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Developing Science Writing Skills

XIV:Writing Chapter a Science Report

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*Formatfor a ScienceReport
A sciencereportis oftenwrittento be keptfor othersto use as a reference. In that case,the reportmustfollowa specific format. Thereare different formats, but most reports contain the following basicinformation. Yourteacher will havespecific guidelines for writing yourscience report. Wentric and Makhi's teacher wantsthem to writea sciencereportfor their lightbulb experiment. Theirteacher suggested theyfollow the basic formatbelowin writing theirreport. 1. Title Page: Thisis page1 andshould page. be a separate 2. Introduction: Thisbegins on page2. 3. Method: Thissection follows the Introduction. 4. Results: Thissection continues afterthe Method section. 5. Discussion: Thissection continues afterthe Results section. your 6. Bibliography: lf teacher requires one,thisshould page. be on a separate 7. Appendices: Useas manyappendices as needed. Starteachappendix on a new page. Labeleachappendix as Appendix A, Appendix B, andso on. Otherimportant format information: . Number eachpageof the report. Putthe pagenumber in the upperright-hand corner of the page. . Staple all pages together. . Usea 12-point standard font,suchas Times, Geneva, or Helvetica. . Double space texton 81/2"by 11"paper withone-inch margins, single sided. . Indent thefirstlineof eachparagraph. Sampleof WhatVourReportShouldLook Like (Length of eachsection willvary.)
c
F

Titleof Report

Materials

Results

Titleof Report YourName

:f .(f

Method Subjects

Procedure

Discussion

5 B i b l i o g ra p h y

A ppendi x A:

Tables and Figures

A ppendi x B: Photographs of Experimental E qui pment

Fi gure1

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*Reprinted with permission from ScienceWriting by DavidW. and RuthAnn Wilson. MarkTwainMedia,Inc.,Publishers. 1997. CD-4 O 4104 O M ar k Tw a i n Me d i a , In c .,Pu b l i s h e rs 62

ng Science Writing Skills Developi

Report XIV:Writing a Science Chapter

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Date:

Writinga Science Report(cont.I. riri XIV: Chapter


Title Page yournameandthetitleof yourreport. Giveyourpapera specific 1. On a Title Page,include project. of Forexample, a titlelikeTheEffects titlethattellswhatyoudid in yourresearch than title is more informative and specific a FeedingPreference Coloron Hummingbird ing Hummingbirds. like Feed
says: The titlepagefor Wentric and Makhi's experiment -\ Comparing the Light Life and Energy Efficiencyof Compact Fluorescent ,,' ' Lighhutbs and lncandescentLightbulbs \ , ) Authors: i f Wentric Williams and MakhiLewis W
a

Introduction
your givethe reader for understanding the necessary background 2. In the Introduction, experiment. . Startthis section on a new page. . Centerthe titleof the reportat the top of this page,too. . Do NOT put the word lntroduction that this sectionis the introon this page.lt is implied have to say so. don't duction-you . By the end of the lntroduction, of (1)why the reader shouldhavea clearunderstanding knownaboutthe you are doingthisstudy;(2) howyourstudyfits in withwhat is already to find. topic;and (3) whatyou expect HelpWentricand information. the following contains Directions:A good introduction present present verb in each tense the in tenseby circling Makhiwritethe introduction samplesentence. aboutthe topicbeingstudied: a. General statements today. available kindsof lightbulbs 1. There(are / were) manydifferent project: problem identified on this research b. The specific for the (were I are) advertised as beingbetter lightbulbs fluorescent 2. Compact ment. environ

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Developing Science Writing Skills

Chapter XIV:Writing a Science Report

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Chapter Xlv:writing a Science Report(cont.}


Introduction (cont.)
3. However, compact fluorescent lightbulbs (did I do )cost morethan incandesc e n tl i g h t b u l b s . c. A question thatfollows fromthat problem: 4. ( Do / did ) compact fluorescent lightbulbs lastlonger and use lessenergy than incandescent lightbulbs? d. Past research or other information that helpsthe readerwith contextto understand your research: 5. Today, energy( is / was) very expensive. 6. People( are I were) looking for waysto save money. 7. They also ( wanted/ want ) to protect the environment. rc sl a i m e d 8 . M a n u f a c t u r e( / c l a i m) t h a t c o m p a cftl u o r e s c e n l itg h t b u l bls a s tf o r u p to five years. 9. They ( wereI are) alsosupposed to use lessenergythan incandescent bulbs. Directions:HelpMakhiandWentric selectand circlethe pasttenseverbfor eachsentencein the statement of purpose part of the Introduction. and hypothesis e. A statement of the purpose of your research: 10. The firstpurpose of this research ( is / was ) to see if compact fluorescent lightbulbslastedlonger than incandescent lightbulbs. 11. The secondpurpose ( was / is ) to examine the energyusageof compact fluorescent lightbulbs compared to incandescent lightbulbs. f. The hypothesis for yourstudy: 12. lt ( is / was ) hypothesized that compact fluorescent lightbulbs last longerand are moreenergyefficient than incandescent lightbulbs.
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ng Science Writing Developi Skills

Report XIV:Writing a Science Chapter

Name:

Date:

XIV: Writinga Science Chapter Report(cont;}


Method tellthe reader howyou carried out the research-that is, 3. In the Methodsection, exactly past howyoutested the hypothesis. The Methods written in tense. sections should be . Begin withthe following thissection centered heading-Method
. Continue fromwherethe Introduction finished. your studyin enoughdetailthat someoneelse coulddo the same studyjust Describe likeyou did it. . Withinthe Method section, include appropriate subsections suchas the following: a. Subjects b. Materials c. Procedure Placeeachof the subheadings at the left-hand margin of the page(seeillustration).The appropriate contentfor each of the subsections is described below. Describewhat or who you studied-whetherit was animals,humans, a. Subjects: rocks,plants, or the weather. Be specific. Directions:Wentricand Makhr's Subjectsectionmight look like this.Answerthe questions following abouttheirSubject section. We compared two kinds of lightbulbs both manufactured by Company A. The first lightbulbwas a 4}-watt compact fluorescentbulb that cost $6.25. The second lightbulbwas a 4}-watt incandescent bulb that cost $1.15. 1. Whatwattage werethe lightbulbs to? equivalent 2. What company manufactured the lightbulbs? fluorescent lightbulb 3. How muchdid the compact cost? 4. How muchdid the incandescent lightbulb cost?

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Developing Science Writing Skills

Chapter XIV:Writing a Science Report

Name:

Date:

Chapter XIV: Writinga Science Report(cont.)


Method (cont.) Using a set of energy cosfs for watts/kitowatts used obtained from the electric company,the total cost of operation for each butb was computed.The incandescent lightbulbwas lit for 672 hours before it burned out. The incandescent Iight used40 wattsper hour. The total watts used was 672 . 40 = 26,A80. The energy charge was $}'Oa per kilowatt-hour. The watts were divided by 1,000 to get the kitowatt-hours (26,880+ 1,000 = 26.88). The kilowatt-hours were then muttiptied by 0.08 to get the total energy charge (26.88'$0.08 = $2.1504).The energycharge for thec6mpact fluorescent lightbutb for the same 672 hours was then computed. The compact fluorescentlightbulbputs out the same amount of tight as a 47-watt incandescent lightbulb,but it onty uses 10 wattsper hour.Tofigure th-e energy usagefor the compact fluorescentlightbulb,the hours were muttiplieaov the watts (672.10 = 6,720), the watts were dividedby 1,000to getthe kitowatt-hours (6,720+ 1,000= 6.72), andthe kilowatt-hourswere muttipliedby the energy charg" i0.72 . $0.0s = $o.ss/o) 1. At whattime werethe lampsswitched on?

2- Howmanyhours didthe incandescent lightbulb burn?


3' Whatwas the totalenergychargefor the hoursthatthe incandescent lightbulb burned ? 4' What was the totalenergychargefor the same hoursfor the compactfluoresc e n tl i g h t b u l b ? 5' Did Wentric and Makhiuse present tenseor pasttenseverbsfor section?
1

theirMethod

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Developing Science Writing Skills

Chapter XIV:Writing a Science Report

Name:

Date:

Chapter XIV: Writinga Science Report


Results 4. In the Resultssection, tellthe reader whatyoufound. 'Begin thissection withthe centered heading-Results. Justcontinue fromwhere the Method section linished. ' Makesure the readercan tell from the resultswhetheror not the hypothesis was supported. ' Summarize yourfindings. youshould Of course, tellthe reader in words whatyoufound. you mightalsocite statistics However, or use tablesand figures(graphs) to illustrate yourfindings. . The Results section should be written in pasttense. ' Do not discussoverallconclusions or implications in this section. Savethat for the Discussion section. Directions:wentric and Makhi'sResultssectionmight look like this. Answerthe questions thatfollow abouttheirResults section. Themain findingof the study was that the incandescent bulb burnedout after only four weeks,whilethe compactfluorescent bulb remainedtitthroughout the entire 1Oweekexperiment. Secondly,the compactfluorescentlightbulb cost lessto operatethan the incandescentlightbulb.The total energy charge for the incandescentlightbulb was approximately $2.15.For the same672 hours,the totatenergychargefor the compact fluorescentlightbulbwas approximately90.54. Thecompactfluorescent lightbulb lastedat teast60%tongerthanthe incandescent lightbulb.Figure 1 (seeAppendixA) showshow tongeach tightbutblasted.Figure2 (see AppendixC) comparesthe energyusageof the two lightbutbs. It showsthat the compact fluorescent lightbulb cost approximately75% less to operate than the incandescent
lightbulb. 1 . H o wm u c hlongerdid the compact fluorescent lightbulb last? 2. Wherecan you find the data to answerthat question? 3 . H o w m u c hlessdid the compactfluorescent lightbulb cost to operate?

4. where can you findthe datato answer thatquestion?

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Developing Science Writing Skills

Chapter XIV:Writing a Science Report

Name:

Date:

Chapter Xlv:writing a Science Report(cont;I


Discussion 5. In the Discussionsection, drawsomeconclusions and indicate howyourresearch has contributed to a better understanding of the problem underinvestigation. ' Begin thissection withthecentered heading-Discussion. Justcontinue fromwhere the Results section finisheo. . A goodDiscussion progresses section in thissequence: a. Briefly restate the purpose of the study. b. Indicate how the findings relate to your hypothesis. was your hypothesis supported? c. Discuss the meaning of yourresults. Whydidyoufindwhatyoudid? d. Discuss possible implications of your research. How does the research helpyou understand or solvesomeproblem? e. Indicate anyquestions thatremain unanswereo. . Writethe Discussion section in pasttense. Directions: Wentric andMakhi's Discussion section mightlooklikethis.Answer the questions tollowing abouttheirDiscussion section. Thereweretwo purposesfor this research. one purposewas to comparehow Iongcompactfluorescent lightbulbs and incandescent tightbutbs lasted. Thesecond purposewas to comparethe energycostsfor the two typesof lightbulbs. our hypothesisthat compactfluorescent lightbulbstasttongerand are more energyefficient thanincandescent lightbulbs wassupported by the research. Compactfluorescent bulbs were cheaperto operatethan incandescent butbs. The initial purchaseprice of the compactfluorescent butb was higher than the incandescent, but the cost of operatingthe butb over the tifespan of the butb was considerably less.Thebreak-even point for costwasprojectedto occurin week 12. Fromthatpoint on, the compactfluorescent bulb wouldpay for itsetf. lf our interpretation of the present findingswas correct, we have found that consumerscan save money and reduce their energy use by switchingalt the lightbulbs in theirhouseto compactfluorescent. Schools and businesses can save monevas well.

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Developing Writing Science Skills

Chapter XIV:Writing a Science Report

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(cont.) Discussion
One problem with the present research was the limited time frame. Because the incandescent lightbulb did burn out within the ten-week research time frame, the total potential savings of the compact fluorescentlightbulb was not identified.Future research should examine the total lifespan of a compact fluorescentlightbulb. 1. WasWentric and Makhi's hypothesis supported or not? 2. Whichlightbulb lasted the longest? 3. Whichlightbulb costthe mostto operate? 4. How could Wentricand Makhi improvethis experiment to bettertest their hypothesis?

Bibliography 6. In the Bibliography section, listall the sources youconsulted yourreport. in preparing . Begin thissection on a newpagewiththe following centered heading-Bibliography. . In listing the sources, followa consistent format. Ask yourteacher whichformatyou should use.
Directions: Wentric and Makhiusedthe website listed belowas a source.They included thiscitation in theirbibliography. Answer questions the following aboutthe citation. Corarid, Matt. (2008)."Kilowatt/Hour Usage Rates."<www.palco-oprates.com> 2008,August12. published 1. What organization the information on the website?

2 . Who is the authorof the information? 3 . Whendid Wentric and Makhiaccessthe information?

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Writing Skills D e v e l o p i nS gc i e n c e

Report a Science C h a p t eX r I V :W r i t i n g

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Date:

XIV: Writinga Science Report Chapter


Appendices (graphs) 7. UseAppendices for(1) allTables andFigures thatwerereferred to intheResults section, and (2) anyspecial material thatdoesnotfit wellin the mainbodyof the report (forexample, a copyof the"KilowatvHour UsageRates"). . Begin lf youhave the pagewith eachappendix on a newpage. begin iustoneappendix, thefollowing centered heading-Appendix. ll youhavemorethanoneappendix, usethe following headings-Appendix A, Appendix B, andso on. . Giveeachappendix an appropriate title. the titleon the linebelow the Appendix Center heading.
in theirAppendix Directions:Wentric and Makhiput the following information section. questions Answer the belowabouttheirAppendix section. Appendix A Figure 1: Length of Time the LightbulbsRemained Lighted

Appendix B Table 1: Kilowatt/HourUsage Rates

Appendix C Figure 2: Cost of Energy Usage for Compact Fluorescentand lncandescentLightbulbs

1 . How manypagesare in the Appendix section? 2 . lf you wanted wouldyou to see whichlightbulb lastedlonger, to whichappendix

turn?
to operate, to which 3 . lf you wantedto see whichlightbulb was more expensive wouldyou turn? appendix

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Developing Science Writing Skills

XIV:Writing Chapter a Science Report

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Date:

WritingYour Own ScienceReport


Usethe skillsyou havelearned to writea science you haveconreportaboutan experiment ducted. In the spacebelow, writeyourquestion andyourhypothesis.
Question:

Hypothesis:

Come up witha titlefor your reportand writeit below.

Usethe restof the space yourreport for notes forgetting organized. Writethe complete report on yourownpaper. Be sureto follow the guidelines lor writing givenon pages a science report 62-71.Your teacher mayhaveadditional requirements andguidelines for yourreport.

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