I’m working on catching up my list of letter writing topics to today’s date. 30: Write a letter describing the stupidest email scam you’ve ever received. On a daily basis, I get email after email from scammers claiming they have very large sums of money that they’re just dying to give me. Some claim to literally be dying, and for some reason they want to give all their money to me. Others purport to be from U.S. FBI, deposed world leaders, etc. Of course, all I have to do to receive the millions I’m offered is to send them my name, phone number, address and sometimes my bank account info and social security number. Needless to say, I’ve never received any of this wealth. But, then, I’ve never contacted any of the scammers. Do you get those emails, too? Write about it in a letter. 31: Write a letter about the condition of your desktop. 32: Write a letter about where your ancestors came from. That’s often a big deal to Americans, since many have ancestors who were immigrants from another country. But, even if your family has lived on the same piece of land for centuries, that will be interesting to your pen pal. 33: Write a letter about the word you misspell most often. 34: Write about your favorite magazine. Oh, I know. Print is supposed to be obsolete. But, is there a magazine you still enjoy reading the paper and ink version of? 35: Write a letter to or about your grandfather. 36: Write a letter telling the recipient what you admire most about him/her. Make it sincere. Say it with love.

Regarding the form a hypothesis should have, it is a good idea to try to avoid being fancy or overly complicated – here the clarity is what is important, not an inventive style. It is perfectly acceptable to begin your hypothesis with the phrase “It was hypothesized that . ” Be as specific as possible regarding the relationship between different objects of your study. That is, explain that when term A alters, term B alters in this particular way. Audiences of scientific writing are seldom content with the notion that a relationship between two terms exists – rather, they wish to know what is entailed by that relationship. If this piece were a different size or made from a different material, would this have an impact? The past tense is more appropriate in this section because the experiment already happened. Passive vs. active: Previously, scientific journals discouraged their writers from using the first person (“I” or “we”), as it was thought that the researchers themselves were not personally significant to the procedure in the experiment.

Recall that other researchers should be able to reproduce experiments exactly, based on the lab report; utilizing the first person implies (to some readers) that the experiment cannot be replicated without the original researchers present. To help curtail the use of personal references in lab reports, scientific conventions also stated that researchers should use passive voice. The majority of readers think that this style of writing conveys information more clearly and concisely. This rhetorical decision consequently brings two scientific values into conflict: objectivity versus clarity. Given that the scientific community has not yet arrived at a consensus about which style it prefers, you may want to consult with your lab instructor. HOW DO I WRITE A STRONG RESULTS SECTION? Here’s something of a paradox. The Results section is often both the briefest (yay!) as well as the most significant (uh-oh!) component of your report. Your Materials and Methods section demonstrates how you arrived at the results, and your Discussion component explores the relevance of the results, so clearly the Results section forms the backbone of the lab report.

This component gives your readers the most vital information about your experiment: the data that allow you to articulate how your hypothesis was or wasn’t supported. However, it does not provide anything else, which accounts for why this section is most often shorter than the others. Before you compose this section, examine all the data you collected to determine what relates significantly to your hypothesis. This is the material you will wish to highlight in the Results. Refrain from the desire to include every bit of data you collected, as not all have relevance. Also, this is not the place to draw conclusions regarding the results—save them for the Discussion section. In this section, you’re relating facts, so nothing your readers could argue with should appear in the Results component. The majority of Results sections contain three distinct parts: text, tables, and figures. We will consider each part individually. This should be a concise paragraph, generally speaking merely a few lines, which describes the results you derived from your experiment.

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