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  • General Format
    reflect how good the report is Abstract T he abstract is extremely important because it helps readers decide what to read and what to pass over The idea of the abstract is to give readers an honest evaluation of what s in the report so they can quickly judge whether they should spend their valuable time reading the report This section should give a true brief description of what s in the report The most important purpose of the abstract is to allow somebody to get a quick picture of what s in the paper and make a judgment The abstract is a brief summary of your report Its length corresponds with the report s length So for example if your report is eight pages long you shouldn t use more than 150 words in the abstract Generally abstracts define the lab s objective and the procedures followed They also include the lab s results Introduction T he introduction provides a rationale for why you are doing an experiment and why the experiment is useful It sets the framework or overview for the rest of the report Here you can also present the problem you are solving and summarize any related research An introduction should be an introduction For instance if you re going to give a speech presumably the master of ceremonies will introduce you He or she will give your name perhaps provide your background the title of what you ll talk about and maybe why you have chosen to give the talk An introduction to a report works the same way Experiment U nder the experiment heading you should describe each step of the lab test Here you might also document your goals and the steps taken to accomplish those goals Basically you are writing down everything you did during the experiment The experiment section tells readers what you wanted to accomplish to measure a the voltage of a circuit for instance what steps you took to accomplish your goals and what materials and equipment you used to accomplish your goals Results I n the results you should report what you found Here you may or may not include data interpretations Some readers expect interpretations or conclusions to be a separate heading Check with your instructor for what to include in your results The results section documents the test s outcome s Here readers discover what the test measured with exact data Calculations or equations may also be included Discussion Conclusions O ne of the goals of the discussion and conclusions section is to comment on the outcome of what you did You can also speculate about the implications of what you found Or even about the methods you used to obtain your results Typically the Discussion Conclusion sections demonstrate what was learned from the experiment Here what s been gained in understanding both from the experiment itself and from any background reading in preparing the report are emphasized For example you might note that the procedure

    Original URL path: http://writing.colostate.edu/guides/page.cfm?pageid=1589&guideid=87 (2015-10-15)
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  • Perspectives on Lab Reports
    that the abstract becomes a crucial decision maker about whether or not to read the full article If the abstract looks interesting then readers would go to the next step of skimming the paper If that looks good then they d read the whole paper Reading the whole paper takes valuable time The abstract is one of the steps to devoting a lot of time to the paper A key thing to remember is that you re not trying to trap people into reading the paper there s nothing to be gained by that How Readers Use Introductions When I read a report and after I ve gone through the abstract and decided that the report looks like something I d want to read I ll probably look at the results section If the results are interesting then I ll come back and I ll start reading the introduction As I read the introduction I ll be looking for information about why the results of the experiment are important The Experiment Section s Goal The most important goal of this section is to explain clearly and precisely what was done to obtain the results You also need to tell your readers the precise procedures that you followed to obtain those results In a way it s like telling the ingredients for a cake without revealing the steps necessary to combine and bake them Writing an Effective Results Section Good results sections are to the point and really talk about the results They don t go off on a side track discussing the experimental stuff again and that s the way it should be You shouldn t be repeating information over and over except to the extent of reminding the reader or helping the reader follow what you re doing Then

    Original URL path: http://writing.colostate.edu/guides/page.cfm?pageid=1590&guideid=87 (2015-10-15)
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  • Email Uses
    Contributors Citation Email Email Uses E mail allows individuals and groups to communicate with one another Imagine that you ve been asked to coordinate work on a proposal to address a problem in your dorm or Greek organization You need to get information and ideas from people living in your dorm or house from members of the surrounding community from university officials and perhaps other groups Once you ve established

    Original URL path: http://writing.colostate.edu/guides/page.cfm?pageid=895&guideid=44 (2015-10-15)
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  • Information Exchange
    a wide variety of information that we might have seen on bulletin boards or flyers in the past Email makes distributing this information quick and simple You can send information directly to Individuals Users can send email to exchange information with just one person As a student you are most likely to ask informational questions of your professors or classmates Students often ask for information about Changing a class schedule or assignment deadline Setting up an appointment Finding additional resources on a topic Clarifying a concept or discussion topic Small Groups Typically users send email to small groups of people with a common interest say a committee or a work group With these groups the most common kinds of information exchange include Arranging and changing meeting times Disseminating minutes or notes of discussions Asking for agenda items Communicating a project s progress Reporting results of proposals Large Groups Users often send email to large groups advertise a product or service In a way these messages function much as commercials do on television With these groups the most common kinds of information exchange include Announcing general interest meetings or presentations Announcing new services Advertising special events Requesting volunteers for community activities Writing General Announcements W hen you write a general announcement be sure to answer the W questions who what when where and why It s also a courtesy to announce how much if there is an admission charge or donation expected Verify the information before you compose your message proofread carefully and then keep track of the addresses you use to distribute your announcement just in case you need to update the information should it change You d be surprised how often email writers forget to announce the time or place of an event Not only is it embarrassing to

    Original URL path: http://writing.colostate.edu/guides/page.cfm?pageid=896&guideid=44 (2015-10-15)
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  • Brainstorming and Problem Solving
    and problem solving typically occur in face to face meetings we can use email to help with these activities For instance suppose you have a large group of people who want to help work on the problem in the dorm or Greek house Getting all those people together might be a scheduling nightmare and some people might decide not to help because of the inconvenient meeting time By asking everyone to send you views of the problem and two or three possible solutions over email you can organize a draft proposal to circulate to everyone You might include the three or four most commonly cited solutions to the problem By getting possible solutions in front of concerned people before you meet you can make more progress when you convene a face to face meeting Brainstorming to Meet a Deadline A nother common way of using email also leads to brainstorming and problem solving Say you know a deadline is approaching but you haven t yet been able to gather all the information you need for a project that s due If you use email to alert the people expecting the project your boss or co workers a conference organizer a

    Original URL path: http://writing.colostate.edu/guides/page.cfm?pageid=897&guideid=44 (2015-10-15)
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  • Record Keeping
    in record of what you ve asked for and what information you ve received By saving a copy of the messages you send you can keep track of exactly what you asked for and when By keeping a copy of messages you receive you can remind yourself when it s time to follow up a request for information with a second email message or a telephone call Many email users keep their email archives organized by project or topic to help themselves remember to follow up on certain tasks To read examples about archiving email choose either of the items below Archiving Announcements You may decide for instance that you should announce an upcoming campus event every three or four days for two weeks before the event with a final reminder the morning of the event By saving your messages you can be sure that you are sending accurate information each time you send it And you can be sure that you ve met your schedule Moreover if someone loses one of these general distribution announcements and asks you to repeat the message you have a copy in your email archive to send instantly Archiving Documents Especially as you work with committees or groups email records can be helpful in showing how a final document or proposal evolved or who argued which positions along the way As you work with a group you can keep all the messages from that group together and create the history of the group s activity If you re writing a document email records can show the drafts of the document and who commented on what parts of the document Such email records not only provide you with accountability but can also head off group problems If a group member objects to one part of

    Original URL path: http://writing.colostate.edu/guides/page.cfm?pageid=898&guideid=44 (2015-10-15)
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  • Staying in Touch Professionally
    Guide Contributors Citation Email Staying in Touch Professionally E mail list serve functions are an increasingly common way to keep track of recent developments and current trends in a field A member of a group teachers with a particular interest investors using a particular stock strategy hobbyists World War II veterans sets up a special email routing service on a host computer As interested people decide to join the group

    Original URL path: http://writing.colostate.edu/guides/page.cfm?pageid=900&guideid=44 (2015-10-15)
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  • Staying in Touch Socially
    Large Groups Email Logistics Courtesies in Using Email Professor Perspectives on Email Resources Print Friendly Format About this Guide Contributors Citation Email Staying in Touch Socially A s more and more computer users connect to the Internet from home computers email replaces telephone calls and letters that used to keep family and friends in touch Issues affecting personal messages are listed below Privacy Any message may be personal but it s certainly not private if you send it via email Systems administrators anywhere along the email trail could though they probably won t read save or archive your message The law that protects telephone conversations from wire tapping does not yet clearly extend to email messages so you should consider sending sensitive or confidential messages through some other medium Work Policies Many businesses do not allow their employees to use office computers to send personal messages over email Be sure to check on the policies of your employer before sending messages to friends and family members State Employees Many states require that all state employees office communications be available for public scrutiny If you are a state or federal employee a systems administrator may be required by law to archive

    Original URL path: http://writing.colostate.edu/guides/page.cfm?pageid=901&guideid=44 (2015-10-15)
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