As we have discussed, each one of you will focus on one part of the larger project to do your report on. Your final report will be posted on the web (as long as it is B or above work). This will serve many purposes, including the construction of an electronic portfolio. Your report will go through at least one phase of revision and rewriting. After you hand in your report for the first time I and another student will review it. I will also give you a provisional grade, and a statement as to what needs to be done to improve the grade. The objective is that you all end up with As. The basic idea behind this approach is to mimic the actual publication process. A reasonable time commitment for a 3 credit course will be kept in mind during this process.
Your audience should be future undergraduate students who might be interested in participating in the Toadstool project.
Since for many of you this your first research experience I expect to work with you very closely, and will attempt to provide a lot of guidance. A conventional and proven organization is as follows:
If you look at scientific papers in journals they typically follow this organization.
A scientific report is an attempt to teach your reader something new you have learned. If your reader could have a one-on-one discussion with you, that would be optimal for learning, for your reader at least! However, your audience would be somewhat limited. Scientific article and reports are an attempt to reach a larger audience. This is a proven and effective method of education. Yet, one sacrifice made in this approach is the ability for the reader to ask questions. In order for your article/monologue to be successful, you then need to anticipate reasonable questions your reader will have. One way to view a scientific article is as the answering of anticipated questions on a given topic in a logical order. Thus, I have framed the report outlines as specific questions on a given topic. The hope is that if you answer these you will have a coherent report. These are suggested questions to address. Do not hesitate to adapt, add or delete questions as you learn more and your report evolves.
The most important thing I can stress is to ask questions!!! It also helps to tackle the analysis and report segment by segment.
Possible report topics:
There are other possibilities. If you have some ideas you would like to develop come see me and we can discuss them. We need to make sure they don't overlap too much with other report topics!