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Using this Laboratory Manual

This "electronic version" of the General Biology I and II laboratory Manual is an effective way to allow students the best access to the laboratory experience. It is divided into individual Laboratory exercises that help support the lecture portion of the class and allow the student to participate in a "hands on" wet lab experience.

Each laboratory exercise is divided into several parts which remain consistent throughout the manual. The parts of laboratory exercise are as follows:

Pre-lab Activity


The Laboratory Activities and Data Collection

bulletData collection tables, spreadsheets, etc.

Post-lab Activity

bulletResults and Data Analysis
bulletReview Questions

Each Laboratory exercise has MS Word versions of the pre and post-laboratory questions. If you download and save to your H drive this version you can type in the answers if you wish to do so. It is also advisable to save to your H drive any Excel Spreadsheets. You will be entering data in these so you can do statistical analysis or generate graphs of data collected during the lab activities.

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Please read the entire laboratory exercise. This will enable you to perform the laboratory exercise safely, accurately, and with a minimum amount of frustration. It may also be evident to the instructor that you have not prepared for the particular lab and he or she may not allow you to perform the exercise until you can demonstrate that you can perform it safely and accurately.

Do the Pre-lab Activity.  This pre-lab activity may require you to use the LRC (Learning Resources Center) to research various subject areas. You will be using the LRC's electronic resources as well as their collection of books, periodicals (especially journals), and visual materials.

You will also be using the World Wide Web for your pre and post-lab research. The use of a good search engine (such as Yahoo or Google) will enable you to acquire information quickly and efficiently. If you are unfamiliar with using a the World Wide Web for research, we strongly advise you to take a time and visit our esteemed colleague's Website, Searching the World Wide Web. This website will give you excellent information on using the World Wide Web for gathering information that is timely and accurate. You do not want to "waste" your limited amount of time searching for information that is not relevant.

You will probably be asked to turn in the answers to the Pre-lab questions before doing the exercise. Please have them ready as they are a graded portion of the lab.  Failure to have the answers to these questions may prohibit you from performing the exercise.

Print out the materials list, procedures, questions and any data collection tables for the laboratory exercise that you will be performing. You may also save these files to a disk for further use. (especially Excel spreadsheets and Word versions of the pre and post-lab questions). Remember all registered students have personal folder on the Computer Network's H drive. You are the only one that can access it. It is a good place to store your work. It is also backed up everyday, so your information cannot be lost. It is accessible from computers at both campuses and the Smithfield Center. However, it is not accessible from your home computer.

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Understand the safety requirements for the exercise. They will be discussed by the instructor.

Perform the laboratory exercise by gathering the materials and setting them up according to the established procedures for the particular lab exercise you are doing. Keep safety in mind. Collect the data required and clean up afterwards.

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After you have performed the laboratory activities and collected the resultant data you then need to take the data and put it in a form that is useful and can be analyzed. This may require you to construct graphs (usually be using the graph wizard in Excel), collecting additional material from other sources, answering questions and finally drawing conclusions. All the tools necessary to carry out your post-lab activities will be available via this manual, online, or in the Learning Resource Center.

You will also have post-lab review questions to answer concerning the laboratory exercise you performed. These review questions can be printed out or downloaded by saving the file and typing in your answers.

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