Your report should not exceed six 1.5-spaced typewritten pages, including references
but excluding tables and figures.
Parts of the report:
Abstract (you should be writing this last as it summarises your report)
A brief summary of the main points from the entire report. A single paragraph and
- A statement of the aim or objective of the study
- A short description of the materials, methods, techniques and apparatus
- A summary of the outcomes of the experimental work
- Scientific (and common names if used) of organisms
- It should not contain literature references.
Introduces the subject and the major points to be discussed in the report. States the
aim of the project and introduce the study site. You should be using literature to help
write your introduction so you will need to have references in this section.
Describe your method (what was done and how it was done) in a way that would permit
the reader to evaluate your work and repeat your experiments exactly.
Includes both written text, tables and/or figures (photos or graphs). Text clearly
interprets and explains the results of figures and tables. Figures and tables must be
clear and easy to follow and accompanied by a descriptive title and labelled axes.
Results are described but DO NOT EXPLAIN the findings of your study.
This is where the results are interpreted or explained. In the discussion you need to
relate your results to previous evidence and findings of your own and other (published
literature). Discuss possible reasons for differences in your findings. Present your
conclusions, implications and any practical applications or possible future studies. i.e.
ends in a concluding paragraph which should relate back closely to the aims (states
whether the aims were achieved; or if not, then why not).
These should be done in APA style.
The following information should be included in your report in the appropriate
- Description, sketch-map, and profile of the study area. This can be diagrammatic
if you are not an artist, but it should be approximately to scales, with a scale and
compass directions indicated. In the sketch, indicate and label the zones which
you have identified on the shore.
- An annotated list of plant and animal species found in your first task. Notes
should be sufficient to distinguish the organisms one from another, with
indications of important features such as texture, colour, size and habitat. Put
this in your Appendix.
- The raw data sheets tabulating the abundance of organisms in each of the
zones at your location. Remember to calculate means and standard deviations.
Put raw data sheets in your Appendix.
- Graphs showing the mean relative abundance of organisms in each zone. It will
be easier to compare the different zones if you include all species on every
graph and keep species in the same order on each graph. Be sure to label and
explain your graphs in a few paragraphs.
- A graph showing the total number of species across the shore, from the low tide
line to high tide line. Test the hypothesis that diversity of organisms decreases
with distance from the sea, using RANK CORRELATION (will be discussed in
class). Rank zones (want 6 zones) by closeness to the sea and number of
species present; thus the quadrat nearest the sea will rank #1, and the zone with
the most species will rank #1 etc. Is there a significant correlation between the
number of plant and animal species and proximity to the sea? (Results section).
Can you explain why – or why not? (Discussion section).
- A discussion of the factors likely to affect the distribution of plants and animals