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Research Experience in Forest Ecosystem Science

First lab report assignment

On Oct 4, your lab reports are due.  For that date, you must have your Methods and Results, including figures (and tables, if any).  On Oct 11, you will turn in a version that also has Introduction and Discussion.  If you want to include a draft of those sections on Oct 4, I'll give you feedback.


10 The information provided is necessary and sufficient to reproduce the study and interpret the results.

8    A few minor errors of omission, or a few extraneous things provided.

6    Major errors of omission: statistical design absent or unclear, measurements not well described, or equations and parameter values absent.

4    Multiple major errors of omission.

2    I don’t have a clue what was done and can’t evaluate the paper.


10  Results are clear, complete, and substantial.

8    Errors: Lacks indication of meaning, repeats Tables or Figures,

6    Multiple such errors, or serious flaws in analysis

4    Results are very difficult to understand

2    Results are incomprehensible

Figures and Tables

10  Table and Figures are necessary, clear, and correctly formatted.

8    A few minor errors, such as gray scale, unnecessary outlines, labels or symbols too small, meaningless interpolation between points, poor resolution, or evidence of defaults from Excel.

6    Figures have major faults that make them difficult to understand.

4    Important figures lacking or many major errors.

2    Full of errors identified during class sessions but not remedied.

Clarity of writing (points off for grammar, indirect language, wordiness, poor word choice)

10    Sentences are grammatically correct, concise, and easy to understand, words are appropriately used.

8    Writing is unduly wordy or frequent minor errors occur

6    Writing errors are common but not overwhelming.

4    More sentences have problems than do not.

2    It is hard to find an error-free sentence in this paper.

Due Oct 11 (along with revisions to the other sections, if you want)

Introduction (15 total, including references)

10  All of the following are present: (1) Why the problem is important, (2) The background necessary to understand the objectives, including relevant literature, (3) a clear statement of the objectives, and hypotheses if relevant.  The reader’s interest must be engaged.

8    Missing one of the above characteristics

6    Missing two of the above characteristics

4        None of the necessary components are present


5 points for 5 or more refereed papers

4 points if there are 5 or more references but not 5 refereed journal articles.

3 points for three articles, etc.


10  This section addresses the major issues raised in the paper, including sources of uncertainty, alternatives to choosing this approach, comparison to other studies, implications for the solving the problem posed in the introduction, and (if relevant) need for future research.

8    Major areas are covered, but there are minor problems in a few sections

6    One major area not addressed or multiple areas poorly addressed

4    Several major areas not addressed

2    There is little of value in this section

Note: On Oct 5, I'd like to have the session on "mid-semester feedback for improvement" (formerly scheduled for later in the semester).  I want to assess what you each want from the class.  Things could change now that there are only two of you (focus on one project for each of you?)