The title should convey the key idea of your report or what the report will cover. Below your title you should include your name, student number, affiliations (Deakin University and the course you are enrolled in) and the date.
A concise, informative overview of the research. In approximately 150 – 250 words you should briefly outline why the research was done, what the main findings were, what conclusions you came to and the implications in terms of Animal Physiology.
You should convey a general statement about the broad scientific context in which this research is most relevant. This should include some background information and reference to previous work to help illustrate the importance of this research. It should provide the experimental aim and objectives or hypothesis tested. In the context of the experiment you conducted, the metabolic response to extreme salinities is the focal point. Finally, you should identify the scope of the report (i.e. outline what the reader can expect to find in the report).
Materials and Methods
In this section you must describe how the experiment was performed and the conditions under which it was performed in such a way that it could be repeated by someone else. You must use photographs to help illustrate the procedure and they must be logically ordered within the text body. You will need to describe the techniques used to collect, collate, and analyse the observations that you made. DO NOT repeat verbatim the design schedule but rather summarise the essential information and include any deviations or improvisations that you made. REMEMBER that someone reading your description should feel confident to be able to repeat the experiment using the methods you describe.
This section presents your observations and data from the experiment. You do not include the raw data here but rather collated class results in the form of tables, graphs and statistical summaries. The figures and tables should be ‘stand-alone’, that is, they should be clearly labelled with all the information that the reader requires to interpret the results. Each figure/table should have a number and a title appropriately located. You do not go into the details of statistical analysis (if you think this is necessary add it as an appendix) but rather present the findings of this analysis in an acceptable form. You must not discuss the results but rather just present or describe them in this section.
In this section you should refer back to your original aim and discuss whether or not it has been achieved. It is not a re-statement of the results but rather an interpretation thereof, i.e. it should answer the question what do the results mean? This is done by referring to the results and determining if they support or contradict the initial proposal/hypothesis. Once you have described and discussed the class data you might compare and contrast them with the results of other researchers experimenting in the same field, if available. You should recognise the limitations of this study and identify any areas where further research should be undertaken.
Make sure the content is presented in a logical manner, that the depth and breadth of discussion is appropriate to your level of expertise and that you demonstrate evidence of original thought based on the evidence you have collected. In your discussion you must attempt to explain differences between salinities from metabolic/physiological perspectives; particularly in relation to energetics, osmoregulation and respiration (which are all key modules in this unit), including reference to relevant morphological features, and make comparison to other organisms where possible.
The first rule of writing good conclusions is to understand that they are not summaries. The conclusion should address the aim that you stated in the introduction by drawing together the ideas you have presented and an interpretation of what they mean. It should answer the question “so what?” You should draw your conclusion/s from what you have presented and therefore references should generally not be cited.
Spelling, grammar, sentence and paragraph construction, coherence and cohesion are critical to good writing.
Your referencing should be based on the Harvard (author/date) system (a guide to this is provided on the Deakin Study Support website http://www.deakin.edu.au/students/studysupport/referencing/harvard) and should include in-text citations and a reference list.
Please strive to make the References section accurate and consistent with the journal´s style. We use the Harvard system. Cite references chronologically in the text by the author and date. Multiple references from the same year should be cited alphabetically. In the text, the names of two coauthors are linked by ´and´; for three or more, the first author´s name is followed by ´et al.´.
Avoid excessive citation of references. All references cited in the text must be listed at the end of the paper, with the names of authors arranged alphabetically, then chronologically. No editorial responsibility can be taken for the accuracy of the references so authors are requested to check these with special care.
In the reference list, include the full author list, article title and journal name (i.e. no abbreviations). Papers that have not been accepted for publication must not be included in the list of references. If necessary, they may be cited either as ´unpublished data´ or as ´personal communication´ but the use of such citations is discouraged. Authors must ensure that they have permission to cite material as a personal communication and can provide unpublished data if required by a reviewer.
• Journal paper
Kavanagh, R. P., and Lambert, M. J. (1990). Food selection by the greater glider, Petauroides volans: is foliar nitrogen a determinant of habitat quality? Australian Wildlife Research 17, 285-299.
• Chapter in a book
Lee, A. K., Woolley, P. A., and Braithwaite, R. W. (1982). Life history strategies of dasyurid marsupials. In ´Carnivorous Marsupials´. (Ed. M. Archer.) pp. 1-11. (Royal Zoological Society of New South Wales: Sydney.)
• Whole book
Strahan, R. (Ed.) (1995). ´The Mammals of Australia.´ (Reed Books: Sydney.)
• Report or bulletin
Parer, I., Sobey, W. R., and Conolly, D. (1987). Reproduction of the wild rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) under varying degrees of confinement. CSIRO Division of Wildlife and Rangelands Research Technical Paper No. 36. (CSIRO: Melbourne.)
• Conference Proceedings
Hone, J., and Pedersen, H. (1980). Changes in a feral pig population after poisoning. In ´Proceedings of the 9th Vertebrate Pest Conference´. (Ed. J. P. Clark.) pp. 176-182. (University of California: Davis, CA.
• Web-based material
Goudet, J. (2001). ´FSTAT, a Program to Estimate and Test Gene Diversities and Fixation Indices (Version 2.9.3).´ Available at http://www2.unil.ch/popgen/softwares/fstat.htm [accessed 15 November 2007].