the same thing as an introduction!

The requirements and guidelines for the lab report are listed below:



: Typically, 10-12 words long; includes descriptive words and phrases that capture the core message of the lab report



: Short in length and lets the reader know briefly what the whole paper is 

about. It is only one paragraph (150-250 words) and covers the highlights of why the experiment was conducted and a brief highlight of results. The abstract should include the presumptive identity of the unknown here, using proper binomial nomenclature. 

Remember: an abstract is NOT the same thing as an introduction!



: This section provides general background for the purpose of experiment. 

The section introduces EACH test, media, or stain, what it tells you about the microorganism, 

and justification for utilizing it (the manual should be cited here). Results do NOT go here!



: Citing the lab manual, outline all the methods used starting with any staining 

techniques, test media that was inoculated, etc. Discuss the aseptic techniques needed throughout the experiment. This section is written in past tense, since it is something already done! After reading your lab report, someone with the  exact same unknown bacteria should be  able to follow these methods and come out with the same results. List all reagents used and how much you used for each test conducted. EVERY test performed MUST be mentioned! (Even 

if the test produced a negative result.) Results do NOT belong here!



: Describe here the microorganism isolated and what it looks like. What is the 

colony morphology? What does it look like microscopically? Explain any physical changes you observed in media or tests that were used. Just because something turned a color, does not just make it positive or negative. Explain what the color change MEANS, not just that it changed color. Explain the biochemistry behind the different resulting physical characteristics of the media (things like hydrolysis, pH indicator, mixed acid fermentation, etc. might be helpful 

phrases to use.) No black precipitate in the TSIA is still a result (albeit negative) and should be included! You can include any charts, graphs, tables, and pictures that may be useful. If you decide to use images from the internet, make sure credit is given where due!



: In this section, guide the reader through your thought process and process 

of elimination used. What do the test results MEAN? Just because something turned a color, doesn’t make it positive or negative. Explain what the color change MEANS, not just that it changed color. Explain what the results imply as to what the bacteria are or are not capable of. 

Do not forget to cite sources used here to help you determine the identity of your microorganism. (This may be a mixture of primary and secondary sources or media literature.)  

Unknown Lab Report Assignment Information

This section should incorporate at least 


primary literature sources and a total of 5 sources for 

the entire paper.



: 5 total sources are required, including at LEAST 3 primary sources