BISC110/F12: Series 3 Lab 11 Science Writing Workshop

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Wellesley College

BISC110/112- Introduction to Cell Biology Lab- Fall 2012


Lab 11 Science Writing Workshop for Photosynthesis Paper

During this week's lab, you will participate in a writing workshop focusing on the photosynthesis paper. In this workshop we will review how to best present and describe results by analyzing figures you and your classmates construct from your experimental data. You will present these data to the class and explain their significance. You will be asked to offer constructive criticism of other group’s figures. Our goal is for you to practice and refine your ability to analyze and describe your findings in appropriate detail and to recognize and articulate major trends.

We will also work on the discussion part of the paper and enlist strategies useful to get started on a discussion. Our goal is to clarify how you can structure your discussion around a few major points and how you may use information from a wide range of papers to support the points that you are trying to make. In addition we will talk about how to properly acknowledge the sources of your information by citing the papers that first presented the results that gave rise to important conclusions.

For this last paper of the semester, you are also for the first time expected to write an introduction that should summarize the information that is pertinent to understanding your results and discussion. In our workshop we will discuss how to structure the introduction, how to decide which information to include in the introduction versus the discussion or both. Lastly we will talk about how to avoid plagarism by paraphrasing appropriately and by citing information properly .

Please come prepared with an outline of the introduction and discussion sections of your paper (done individually) as well as the figures (done as a group).


  1. The complete photosynthesis paper (Title, Abstract, Introduction, Methods, Results, Discussion and Literature Cited) is due on the date as indicated on the calendar or by your instructor. This assignment should be done individually.
  2. Prepare for a Lab Practical Skills Assessment in Lab 12. You may download a set of practice problems and a key to those problems here: Media:110_extra_practice_problems1.doc and Media:110_Lab_practical_practice_key_new.doc. The lab practical will cover the main concepts and techniques covered in each of the labs. You may use the Wiki during the practical; however, prior to the practical you should review the background information in the Wiki, your instructor's PowerPoints, how to perform specific techniques, and previous homework assignments.
  3. Prepare to turn in your lab notebook for grading (10 pts.) in Lab 12.

Link to Labs in this Series

Lab 8: Taster Data Analysis; Spectrophotometry, Photosynthesis and Creating a Standard Curve
Lab 9: The Hill Reaction
Lab 10: Variables Affecting the Hill Reaction