my  Unknown C on  
*Lab reports are always written in the past tense
**They are always written in the third person; never “I”; instead, use “we.”
The links to the PDF and the website below will serve as a useful guide for you; however, please remember that they are just that–a guide.  You may not copy directly from them, nor should you follow them to the letter; rather, please use what I have listed here to work on and simply use them for general organization and structure.
Here is what I would like you to work on for this week (and I will include this again in the actual assignment document that I post):

Find at least two peer-reviewed, primary articles that you will use as reference for both your introduction section and possibly for your discussion section.

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Google Scholar is a good source (, as is PubMed (

Working on your Introduction.  While I want you to put things in your own words, here is something to get you started and point you in the right direction:

“The ability to confirm the identity of an unknown bacterium is an important one, especially in the medical field.  In order to be able to appropriately diagnose and treat a patient infection, it is critical that we first know 1) if the infection is bacterial in nature and 2) if it is bacterial, then what specific type of bacterium it is….”WITHOUT COPYING EXACTLY, YOU CAN USE MY FIRST FEW SENTENCES AS A TEMPLATE.  THEN YOU WILL CONTINUE TO ADD IN HERE.  Finding an article or two that references what it’s important to know the identity of a bacterial pathogen or perhaps one that talks about the important tests that are done in order to figure out a bacterium’s identity might be useful here.  You can also included something like, “In this course, we were each assigned a bacterium of unknown identity (designated Unknown A, Unknown, B, Unknown C, or Unknown D).  Our group (use the plural form here even though it was just you–unless you decide to team up with others who have your same unknown) was assigned Unknown “X” (list your specific unknown letter here).  Given that this course is completely online, we were not able to perform the actual experiments ourselves.   Instead were given the results of our unknowns for each of the tests listed in the Materials and Methods section.  Based on the combination of results obtained, our group concluded that our assigned unknown was (list here).  (While we do not go into results really in the intro, it is nice to have a concluding statement of sorts, just to wrap it up nicely.  Intro doesn’t need to be more than a paragraph or two.)

For the Materials and Methods section, usually, you would cite the lab manual or whenever you obtained the various experimental protocols from, and then elaborate on any ways in which you tweaked/amended the protocols or any mishaps that took place that perhaps skewed the results.  However, since you did not actually perform the experiments, we are going to change this section slightly.  Instead, you will structure it as such:

“The first week we were assigned our unknown bacterium, we given photos of the bacterium growing on nutrient agar plates and in nutrient agar broth.  Using the photos provided, along with a guide from our instructor on colony morphology and growth patterns in broth culture, we identified the colony size, margin, form, and pigment, as well as the growth appearance in broth.
“During the second week of working with our unknown, we were given the results of a Gram and flagellar stain, as well as the results seen after inoculation of mannitol salt, MacConkey, and Eosin-Methylene Blue agar.”  Here, rather than list what you did (since you really didn’t “do” it, you will include a brief explanation of how each test works–you’ll do the same for Week 7 and, now, Week 8.  You can use the descriptions of the various tests that I have provided from websites, but you always need to cite.

We will start working on the Results section next week, as you have basically been provided with all of it and just need to include some of the photos I have been including, along with in a figure legend; however, if you want to start working on that, you may.

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