Communicating scientific ideas: Tutorials for professionally-styled laboratory reports

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Conference Proceeding

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Written communication of scientific ideas is an important skill often honed through report-writing in physics laboratory courses. I present a series of tutorials that I developed to support students in learning to produce well-written and professionally-formatted laboratory reports. The tutorials include typesetting in LATEX (with BibTeX), graphing in MATLAB, preparing diagrams using Inkscape, and writing abstracts, introductions, and conclusions. I evaluated student reports and found no statistical difference in the quality of reports written before or after the tutorials were introduced. Responses on end-of-course questionnaires, however, show that students overwhelmingly favor the tutorials and find them helpful in supporting their learning.

Publication Name

Physics Education Research Conference Proceedings

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