Checklist for presenting lab reports for Biology 3500 (Ecology) labs, and for ANY future presentation you may make for ANY class or project:


1.      Provide an appropriate title.

2.      Acknowledge your partners/collaborators.

Data presentation:

            You MUST turn in the RAW data you collect during lab with your labs for this class.  However, the raw data may not always go in a final presentable project

            Everything you present in tabular or other form will be either a Table or a Figure – graphs, photos, maps, drawings, etc. are all Figures.

            For Tables:

1.       The word “Table” goes at the TOP.  When there is more than one Table, the first is labelled “Table 1”, the second “Table 2” and so on.

2.       Each Table must have an appropriate title (see below) following the word “Table”.

3.       All columns of data that have units MUST have the units indicated.  This can be at the top of each column; you do not need to enter units with each entry.

For Figures:

1.       The word “Figure” goes at the BOTTOM.  When there is more than one Figure, the first is labelled “Figure 1”, the second “Figure 2” and so on.

2.       Each Figure must have an appropriate caption (see below) following the word “Figure”.

3.       If the figure is a graph, then it must have ALL of the following:

a.       Appropriate scaling – both axes must be evenly “spaced” representing the data

b.      Both axes should be set up to accompany the data; do NOT waste space on the graph with numbers that are not represented in the data.

c.       Both axes must be appropriately labelled

d.      Both axes must have appropriate units

e.       Data points must be appropriately plotted; if two or more different sets of data are plotted on the same graph, then the points must be clearly distinguishable

f.        If lines are required, then you need to decide whether the data points should be connected, or if a line of “best fit” needs to be used (we’ll discuss this).

Titles for Tables and captions for Figures:

1.      This should be a description of what is in the Table or Figure.  “Table of height vs. diameter data” for instance is NOT enough of a description. 

2.      If one or a couple of species are represented by the data, then the NAMES of the species should go in the caption, INCLUDING the scientific name (italicized).  In the scientific name, genus name is capitalized, species name is lower case.

3.      Location of collection of data should go in the caption as well.

4.  Standardized variables typically go here as well, though this varies from source to source.

Look in ANY textbook at examples of Tables and Figures.  You should strive to make yours look similar to those.