FINAL PROJECT:Structures and Arguments > Laboratory Documentation for Pre-Metastatic Niche Biology Basics and Techniques

Beginning: The laboratory document will begin with a one page cover letter in the first person, introducing the contents of the laboratory document and it's purpose. The cover letter will be primarily addressed to incoming undergraduate students, revealing a brief introduction to the expectations and goals of the laboratory.
The cover letter will be followed by a list of key definitions and abbreviations that will be used constantly throughout the document.

Middle: The middle of the document will be composed of a 4 page summary of past works completed in the lab. They will be grouped and structured according to the sequential, time-based works discovered by previous lab scientists since the lab first began. These discoveries and their explanations will build on one another, leading into the current works of post-docs in the laboratory at the time of entry for the undergraduate student. This section will likely wrap up with potential projects that the undergraduate will likely undertake with respect to current post-doc work in the lab.

End: The last three pages of the document will end with three key methods/techniques frequently used in the lab. These techniques will be specific to only our laboratory practice. Brief descriptions and directions will be provided per technique, such that the undergraduate can both understand the technique as well as the mechanics going into performing that technique.

Logos: I will summarize actual findings of past and present lab scientists. These findings will be grouped in sequential order, from the initial discoveries of the principal investigator to current post docs working in the lab now. Where appropriate, actual data may be stated, but most findings will be generalized for the purpose of keeping this document foundational for the reader.

Pathos: I'll stress the importance of understanding each of the major discoveries provided by past and present post-docs, as well as the now clinical benefits of many researched drugs that are applied in the clinic. Because the laboratory partners with the pediatric oncology branch and the principal investigator uses our translational research to treat children with cancer, a brief overview of the principal investigator's job in the clinic outside of the laboratory will also be provided.

Ethos: The educational backgrounds and major publications (if in extremely noteworthy journals) will be provided when introducing past and present lab scientists in order to stress the credibility and importance of their discoveries and current research. Example lab scientists to be used include Dr. Rosandara Kaplan, Dr. Meera Murgai, Dr. Dan Beury, and Dr. Amber Giles.

Structure: Seven to eight pages total composed of three sections that could stand alone. These sections include the cover letter and definitions page, the 4-page summary, and the three laboratory techniques plus a possible FAQ page if there's room.

Goal: Introduce and inform incoming undergraduate students of the laboratory works and areas of study as well as provide three brief technique descriptions/directions to kick-start their possible research methods and designs.
May 1, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterMKE
M, very nicely planned. My only suggestion is to provide the document to your PI and team in a digital format. In this way, your laboratory documentation will "live" beyond your time there. Also, they can adjust the document, as required.

The FAQ can be a nice way to conclude.

Your cover letter can address the pathos of nervousness in many new undergraduate laboratory researchers. Important way to begin, as an invitation also.
May 2, 2017 | Registered CommenterMarybeth Shea