DRUG PLASMA PROTEIN BINDING

GENERIC TIPS FOR WRITING GOOD REPORTS

THE TITLE

 Straightforward and informative (not more than 15 words)

 Should give a precise indication of the subject matter

ABSTRACT

 An abstract is a brief summary of what you did in an experiment and the final results

you obtained.

 It is intended to inform the reader of the content of the report.

 This should be a short paragraph summarizing the main contents of the report.

 First to Be Read but Last to Be Revised.

 It should include a short statement of the main task, the methods used, conclusions

reached and any recommendations to be made.

 The abstract or summary should be concise, informative and independent of the report

Introduction

INTRODUCTION

 Read Journals in the library/on the web.

 A brief account of the principles behind the experimental methods adopted and an

indication of the scope and significance of the work.

 Start with general background and context; focus down to relevant details; finish by

stating your aims.

 Be understandable to someone who has not done the experiment.

 Don’t include experimental details or results.

 Golden rule – Aim for Clarity.

 Give background to what you are doing and why

 Put your experiment in context

 Quick explanation of research area

 Summary of relevant past research

 Purpose of study: What was objective of experiment?

 Indicate the proposed development

METHODS

 Say what you did and why

 Should be written in past tense. Use passive voice

 In this section you should state how you carried out your enquiry

 What measurements did you make?

 Present this information logically and concisely

 May include subheads, tables and figures

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION

 The core of the report.

 Often includes tables, figures, or both

 Should summarize findings rather than providing data in great detail

 Should use past tense

 Describe your results

 Discuss what your results mean i.e. draw conclusions from your results

 Present your findings in as simple a way as possible

 The discussion is the part of a practical report where an attempt is made to rationalise

the results that one has obtained in an experiment.

 Keep the discussion relevant and succinct

 Use short sentences wherever possible and avoid repetition. A common fault is to pad

this section out with irrelevant material. Another is to simply rewrite the results here

without any comment or analysis!

PRESENTING TABLES

 To avoid repetition of the unit symbol and if applicable, repetition of a power of 10,

you should tabulate data in the form of pure numbers of convenient magnitude

 Place the table number and title (legend) above a table

 Should be able to stand on its own (Design tables to be understandable without the

text)

 The core of the report

 Often includes tables, figures, or both

 Should summarize findings rather than providing data in great detail

 Should use past tense

 Describe your results

 Discuss what your results mean i.e. draw conclusions from your results

 Present your findings in as simple a way as possible

 Create a descriptive caption (no verb required)

 Use head- or foot-notes to explain abbreviations

 Verify all data

 Verify accuracy of use of symbols

 Proofread carefully.

 Round off numbers and align decimals

 Use tables only if text will not suffice

 If your report includes a series of tables, use the same format for each

 A check list for a good table:

o Legend- complete

o Note capitalization

o Units included

o Note clarifying footnote

o Lines of demarcation

o Separate numerical data from text.

o Gridlines not present (No vertical lines)

o Use captions/footnotes for definitions

PRESENTING FIGURES AND GRAPHS

 Accurately show facts

 Is it needed? Designed to add understanding of information that it difficult to convey

with words

 Graphs are plotted to find relationships between measured variables

 As an alternative to table, these are usually better and easier way to present

 If you have a table, you don’t need a graph, and vice versa!

 Title and minimal labels provide clear message.

 Make sure the size and fonts are large enough to easily read.

 Reference all the figures in the body of the text, e.g. see Figure 1

 Consider where best to place the figure – It should be soon after the reference in the

text.

 Colors or patterns show differences.

 All figures should have a figure number and a caption.

 Include the figure description and analysis in the body of the text (It is best to refer to

them in parenthesis).

 Consider where best to place the figure – It should be soon after the reference in the

text

 Colours or patterns show differences

 All figures should have a figure number and a caption

 Include the figure description and analysis in the body of the text (It is best to refer to

them in parenthesis)

CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

 Draw all the elements of the report together.

 Point out successes and failures.

 Say how the experiment could be improved.

 Compare the results with theory: did the expected happen?

 It should be expressed clearly and should not present any new information.

 Avoid making subjective or personal statements

 You may wish to list your recommendations in separate section or include them with

the conclusions.

REFERENCES

 It is important that you give precise details of all the work by other authors that has

been referred to within the report.

 Details should include

o author’s name and initials.

o date of publication.

o title of the book, paper or journal.

o publisher and place of publication

o page numbers

o details of the journal volume in which the article has appeared

 Harvard system is generally recommended

Page 4 of 4

ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS

When answering questions it is important to read the question thoroughly to be sure that you

understand what is being asked. If you cannot think of a sensible explanation for yourself

(and this may happen!) DON’T GUESS. Try to look the answer up in a recommended text

and see if this helps. The tutors certainly do not wish to stifle creative ideas, but it is best to

check that you are thinking along accepted lines before committing yourself to paper. This

can often save embarrassment. The following points may prove helpful:

 Try to work out why the question is being asked. It is rarely for the hell of it. A well

thought out answer should shed light on the aims and discussion of the experiment.

 Ask staff during the practicals if you are not sure about what is happening in the

experiment. Often the answer will come out in the ensuing discussion.

 If an answer is speculation on your part say so. There is nothing wrong with

speculation provided you clearly state that you were unable to find a solution to the

problem in the literature.

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