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HIST 303
Material Science
May 29, 2023
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MENG 3324 Introduction to Materials Science 1 Lab Report Guide We will be using a format for the lab reports which is similar (but modified) to formats for scientific papers. That is, you must include an abstract, introduction, materials and methods section, results section, discussion, and literature citations. Your grade on the reports will depend on completeness, scientific accuracy and insight, organization, and writing skills. We will discuss this more in lab. We expect lab reports to be prepared using modern word-processing programs. The format is as follows: Title Precisely identifies the focus of the lab. Authors Precisely identifies who authored the lab report. 1. Abstract of experiment. (10 points) provides an overview of the report content, including findings and conclusions This is a summary of the basic content of the experiment. It should state the purpose of the experiment, mention the techniques used, report results obtained, and give conclusions. The point of the abstract is to give a concise summary of the whole report. The most common mistake that students make is not including summary data. An abstract should be written last (even though it appears as the first section in your report), as it summarizes information from all the other sections of the report. 2. Introduction. (20 points) provides appropriate background to the experiment and briefly explains any relevant theories states the problem and/or hypothesis, and concisely states the objective/s of the experiment An introduction gives focus to the report similar to the "Purpose" written in the lab notebook, but also should put the experiment into context and provide the reader with information necessary to understand the scientific basis of the experiment and the techniques used. In most cases, you should include background information on the organisms used and explain the theory behind the techniques. Much of the introductory material should be referenced. You are encouraged to search the library for relevant references. Always write the introduction in your own words; don't just copy from the lab notes. Some brief lab reports do not require an introduction and will just begin with an aim/statement.
MENG 3324 Introduction to Materials Science 2 3. Materials and Methods. (30 points) describes equipment, materials and procedure(s) used may include flow charts of procedures and/or diagrams of experimental set-up outlines any processing or calculations performed on the collected data (when applicable) This is a section which will be a major deviation from scientific papers. Instead of asking you to tediously rewrite all your lab notes into a materials and methods format, we instead want you to include your lab notes in lieu of materials and methods. The lab notes should be complete, including all raw data, observations, calculations and appropriate graphs. We do not expect (nor do we want) rewritten notes. Your description of the experimental set-up should be sufficient to allow someone else to replicate the experiment themselves. You will usually begin with a description of the materials used and/or the apparatus set-up accompanied by: an image showing the relevant features of any object or material under investigation a diagram of the experimental setup, with each component clearly labelled 4. Results. (15 points) presents the results of the experiment graphically or by using tables. Figures often include error bars where applicable discusses how results were analyzed, including error analysis Separate from the lab notes, include a section containing a summary of the final data, presented in a form that is most useful for interpreting the results. When showing calculations, it is usual to show the general equation, and one worked example. Where a calculation is repeated many times, the additional detail is usually included in an appendix. A short paragraph should be sufficient, along with any relevant charts and graphs labeled well. Remember to title and provide legends for all graphs and tables. The graphs and tables should be comprehensible independently of their association with the text. Tables should be labelled numerically as Table 1, Table 2, etc. Everything else (graphs, images, diagrams etc.) is labelled numerically as Figure 1, Figure 2, etc. (References to figures in the main body of the text are usually written in abbreviated form, e.g. 'see Fig. 1'). Table captions appear above the table. Figure captions appear below the figure. 5. Discussion. (25 points) interprets key results in relation to the aims/research question summarizes key findings and limitations makes recommendations to overcome limitations and indicate future directions in research
MENG 3324 Introduction to Materials Science 3 Discuss the experiment and the results obtained. This does not mean you simply report the results again, but rather interpret and discuss their significance. Results should also be compared with those in the literature, if possible. (Be sure to give proper citations). If problems were encountered during the course of the experiment, how might they be rectified in the future? Are there any other things we could do to make this a better experiment or to more specifically address the initial question posed? Are there any better techniques available that would allow one to more accurately generate data? Is there more than one way to explain the results? Your results may support your initial hypothesis, but there may be more than one conclusion that could be drawn from your results. Note: do not spend enormous amounts of time explaining data that cannot be explained! 6. Conclusion The conclusion section should provide a take-home message summing up what has been learned from the experiment: reminds the reader what problem was being investigated summarizes the findings in relation to the problem/hypothesis notes the main limitations that are relevant to the interpretation of the results briefly identifies big-picture implications of the findings (Answers the question "So What?") 6. Reference Citations lists the publication details of all sources cited in the text, allowing readers to locate sources quickly and easily usually follows a specific referencing style As required in all scientific literature, statements of fact, not considered "common" knowledge, must be properly referenced. Give complete citations of all literature cited in the report. What's complete? Here are some examples: Articles in Journals: Hamidi YK and Altan MC, Process Induced Defects in Liquid Molding Processes of Composites. International Polymer Processing , 32(5): 1-18, 2017. DOI:10.3139/217.3444 Articles in Books: Hamidi YK and Altan MC, Process-Induced Defects in Resin Transfer Molded Composites. In: Beaumont, P.W.R. and Zweben, C.H. (eds.), Comprehensive Composite Materials II. vol. 2, pp. 95 - 106. Oxford: Academic Press, 2018. 7. Appendices An appendix (plural = appendices) contains material that is too detailed to include in the main report, such as tables of raw data or detailed calculations
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