Return to [Ecology] [Ornithology] [Field Botany]
The major sections of a Field Trip
Grading Criteria for Field Trip Reports
FIELD TRIP REPORTS
Expectations I have for your field trip reports:
1. Field trip reports should contain all required sections: Abstract, Introduction, Methods, Results, Discussion and Conclusions; Figures and Tables.
2. They should be typed and arranged according to the expected format.
There is a superb chapter in the Ecology lab manual which explains the proper writing of a scientific paper. You also have available to you a stylebook which explains in detail all of the format requirements.
3. The field trip reports should be ON TIME. There will be a substantial and progressive penalty for late papers. I will not consider a paper "turned in" until it is correctly formatted and complete.
4. Please don't neglect your nonscientific writing skills. I take grammar and spelling, sentence construction and overall clarity and organization into account when evaluating papers.
This section is strongly influenced by the superb explanation of research report writing in Field and Laboratory Methods for General Ecology, by Brower, Zar, and von Ende. I strongly recommend reviewing that work for further information.
1. Abstract: A complete summary of the report in a few hundred words at most. An abstract is NOT an introduction, but a condensed version of the ENTIRE REPORT.
2. Introduction: An explanation of the background, and goals of the field trip. The location and habitat is carefully described. The scientific question is stated and explained. What effect will possible results have on the question?
3. Methods: Describes the methods and procedures used to carry out the experiment. Another scientist could duplicate your work using this description. Standard, well-known techniques can be simply named, possibly with a citation to a source which describes that method. The type of analysis done on the data is part of the methods.
4. Results: Report the key results which come out of your field trip and it's analysis. Don't just dump all your data and expect the reader to sort it out. Highlight what you find important. Summarize. DON'T just say "the results are given in the attached table." Report your results in prose, supported by necessary charts and tables.
5. Discussion and Conclusions: This relates the results to the goals of the trip. This is where you make your arguments, based on your interpretation of your observations.
6. Tables and Figures: These should be neat and properly formatted. They should clarify and explain the text. Choose them carefully. They are compliments to the text, not a replacement for it. A few well-chosen figures are better than an avalanche which confuse and distract the reader.
7. Literature Cited: Whenever you use a fact from another author in your paper, you must cite the paper so that your reader knows who is the genuine author of that fact . These papers are listed in the Literature Cited section and cited at appropriate places in the text of the paper.
Back to top
STUDENT: ____________________________DATE: ____________________
FIELD TRIP: 1 2 3 4 5 6 (circle)
FIRST DRAFT: SUBMITTED ACCORDING TO FORMAT? YES / NO
ON TIME? DUE DATE: _______DAYS LATE: ________PENALTY (%):_______
RETURNED FOR CORRECTION ON: DATE: __________
ON TIME? DUE DATE: _______ DAYS LATE: _______PENALTY (%): _______
POSSIBLE POINTS: CRITERION
20 Conforms to required format:
10 Has all required sections _______
10 Sections are arranged according to format _______
10 Technical Execution:
5 Grammar and Spelling _______
5 Smoothly constructed, concise sentences and paragraphs _______
10 Abstract--A concise summary of the entire paper _______
10 Introduction--The reader can easily determine the background, rationale, and facts of the case.
The habitat is described and explained. The scientific question is stated and explained. _______
10 Materials and Methods--Explained clearly and concisely including analysis methods _______
10 Results--Organized and reported concisely. _______
10 Discussion and Conclusions--Explains the effect the results have on the scientific question. Advances the writer's arguments and conclusions. _______
10 Tables and Figures--Relate to and expand upon the text. Include captions and source citations _______
10 Literature Cited--Sources listed are primary. Sources are cited at the appropriate places in text. _______
Logic and the organization of the argument are inadequate.
General appearance is unacceptable.
This paper has a problem with plagiarism
Back to top
Return to [Ecology 1/2] [Ecology 2/2] [Ornithology] [Field Botany]