Forensic Toxicology Blood Alcohol

The forensic science laboratory experience is not finished when you complete the experimental procedure and leave the laboratory.  All scientists must prepare a written report of the results of experimental work. This record should be completed in a clear and accurate manner.

Head your report with your name, date, and title (it is good practice in Forensic Science to have these details as a header on EACH page).  You should typically sectionalize your report as follows:


1. Abstract


The abstract is a short summary, less than 100 words, of the experiment which has been conducted. It should contain all the essential information about the experiment but not fine experimental detail.  It should be readable as an independent piece of writing. The abstract generally will contain details of the purpose of the experiment, a brief statement of the methods (without experimental detail) used in the investigation, a summary of the all important results, and the conclusion/s drawn from those results.


2. Introduction


This section begins with three or four sentences stating the objective or purpose of the experiment followed by a brief discussion of the theory behind the experiment/s. It may also include a brief description of a new technique or method.

If the introduction is written for you in your practical handout then it will be sufficient to write “Describe the Introduction in the practical booklet” under this heading and reference this, unless you have other specific instructions by your tutor.  In that case, you may write your own introduction.


3. Experimental


List all reagents, materials as well as instrumentation used in the experiment. An experimental procedure then follows. It should have sufficient detail so that another scientist can accurately follow the procedure.  You should write in an impersonal manner, i.e. third person, paste tense.  Additionally, if you have all experimental details “As described in the practical booklet” under this heading and include the reference unless instructed otherwise by your tutor in which case you should write the experimental section yourself.

4. Results and Discussion (include example calculations where necessary)

In writing this section you should ask yourself “Did I achieve the objectives” and “What is the significance of the data”. Where possible, explain your results in terms of known theory (with suitable references).  Discuss any problems from the experiment with possible remedies for future experiments.


You should include:

(i)Record of all raw data.

(ii)Present data in tables (these may go in an appendix if appropriate),
graphs or figures when appropriate.

(iii)Both the method of calculation and statistical analysis where appropriate.
(iv)Compare results with known values (if possible).
(v) Further, discuss the significance of the data, in terms of known theory where possible.
(vi)Finally, did you achieve the original objective?


6. Conclusion


Lastly, your conclusions must be supported by the experimental data. It is often possible to compare your data with values cited in the literature.

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