Module Learning Outcomes Assessed:
·devise, develop and implement a plan of research;
·critically evaluate, analyse and present qualitative and quantitative information and data that addresses a hypothesis or research question;
·prepare a structured, critical evaluation of a research topic in the form of a written report;
·demonstrate a thorough knowledge of a selected research topic both orally and in writing;
·demonstrate key communication (written and oral), problem-solving, time management and appropriate ICT skills. Students will be expected to demonstrate independent learning skills throughout the course of the module. Numeracy skills will also be required to successfully acquire, manipulate and evaluate data;
Evaluate risk, ethics and health and safety in relation to research projects.
1.1 Report formatting (all reports)
All reports must:
·be written in UK Oxford English (see Concise Oxford Dictionary);
·be double-line spaced, although titles and text in tables and figures, and the references, can be single line spaced;
·have margins not less than 2.5 cm;
·be typed in 12 point Arial or Times Roman - ask your supervisor for their preference;
·be formatted as a Word document with numbered pages.
If you have very large images in your report such as phylogenetic figures, you may submit the report as a pdf, but check with your supervisor first. Note that images can be compressed in size. Marks will be deducted for failure to comply with all formatting and layout instructions.
tables and figures and their titles;
list of abbreviations (if used);
glossary (if used);
acknowledgements and appendices.
The word limit does include:
written text in the report including in-text citations;
headings and subheadings.
Any text over 5,000 words will not be marked as there is no 10% margin. Define abbreviations at the point in the text where they are first mentioned and then use the abbreviation thereafter. You can include an abbreviations list if your supervisor considers this appropriate, but keep abbreviations to a minimum. It is very difficult for the reader to remember multiple abbreviations and some are not necessary. Use the International System of Units (SI units) such as ‘s’ for second
Each table should be headed by a self-explanatory title and numbered consecutively (Table 1, Table 2, etc.). Avoid shading as it makes the table difficult to read so use the simplest format possible. Always produce your own tables. If you are summarising data from research articles, use summary points for each column. Your similarity score will be considerably increased if you copy and paste sentences from research papers. Indicate that a table is continued over a page or pages by the subheading 'Table x continued' and repeat the column headings on subsequent pages.
Layout of laboratory and data project reports
Abstract – this should include
·Brief background and rationale
·Summary of methods
·Discussion - major conclusions and implication of key findings
The purpose of the abstract is to briefly summarise the main points of the project so that they could be understood by any interested reader. The abstract should form one double line spaced paragraph and should not contain subheadings or cited references. Only essential abbreviations should be included, which must be defined at first mention in the abstract. At the base of the abstract page, give the word count of the report without the exclusions listed on page 2 of these guidelines.
·Explain what is known about the subject area and what is unknown using critical evaluation of background research literature to form an evidence-based justification (rationale) for the research project
·Hypothesis to be tested or research question and aims
Materials and methods
Provide sufficient detail to allow the work to be reproduced, written in the past tense.
·Use sub-headings to provide an ordered structure
·Summarise protocols, including experimental design and statistical analysis of data
·Detailed protocols should be included in an appendix or appendices.
·Report the results of the experiments/observations/surveys in relation to the hypothesis or research question
·Use the text to highlight trends in the data and direct the reader to figures and tables
·Data to be given in tables and figures. Do not include raw data (data on individual patients/animals/cells, genetic sequences, etc.), this can be included in appendices
·Statistical analyses where applicable
·Summary of evidence – key findings that test the hypothesis or address the research question
·How the findings compare to previously published research
·Limitation of methods/study design