Your lab report should be arranged into the following sections:
4. Results (with Flow Chart) and Discussion
(You should also fix the picture of your group with your column to the title page with a paper clip).
Section 2: Introduction
Describe in general terms the Winogradsky column. What is it, and why is it useful to study the diversity of microorganisms (mo's) in nature? What exactly did you do to set it up? How does a WC work in terms of mo growth dynamics? Why do you think different mo species might rise and fall in the column? How might populations of mo species, all struggling to survive and reproduce, interact in the column, and how might these interactions change the properties of the column?
Briefly describe the lab assignment in general (i.e., all the columns placed in different locations in the lab, each column inoculated with a different soil source, etc.), and then your specific project, in terms of three broad areas: l.) the physical changes in the column over time, 2.) the biological changes (diversity) of the column over time, and 3.)the particular species of mo's you positively identify.
Keep the Introduction general, and write it so that any other student at DePauw would understand what a WC is, how you used it to demonstrate dynamic interactions of mo's all growing in the same, limited space with limited nutrient sources, and alternative environmental conditions, etc.
Section 3: Methods
Briefly describe each method you used to analyze the physical, biological, and environmental diversity in your column. For any biochemical method, especially the ones you used to identify particular species, indicate the biochemical basis of the method (you may use your lab handouts and other lab manuals to fulfill this requirement).
Section 4: Results and Discussion
Your results section should START with a good flow chart, which is intended to present a "road map" of the strategy and tactics you used for the over-all project. The flow chart should summarize, in boxes connected by arrows or pointers, all the work you performed, i.e. the strategies and tactics which you employed over the entire course of the project. A good flow chart will be neither too detailed nor too brief or sketchy, but should give the reader a very good idea of the work performed and the sequence in which individual experiments were executed.
Then you should divide the next section of the results into as many sub-divisions as mo's that you attempted to identify. For 3 attempted isolations, you would have 3 sub-divisions. Each subdivision should be written by the person actually accomplishing that particular isolation. Begin each sub-division with a sub-heading consisting of the name of the mo you identified; then, in some detail, describe how you came to the final conclusion about the identity of the mo in question. Remember, it's equally important to document how you proceeded to investigate your column (the process of science), its dynamics, and the mo's growing in it, as it is to document what you actually determined (the products of science).
Throughout the presentation of your results, you should provide a running commentary on the data by interpreting and discussing the meaning and implications of the actual, raw data. This commentary constitutes the discussion, and is an important part of the report. In this discussion, you should indicate tests or experiments you would have liked to perform, if you had the necessary materials and supplies, or simply the time to perform the extra tests.
Consult also the notes you received about the WC column during some of the early lab sessions, and incorporate these suggestions and ideas into your final report.
Format: Your report should be typed (i.e., wordprocessed), double-spaced, and with all relevant data in the form of tables, graphs, charts, flow charts, etc.
See Sample WC Reports in HTML