbreviations only for the journal and follow the
amended Vancouver style of citation shown below:
Standard journal article: (If more than six authors, list the first three followed
by et al.)
You C.H., Lee K.Y., Chey W.Y. Electrogastrographic study of patients with
unexplained nausea, bloating and vomiting. Gastroenterology 1980;79:311-4.
Books and other monographs:
Personal author(s): Eisen HN. Immunology: an introduction to molecular and
cellular principles of the immune response. 5th ed. New York: Harper and Row;
Chapter in a book: Weinsten L, Swartz MN. Pathogenic properties of invading
micro-organisms. In: Sodeman WA Jr, Sodeman WA, editors. Pathologic
physiology: mechanisms of disease. Philadelphia: WB Saunders; 1974, p457-72.
For further examples see the CygNET Home Page (www.library.uwa.edu.au) and go to
‘Find information’…..‘Guides’…..‘How to cite your sources’.
2. When you include an abbreviation you must clearly state once what it means and
put the abbreviation in brackets. You may thereafter use the abbreviation.
93. Do not leave huge gaps at the bottom of pages – reports should flow and gaps
mean you have not followed 2.5cm all round.
4. Do not stick things into reports. If you cannot scan in then stick onto paper and
photocopy paper for inclusion in report. That way things won’t come unstuck.
5. Do not put in scanned pictures or tables that are fuzzy or that you cannot read
without a magnifying glass!
6. Follow the guidelines.
7. Use scientific writing and terms. Scientists “observe” and “examine” rather than
8. Gram is a person’s name.
9. A bacterium is singular; bacteria, the plural.
10SPECIFIC INSTRUCTIONS REGARDING SECTIONS.
No material on both sides of page
Title Page: see instructions above. On a page on it’s own. No page number.
Abstract: See instructions above. On a page on it’s own. No page number. You must
include Key words here at the bottom of the page under the abstract.
Contents Page: see on next page what contents page should look like. On a page on it’s
own. No page number.
1. Introduction 1
1.1 Yoghurt………etc 1
1.2 Something else 2
2. Materials and Methods 3
2.1 Something 3
2.2 Something 4
3. Results 5
3.1 Whatever 5
4. Discussion and Conclusions 6
5. References 7
121. Introduction – on a new page
This section of the report should introduce the reader to the study and explain why it
was done. In other words, this is where you put the experiment into the biological
context. You need to cl
1 in 100. Put in tables as in your lab manual. Do not put in the questions plus answers as
in the manual but use them to make a comprehensive report about the experiment you
did. For example why do we need safe water for Public Health? Why do we need to test
it? Where do we get our water from? What sources of water, a limited resource, can
we use in the future ( e.g. recycled from sewage and seawater, groundwater, lakes,
dams etc), what safety measures need to be included from a public health point of view,
what organsims might have been in the water here and overseas and what measures do
we put in place to prevent a public health disaster? What are the effects of chlorine?
Is all water chlorinated? Why do we use faecal coliforms to determine potable water?
Where do the faecal coliforms come from? Why are coliforms indicators? Where do
the bacteria come from in the water and dams? What are MESLS plates? MEGA
plates? Are they human streptococci or from birds and animals. These are just a few
questions and ideas to get you started.
11. Any deviations in the format outlined below will result in a loss of marks from the
2. The lab report must comprise the following sections in this order: Title Page,
Abstract, Contents page, 1. Introduction, 2. Materials and Methods, 3. Results, 4.
Discussion and 5. References. Each of these must start on a separate page.
3. All assignments must be original and not a copy and have the School of Pathology
and Laboratory Medicine Coversheet stapled to the front of the document.
The coversheet must have all the details filled in and must be signed. You
must make a copy for yourself.
4. You must also have a separate title page after the coversheet page. On the title
page of your report, include the report title, name and student number only – no
fancy adornments. No folders – but corner-staple your work on the left-hand
side. Make sure there are no loose sheets. A locked box will be provided for lab
reports on the ground floor of L Block at QEII Medical centre, with a date and
time. Reports must be handed in by Friday October 9th by 5pm. If these
instructions are not all adhered to then the report is NOT considered to have
been submitted. You may not hand it in by email, pdf or submit to an office dept
or secretary. They will not accept them. Only the locked box reports will be
5. The plagiarism requirement does not preclude students within a group from
discussing the experiments or collating information. It does preclude, however, a
‘division of labour’ whereby each person in the group writes a particular section
which is then used by all members of the group. You cannot hand in work that is
2similar to or almost the same with a few words changed or exactly the same as
anyone in the class. You must hand in a write-up that is entirely your own writing.
This is plagiarism if it is not your own work.
In the text you must also refer to the author’s work and their name(s) and date.
Again not to reference the work of published literature in text and references is,
in effect, to claim it as your own, and is plagiarism. If it is not entirely your own
work you must reference the authors in the text of your report. You cannot list
them at the end in the reference section and not in the text of the report.
6. All text must be Comic Sans MS Font 11. Use correct ENGLISH spelling.
7. Include page numbers (bottom, centre) on each page except title page, abstract,
contents page and pages containing figures and tables. So Introduction is page 1.
8. Margins should be 2.5 cm all round. This means aligning text to both left and
right of the page to give 2.5cm all round. Clean, straight look on both left and
right hand side of page.
9. Double line spacing.
10. Use scientific language and do not repeat yourself.
11. The Abstract should be on the page following the title page – it should be concise
and contain about 200 words. It must include background, objectives, methods,
12. Provide a list of keywords underneath the Abstract but no more than 6.
13. Provide a Contents page after the Abstract showing the headings used in your lab
report and page numbers. Number all sections from Introduction onwards e.g. 1.
3Introduction. Indent text subsections e.g. 1.1 etc. Use standard numbering and
14. The total length of the Introduction should be about 2-3 pages long excluding
figure legends, tables, abstract, keywords. The Introduction should conclude with
a summary paragraph followed by a list of aims of the experiments. Do not copy
these word for word from the lab manual. Use your own words. Do not write in
note form for any of the report.
15. Figures may be included but must include figure legends numbered sequentially
(Arabic numerals). Ensure that each legend contains sufficient information to
enable the reader to understand contents without recourse to text. Use separate
pages for figures – one or more figures on a page – do not include any narrative
text on same page as figure. Insert figures/tables in the Results section – do not
place them at the end of the report in the form of an Appendix. Clearly label
tables and figures and refer to them in the text (e.g. Figure 12, Table 1. Do not
write Graph 1 or Diagram 1. Put figures/tables in directly after they are
mentioned in the text.
16. Tables may also be included but must have headings numbered sequentially
(Arabic numerals). Ensure each table has a succinct but descriptive title. Any
other relevant information should appear as a footnote below body of table. Use
separate pages for tables. Do not number pages with tables or figures.
17. Include all referenced material in reference section. The format of the
references should follow the Vancouver style as shown in the example:
41. Koppi T.A., Munster D.J., Brown L., MacDonald K.P.A., Hart D.N.J. CMRF-44
Antibody-mediated depletion of activated human dendritic cells: A potential
means for improving allograft survival. Transplantation 2003;75:1723-1730.
The references should be listed alphabetically and numbered in the reference
section. The number associated with the reference should not be included in the
text. Only names in the text.
CMRF-44 has been shown to be present on dendritic cells (Koppi et al., 2003).
Koppi et al. (2003) showed that killing of activated DC by CMRF-44 prolongs
allograft survival. NO reference NUMBERS IN TEXT.
18. Whilst short sentences are better than long, convoluted ones, too many short
sentences combined, irritate the reader.
19. Please remember to retain a photocopy of your submission.
20. Remember – clarity and precision aid comprehension.
21. The Discussion should comprise about 3-4 pages of text. It should include a
discussion of your results and comparison with published literature.
22. The Materials and Methods section should contain brief details of the methods
used. Do not list materials. Describe the methods used and materials in sentences.
Look at the published literature for this. There are no lists of materials.
23. Results – use section headings to break up results so that the reader can follow
the flow. Include an appropriate amount of text to enable the figures to be
5followed. Remember result presentation only here. You must say what the results
show. In the discussion section you say what the results mean.
24. Use past tense and do not use “I” or “we” in describing experiments.
25. Students will not be marked on whether their experiments worked or not.
26. Marks will be apportioned as follows: Presentation (e.g., adherence to format
requested, spelling – do not forget to spell-check, referencing etc, presentation
of results), 20; Abstract 10, Introduction 10, Results, 30; Discussion, 20
27. A penalty (5% per day) will be applied for late submissions. That is, if the
submission is 1 day late, the maximum final mark that can be obtained will be 19
rather than 20. No report will be marked if submitted more than 3 days late
28. Marks will be deducted from the presentation component if the any of the format
instructions described above are ignored.
29. Italicise spelling of bacteria
30. Include a word count using Microsoft.
Laboratory Reports: Common errors for Public Health Reports
1. Failure to provide legends for figures.
2. Failure to italicise Latin words including genus and species names.
3. Incomplete or incorrect citing of references in text and/or in bibliography.
4. Failure to use past tense.
65. The use of ‘first person’ (I, we) instead of ‘third person’ (it, they).
6. Using terms like graphs instead of figures and figures where they are clearly
7. Inappropriate numbering of sections and figures.
8. Including narrative text and figures/tables on same page.
9. Separating raw data into appendices rather than including them in the narrative.
10. Failure to mention any references in any section.
11. Failure to reference correctly and consistently both in the text and in the
reference section. Do not blame Endnote which will take references from the
format it finds in the journals.
12. Tables and figures referenced in Discussion.
13. Starting sentences with a number.
14. Passive rather then active expression.
15. Use of didn’t etc for ‘did not’.
16. Use of the term ‘-times’ rather than ‘-fold’ in comparisons.
17. Lack of page numbers.
18. Writing Abstract in incorrect format.