At the end of the protocol the reader should have a clear picture of the purpose of the experiment, the materials needed, the methods to be used, the controls and the methods of interpretation.
The components of an experiment protocol
Purpose: This is a concise statement of what question you are trying to answer and what hypothesis you will test.
Materials: List all important items needed to carry out the experiment. This list need not be long or exhaustive, but it should include the essentials. Use bullet points or a table to make the list clear.
- How will you set up your experiment?
- How many experimental groups will you have?
- How will you measure the effect you wish to study?
- How long will the experiment last?
Controls: Specify the control treatment. Think about the variables to be manipulated. Your control needs to be held under conditions which are not affected by the tested variable.
Data interpretation: What will be done with the data once it is collected? Data must be organised and summarised so that the scientist and other researchers can determine if the hypothesis has been proved true or false. Results are usually shown in figures such as tables and graphs. Statistical analyses are often carried out to compare manipulated and controlled groups.
References: Any published works such as journals, books, and websites cited in your protocol should be listed in the reference section so that anyone can refer to that work.
Keep your protocol less than 2 pages long.