Biology 109 is followed by Biology 110 to complete a year long laboratory sequence designed to accompany Biology 112, 113, and 114. It does not parallel the lecture courses and is meant to offer a different kind of experience. It provides an opportunity for students to become involved in the process of scientific investigation in a laboratory setting. The year long sequence culminates in the design, implementation and presentation of a research project. Basic background readings are listed in the laboratory manual for each week's experiment. With the help of these readings and your instructors, you should be able to profit from each laboratory experience regardless of whether or not the topic has been discussed previously in your lecture course.

Course Schedule Biology 109 Resources Academic Honesty Grading

Text: Introduction to Experimental Biology: Laboratory Manual 15th ed. (Available at the Kenyon Bookstore)

Text & CD for background reading: Biological Science 3rd ed. (or 2nd ed.), Scott Freeman. This text will be used this year for Biology 112, 113 & 114. If you are not in one of these courses, consult with the instructor - you need not buy the text.

Bring your calculator to class each week if you have one.


Attendance is required at all laboratory sessions. You must come to your assigned section unless you have made provisions in advance for attending a different section. Missed labs cannot be made up.

Preparation for a laboratory exercise before coming to class is essential. Read and study the appropriate exercise. Be familiar with what needs to be done during the period, so you can organize your time efficiently. Try to anticipate any problems posed by the experiments. Make a note of anything you do not understand so you can clarify it with the instructor at the beginning of the class period. In some cases you will have to make decisions about experimental design - decisions you can make only if you understand the alternatives.


Assignments, tutorials, quizzes 35% Rat Practical 10%
  2 scientific papers 45% Class performance, Notebook 10%
Penalties: 1/3 grade point for each day late; failure to acknowledge collaboration = 5%

If you have a disability, and therefore may have need for some type of accommodation(s) in order to participate fully in this class, please feel free to discuss your concerns in private with me AND be sure to contact the Office of Disability Services at 5453. The Coordinator of Disability Services, Erin Salva (, will review your concerns and determine, with you, what accommodations are appropriate. All information and documentation of disability is confidential.


Acquaint yourself with Kenyon's policy on academic honesty, printed in the Kenyon College Catalog (pp.26-29)! Be sure you understand the concept of academic honesty as stated in the handbook. Problematic areas of academic honesty are discussed with helpful examples and suggestions.

Reports and papers must be written independently. In this class, you work together in pairs to collect data. You may also work together to do some data analysis and you are encouraged to discuss your results and your interpretations with your classmates. However, you must write your paper independently. Independently means by yourself. Sharing text in any manner including by exchanging files is expressly forbidden. Sharing figures is only allowed if both partners actively contribute to constructing the figures. If figures are shared, the exact contribution of each partner must be stated in an acknowledgments section (see below).

All forms of collaboration and sharing of information must be explicitly acknowledged. This means that you must state who you worked with and you must state the nature of the interaction. For example: "Jane Doe and I worked together to produce Figure 1. We both contributed to creating Figure 1, and the same Figure is reproduced in each of our papers." or "John Doe and I discussed the interpretation of our results before I wrote this paper. The paragraph on possible sources of error was largely influenced by this discussion." or "Professor X provided the picture of the experimental setup." Collaborations should be acknowledged in the Acknowledgments section at the end of a paper.

Citations of references must be done properly. Direct quotations should not be used unless absolutely necessary. When direct quotations are used, the quoted text must be in quotation marks and cited properly. Close paraphrasing (simply rephrasing another's text without substantially altering the flow of ideas) is not allowed. Please be aware that scientific writing has a specific set of rules and conventions that may differ from those in other disciplines. If you are unsure about proper citation, refer to pp. 13-15 of the manual or ask your instructor.

Adherence to the above guidelines is the responsibility of the student. You must understand and follow proper citation and acknowledgment formats.

If you have questions or are unsure, please ask your instructor.


Laboratory notebook. A record of procedures used, data collected, and problems encountered in carrying out an experiment - recorded during the laboratory period, kept in a 3-ring binder. DO NOT COPY YOUR NOTES OVER AFTER CLASS. Your laboratory notebook MUST be well organized and contain:

Assignments. These will take a variety of forms and will be explained at the end of each laboratory. Assignments will depend on careful record-keeping in your lab notebook. They will give you practice designing experiments, collecting data, using the computer and writing various parts of a scientific paper. They will be due during the following period.

Scientific papers. You will write three papers in the form of scientific papers, two in the first semester (see syllabus) and your independent project at the end of second semester. Detailed instructions are available online and in your lab manual.

All lab reports and papers will be written in journal style, so it is imperative that you use and understand the writing guide included in the laboratory manual and on the web site.

Grades will be based on the creativity and understanding you bring to each exercise. If you have questions about data interpretation or any aspect of the system under study you are encouraged to consult with your instructor. Make sure you understand the material before you start writing. Questions posed at the end of each laboratory will help guide your thoughts but are not a substitute for your understanding. It is your responsibility to decide how to analyze and present the data. Your goal is to inform the reader.

Last edited 8/01/08

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