Results: How to describe what you found Todays agenda: 1. Headings and subheadings 2. Discuss the Results section and ways to present results 3. Examine the Results sections of the papers that students chose. How are they similar and different? What works and what doesnt? 4. Take mock results and improve them: group editing 5. In-class writing: begin draft of your Results section
A word on headings and subheadings: Rules to follow For clarity and ease of understanding, it is important to break up the narrative of your paper into subheadings of two, three, or four levels (orders) of importance, each level indicated by a distinctive typography and position relative to the text. If well constructed, the hierarchy of headings and subheadings serves as an easily understood outline of your paper.
Headings and subheadings: Rules to follow 1. The heading (your title) and first-order subheadings are usually centered on the page, often set in largerfont and bold-face but not italics, with space left above and below, and never followed by a period. For example: Fishes of the Salish Sea Introduction
Headings and subheadings: Rules to follow 2. Second-order subheadings are set flush left on the page, often set in bold-face but not italics, with space left above and below, and never followed by a period. For example: Fishes of the Salish Sea Introduction Historical perspective
Headings and subheadings: Rules to follow 3. Third-order subheadings are set flush left at the beginning of a paragraph of text (sometimes called a run-in side-head), in bold-face, or italics if desired, and separated from the text by a period, but more often a dot-dash (.). For example: Fishes of the Salish Sea Introduction Historical perspective
Early exploration.Native Americans of the Pacific Northwest probably had an extensive knowledge of the ichthyofauna of what is now designated the Salish Sea. . . . Headings and subheadings: Rules to follow 4. fourth-order subheadings are set indented at the beginning of a paragraph of text, sometimes in boldface (but usually not), and separated from the text by a colon. For example:
Fishes of the Salish Sea Introduction Historical perspective Early exploration.Native Americans of the Pacific Northwest probably had an extensive knowledge of the ichthyofauna of what is now designated the Salish Sea. . . . George Vancouver: Puget Sound was explored in detail by George Vancouver (17571798) and his crew in June and July 1792. . . .
Headings and subheadings: things to avoid A common fault is to follow a subheading directly by a pronoun that refers to a word or phrase in the subheading; for example: Molecular approaches to phylogeny.They are not so easily understood. . . . Headings and subheadings: Things to avoid A less serious fault is to repeat the subheading itself in the sentence that follows:
Molecular approaches to phylogeny.Molecular approaches to phylogeny are described as follows. . . . Always avoid underlining to offset subheading (or for that matter items in the text); underlining is an editorial device meant to indicate italics and should be reserved for that purpose. Results: Three complementary parts 1. Text: Statement(s) in words about what you found.
2. Figures: Bar charts, scatter-plots, and other diagrams help visualize complex relationships and draw the readers attention to the most important findings. 3. Tables: Provide details on the results that are important (as opposed to impressions conveyed by figures) or that would be too complex or inappropriate for a figure (such as statistical test values, etc.). Some journals allow or even encourage supplemental or appendix tables for details, or even electronic storage of data for public access. Some journals actually require public access to your data.
An example of Supporting On-line Material taken from Science: Results Text: You should be able to read the text without looking at the tables and figures and still understand the paper. Do not rely on figures. Avoid the following: The pattern of fish density and depth is shown in Figure 1. What is the pattern? You
should not force the reader to study the figure. Better: Dover sole density increased from the shallowest to the deepest depths sampled (Fig. 1). Do not present results if they are not relevant to your goals and objectives. Just because you have the data does not mean you should report it. Always use the past tense! Results Figures should facilitate comprehension of the results,
whereas tables preserve critical specific results. The default output of Excel is usually horrible as a figure. What were they thinking? We must fix and modify them. Tables of raw data are never appropriate. Output from Excel Tables must always be re-formatted. In-class activity Examine Results section text from published papers. Lets look at how the text is organized,
how the authors refer to tables and figures, how subheadings are used (or not). In-class activity: Examine Results sections from mock papers. What works, what doesnt work, some common mistakes. In-class activity: Start to draft the Results section of your own paper. You may find that an outline is helpful;
some people do and some do not. Try to find an approach to writing that works for you. If you are uncertain of your findings, you can work on data analysis or consider outlining the kinds of results that you may obtain, and rough out tables and figures. When should we do the posters? Well talk about posters and poster construction during Week 6 and do the presentations on Monday,
November 5th Assignment: 1. Continue working on the draft of the Results section for your own paper. Try to get a complete, rough draft of the whole section. You can polish it later. How long should it be? Avoid the mistake of writing to a predetermined length (e.g., a 20-page paper). It should be as short as possible while still being complete. 2. Choose one figure from your published paper to share with the class. Send me a note indicating which figure youd like
to present (e.g., Fig. 3). 3. Read pages 3960 (Using Tables and Figures) in the book.
How to find a project idea (cont) Conduct a literature review, e.g., on PubMed. Before you start writing your 500-word outline, you must review the relevant literature to learn what is already known about the subject.
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