Presenting your Results

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Presenting your Results

An introduction to report writing

Why Bother?

Based on work from
the 1930’s and 1970’s

Why Bother?

Noble Prize in Physics 2007

1995

E.
Grochowski

and R. D.
Halem

IBM Journal of Research 2002

Assessment


Term 1: Experimental Skills and Data Analysis


lab books graded in session (summative)


1 extended report (10%)


One to one feedback from markers



Term 2: Full Experiments


lab books graded in session (summative)


2 extended reports (15%, 25%)


Continuous assessment

-

50
%
-

USES THE 17pt scale

Reports




-

50%


Class


Grade Point


Descriptor


First

Excellent
1st

Exceptional work of the highest quality, demonstrating excellent
knowledge and understanding, analysis, organisation, accuracy,
relevance, presentation and appropriate skills.


At final
-
year level:
work may achieve or be close to publishable standard
.

High
1st

Very high quality work
demonstrating excellent knowledge and
understanding, analysis, organisation, accuracy, relevance,
presentation and appropriate skills.


Work which may extend existing
debates or interpretations
.

Mid
1st

Low
1st

Upper
Second (2.1
)

High
2.1

High quality work
demonstrating good knowledge and understanding,
analysis, organisation, accuracy, relevance, presentation and
appropriate skills
.

Mid
2.1

Low
2.1

Lower
Second

High 2.2

Competent work
, demonstrating reasonable knowledge and
understanding, some analysis, organisation, accuracy, relevance,
presentation and appropriate skills
.

Mid
2.2

Low
2.2

Third

High
3rd

Work of limited quality, demonstrating some relevant knowledge and
understanding
.

Mid
3rd

Low
3rd

Fail

High Fail (sub
Honours)

Work does not meet standards required for the appropriate stage of
an Honours degree.


There may be evidence of some basic
understanding of relevant concepts and
techniques.

Fail

Poor quality work well below the standards required for the
appropriate stage of an Honours degree
.

Low
Fail

Zero

Zero

Work of no merit OR Absent, work not submitted, penalty in some
misconduct cases

Class

Grade point on 17
-
point
scale


Numerical equivalent


Range of marks for work
marked using all points
on 0
-
100 scale


First


Excellent
1st

96

93
-
100

High
1st

89

85
-
92

Mid
1st

81

78
-
84

Low
1st

74

70
-
77

Upper
Second

High
2.1

68

67
-
69

Mid
2.1

65

64
-
66

Low
2.1

62

60
-
63

Lower
Second

High
2.2

58

57
-
59

Mid
2.2

55

54
-
56

Low
2.2

52

50
-
53

Third

High
3rd

48

47
-
49

Mid
3rd

45

44
-
46

Low
3rd

42

40
-
43

Fail

High Fail

38

35
-
39

Fail

25

19
-
34

Low
Fail

12

1
-
18

Zero

Zero

0

0

General Feedback

You receive feedback during the lab
-
session from



The demonstrators



The staff members


Use this information to

1.
Improve week
-
by
-
week

2.
Make better use of the lab
-
session

3.
Create better/clearer graphs

4.
Make
clear notes
in your lab
-
book


Discussion points are there to guide you

5.
Make notes
for a
possible report

Plagiarism

The

reports

are

a

piece

of

work

produced

by

you


Do not copy other student’s work


Do not copy from the internet


Reference
all work

that is not your own

If we find evidence for any of these you will reported
to the plagiarism committee and may be asked to
withdraw from the university

Laboratory Experimental Report

Experimental reports are a piece of
persuasive
writing
that are constructed in a particular way:




Different from school



May seem strange



Based on a scientific paper


No marks for planning, and a lot more emphasis
on the discussion and conclusions

Starts with the Lab
-
book


Number and label each section



Ensure key theory is included in brief notes


what are you trying to test


Brief observations and annotations throughout


Clear explanation and description of each experimental task


Sketches of apparatus / circuit diagrams


State assumptions


All tables and figures to be stuck in the lab
-
book


Short comment on fit quality


Short notes on whether the data follows the expected trend


Highlight important results and conclusions

It’s a story


The story is what you want it to be


Not necessarily a description of the entire
experimental session (but you will need to
show that you completed the experiment)



Guide a reader through


Beginning


Middle


End

Laboratory Experimental Report


All scientific reports should be arranged in sections



It is helpful to number sections and divide each section into
subsections with meaningful subheadings where required


number all figures and equations





Laboratory Experimental Report


All scientific reports should be arranged in sections



It is helpful to number sections and divide each section into
subsections with meaningful subheadings where required


number all figures and equations



There is no one conventional format that is followed in all
cases but a good laboratory report should follow the style of
scientific papers:





(e.g. "
Physical Review
" or "
Journal of Physics
" )



Use the
Departmental template
for assessed work




(download from the module web page)



Laboratory Experimental Report


All scientific reports should be arranged in sections



It is helpful to number sections and divide each section into
subsections with meaningful subheadings where required


number all figures and equations



There is no one conventional format that is followed in all
cases but a good laboratory report should follow the style of
scientific papers:





(e.g. "Physical Review" or "Journal of Physics" )



Use the Departmental template for assessed work




(download from the module web page)



Grammar and spelling are very important



Write in the third person and the passive tense:



i.e. "
the

voltage was measured at ten second intervals" rather
than "
I/we

measured the voltage...".



Data are plural


Grammar and Spelling


Write in the third person and the passive tense, i.e. "the
voltage was measured at ten second intervals" rather than
"I/we measured the voltage...".


Use the present tense for statements which are still true
rather than actions pursued in the past, i.e. "the work
function
was

calculated from the Fowler
-
Nordheim equation
to be 4.0 eV which
is

in XXXXXX agreement with the
published value".





Theoretical statements are also written in the present tense,
e.g. "The condition for maxima in the intensity
is

given by the
equation...".

excellent reasonable disagreement

Grammar and Spelling

Grammar and Spelling


Write in the third person and the passive tense, i.e. "the voltage was measured
at ten second intervals" rather than "I/we measured the voltage...".



Use the present tense for statements which are still true rather than actions
pursued in the past, i.e. "the work function was calculated from the Fowler
-
Nordheim

equation to be 4.0
eV

which is in excellent agreement with the
published value“.



Theoretical statements are also written in the present tense, e.g. "The
condition for maxima in the intensity is given by the equation...".



Spell check your report



Carefully
proof read
your work



get someone else to read it to be sure that it makes sense


The sections in your report

Abstract

Introduction


Theory

Experimental details


Results


Presentation of Results


Discussion of Results

General Discussion


Conclusions

Presentation


References

Marking Pro
-
Forma

Flow Diagram

Introduction

Methodology

Results &
Discussion

Background, key theoretical ideas

How it was done. Details of
apparatus and uncertainties.

Main results and analysis. Make
sure it is NOT a list of figures.
Comment on trends.

Abstract

How do your results confirm the introductory
theory given their uncertainties? Improvements
and further work. Summarise key points.

General
Discussion

Conclusion






Less than 200 words and generally shorter, e.g. 50 words



It should be possible to read the abstract in isolation and
understand how the experiment was done



Important numerical results which are not artefacts of the
particular experiment can be quoted



Where there are many numerical results only general trends
or conclusions should be stated



An abstract is NOT an AIM



Do not put references into the abstract



Abstract

Demonstration of Three
-
Dimensional Electrostatic Trapping of State
-
Selected Rydberg Atoms


S. D. Hogan and F. Merkt

Laboratorium für Physikalische Chemie, ETH Zürich, CH
-
8093, Switzerland

(Received 15 September 2007; published 30 January 2008)


A three
-
dimensional trap for Rydberg atoms in selected Stark states has been realized
experimentally
.
H atoms seeded in a supersonic expansion of Ar are excited to the low
-
field seeking
n =
30,
k
= 25,
|
m
| = 0, 2 Rydberg
-
Stark states, decelerated from a mean
initial velocity of 665 m
/
s to zero velocity in the laboratory frame and loaded into a
three
-
dimensional electrostatic trap.

The motion of the cold Rydberg atom cloud in the
trap and the decay of the trapped atoms have been studied by pulsed electric field
ionization and imaging techniques.

Abstract
-

Example

Abstract

Abstract:

Marking Criteria:

Content and Clarity




1. Introduction


The basic physics being investigated



STORY OF THE RESULTS



A brief account of the principles behind the experimental
methods adopted and an indication of the scope and
significance of the work



Include the key theory and formulae



An introduction to the rest of your report



Not a repeat of the abstract



Not a premature discussion of you results and conclusions



Introduction


Do not:


‘In this experiment……’


‘The aim of this experiment was …….’



Keep it general and finish with a short
paragraph that introduces the rest of the
report

Introduction


Often the hardest part to write!

Marking Criteria:




Scientific content and Clarity




Background Reading



Use of references


(Presenting work in Context)



Theory and Formulae



Use and quality of Diagrams


(Only receive credit for your own diagrams)



How well does it introduce the rest of the report





2. Methodology


This section could include details of the apparatus and
methods used
-

draw diagrams!



Do not describe how standard equipment works or describe
simple theoretical or algebraic manipulations



The operation of special pieces of equipment
may
merit more
space. Describe any non
-
standard methods which you used;
comment on experimental procedures




Do not give a "recipe" for the reader
.
It is NOT a lab
-
script



Include a discussion on the sources of uncertainty in the
pieces of apparatus

Methodology


Do not spend too long on this section


keep it simple and short


Link from the general background to the
specific example


Marking Criteria:



All parts of the experiment completed


Use and quality of diagrams


Description of apparatus


Source of Errors





The samples were grown on 10
×
10
×
0.5 mm
3

MgO(001) substrates by DC
-
magnetron
sputtering using Ar gas with a purity of 99.9999%, at a background pressure of

7
×
10
−10
mbar. The thicknesses of the Fe and the V layers were typically 3 and 14.4 ML
respectively. In order to precisely control the thickness of the Fe layers the growth rates for
V and Fe were kept low, approximately 0.19 and 0.09 Å s
−1
respectively. The growth rates
were determined from x
-
ray diffraction measurements on a calibration sample. The
samples were capped with a

30ÅPd film to prevent oxidation and to improve the uptake
of H[16]. The magnetization was determined using the magneto
-
optical Kerr effect (MOKE);
a description of the measurement procedure and setup can be found in [12]. H alloying is
accomplished by introducing H
2

gas into the cryostat at room temperature, and the H
uptake is monitored by the resistivity of the samples [17]. By cooling, further uptake and
desorption is effectively hindered, resulting in a constant H concentration at temperatures
below 250 K.


Experimental Results



You may remind the reader of what it is you are
trying to measure and show how this is to be
accomplished


You should always give a
concise description
of how
your results were deduced from your raw data


Discuss the sources of error, the problems
encountered in your own investigation and their
effect on the end result


Make sure that you present your data in prose



The raw data, or processed data, should be presented in the
clearest possible way
-

tables or graphs


but not both.



Consider plotting more than one curve on a graph and the use
of insets. Graphs should be drawn using a data plotting package



The derivation of results from graphs must be shown clearly



Scales should be carefully chosen to most clearly indicate any
features in the data



Carefully explain how you errors were estimated. Error
bars/crosses should be shown on some if not all of the points

You must show your results!


If you have measured the same thing several times, you must
come to a conclusion as to what your best result is



Discuss the robustness of your results and the confidence you
have on the results


Comment on the quality of the fits


Highlight systematic uncertainties

You must show your results!

Displayed material


Figures should be given
self contained

figure captions



Figures and tables should be numbered consecutively



i.e. Figure 1, Figure 2a, Figure 2b, Figure 3, etc.;



Table 1, Table 2



All diagrams, photographs, etc. are also Figures



Carefully consider how to combine data sets in each figure to
clearly display your data



Graphs

Figure 1. Magnetisation versus Mn composition,
x
, for a series of Y(Al
1
-
x
Mn
x
) intermetallic
samples. The data (

)

were collected at a temperature of 5 K in an applied field,
H
, of 50
A/m using a SQUID magnetometer. The red line is a weighted least squares fit to the data
using the model of Jones
et al
. [1] and confirms the predicted linear dependence of
magnetisation concentration for Mn.

M.Parnaste

et. al

J. Phys. : Con. Matt.
17

(2005) L477
-
L483

M.
Baibich

et. al

Phys. Rev.
Lett
.
61
(21) (1988) 2472
-
2475

Results

Marking Criteria:




Data Presentation including figure captions



Clear and logical order



Quality prose



Quality and labelling of graphs



Assessment and manipulation of errors



Reporting of Results


5 Golden Rules





4.
General Discussion
and Conclusions


Discuss the significance of your results when compared with
the published results or accepted theories (
INTRODUCTION
)




Consider t
he advantages and disadvantages of the
experimental method you have used and the effect this could
have in your conclusions



Discuss if the experimental method introduced limitations in
the work, and how this could be improved



You could include a section summarising the contents of your
report, reiterating the points you feel are important and
giving the conclusions of your experimental investigation


General Discussion

Marking Criteria:




Systematic review of the data in terms of the
introductory theory




Discussion of uncertainties


Not a list of excuses




Possible improvements in experiment




Links to previous sections




Quality of conclusions


Link the experimental results back to the introduction

References


List the primary sources you have used to write your report



Cite

these references in the text, e.g., "...previous studies have
shown [1]..." and at the end of the report list these references
in order of their reference number:



Bibliographic material can be included, for example, “...a more
complete discussion is given in ref. 2.” then in the references:



If you cite the same source more than once you need only list
it once in the references, for example [ref 2, page 10] could be
followed later by [2, chapter 6].




Never cite Wikipedia

Make sure your references are given in an acceptable format


[1] I.D. Hughes
et al.
, Nature
446
, 650 (2007).


[2] S. Blundell,
Magnetism in Condensed Matter
, (Oxford University
Press, Oxford, 2001).


[3] Figure reproduced from
http://www.muppets.com

[Accessed
10/10/2010]



Reference Examples


Physical Review Letters

(Accessed Oct. 2002)

Do not reference
wikipedia

or the lab script

Flow Diagram

Introduction

Methodology

Results &
Discussion

General
Discussion

Abstract

Conclusion

Practical Details



The
target length

for the report is
5

pages. The
maximum length
for the report is
6

pages.



Laboratory reports must follow the Departmental
template for assessed work (see
module web pages
)



You should complete a report checklist and attach it
to the front of your report (see
module web pages
)



Late work incurs a 5% per day penalty



Feedback

Feedback will be given on each report



On the marking pro
-
forma



Written on the reports



Oral feedback
-
report 1

It is
your
responsibility to act on this information