Recordkeeping, Writing,
& Data Analysis

Microscope studies
Flagella experiment
Laboratory math
Blood fractionation
Protein gel electrophoresis
Protein gel analysis
Concepts and theory

Keeping a lab notebook
Writing research papers
Dimensions & units
Using figures (graphs)
Examples of graphs
Experimental error
Representing error
Applying statistics

Principles of microscopy
Solutions & dilutions
Protein assays
Fractionation & centrifugation
Radioisotopes and detection




Weekly Preparation for Lectures and Labs

Prior to week 1

Before the first lecture, first day of classes –

  • Follow the instructions for signing up and registering for the course (Home page); keep a copy of the information you provide on the sign-up form
  • At the first talk, be prepared to correct the sign-up information if necessary
  • Look over the course/instructor policies; this page is your reference for questions about the honor code, attendance, grading, late assignments, etc.
  • Locate and check the Announcements page for new course-related information
  • Examine the week 1 schedule page and plan ahead
  • Locate the lecture hall (usually it is 131 Biology) so that you won't be late

Before your first day in the laboratory classroom –

  • Obtain a blank laboratory notebook* (bound, quadrille ruled, designed to make duplicate copies)
  • Obtain a pair of laboratory goggles* or safety glasses (with side protection)*
  • Purchase a black marker ("Sharpie")* for marking glassware
  • Look over the rules for safe conduct, including cleanup and general conduct, in the laboratory
  • Locate the laboratory classroom (141 Biology) so as not to be late

Optional text –

  • "Biosciences Laboratory Survival Manual for Students" is recommended for students in the course, especially for those who will continue on to conduct independent study (BIOS 310) and/or upper division laboratory courses

Before your first writing assignment –

  • Obtain the required text,* "Writing Papers in the Biological Sciences, 4th edition," VE McMillan, New York: Bedford/St. Martin's, 2006 (ISBN 0-312-44083-9).
*available at the campus store

Weekly preparation

Successful people do their homework. To show up "cold" usually puts you at a disadvantage. The principle applies to many situations: attending a classroom lecture as well as giving one; attending or running a meeting or interview; attending or running a workshop or training session; starting into a research project or starting a new job. Each week while the course meets formally you are expected to prepare for each lecture and laboratory session. Resources that you will need each week are outlined on the corresponding schedule page. Types of preparatory activities are listed below.

For lectures –

  • If a presentation is available on line, please peruse it and have questions ready
  • Obtain necessary information from the resources provided with each write-up

For the laboratory work –

  • Use the resources provided to ensure that you know what we are doing and why we are doing it
  • Prepare an outline of work to be done, including procedures,notes, and calculations, so that you are ready to go to work in the laboratory
  • Complete and submit the on-line prelab assignment if one is posted
  • Bring a copy of your prelab responses to the laboratory classroom

Followup work –

  • Check the assignments page each week for access to data and for writing and other assignments that may be due
  • Check the schedule page for the following week so that you can plan ahead
  • Check your email for messages from the instructor at least once per day
  • Frequently (several times per week) check the Announcements page for new postings

Copyright and Intended Use
Visitors: to ensure that your message is not mistaken for SPAM, please include the acronym "Bios211" in the subject line of e-mail communications
Created by David R. Caprette (caprette@rice.edu), Rice University 21 Jul 06
Updated 14 May 10