STANFORD The Flexitarian Diet: What Are The Health Benefits Of Diet?

Nutrition Science Research Project

You’re going to do a scientific investigation on nutrition science. In your investigation, I will be looking for your observations, your hypothesis, the experimental design and data, and finally your conclusion. It must be involved with the chemistry of one of the key ingredients in your recipe. Additionally, you should include the background information, theory behind it, and your future experiments, etc.

You must write a report (minimum 7 pages 1.5 line spacing) and give an oral presentation to the whole class in the form of a PowerPoint, or video, etc. At the same time, you should do the lab demonstration to the whole class.

You may work in groups of up to three persons, but each one should have your own report. (Before you start doing your research, please confirm with me about your topic).

Getting Started on Your Project!

Pick Your TopicGet an idea of what you want to investigate. Ideas might come from hobbies or problems youencountered during your cooking that need solutions, or something you are curious about. Choose a topic that not only interests you, but can be done in the amount of time you have. Due to limited time and resources, please study only one ingredient in one specific recipe. Make sure the ingredient is one of the key ingredients in the recipe. The change of it will affect the outcome of your product.

Research Your Topic Go to the library, or search online (must be reliable source, such as .org, .edu, .gov, etc.) about the ingredient and recipe that you choose. If it’s necessary, talk to professionals in the field, or write to companies for specific information, and obtain or construct needed equipment.

Organize Organize everything you have learned about your topic. Start your research with questions leading to a specific prediction or hypothesis.Then narrow your hypothesis by focusing on a particular idea.

Planning the Project Give careful thought to experimental design. Once you have a feasible project idea, write a research plan. This plan should explain how you will do your experiments and exactly what it will involve. Thisplanning will enable you to avoid some of the difficulties and pitfalls and to keep your project on track.

Your first step is to determine what equipment and supplies you will need. It is your responsibility to find what you require, e.g. the catalog name, the item number and name. You should give the list to me at least 2 weeks before your presentation.

Conduct Your ExperimentDuring experimentation, keep detailed notes of each and every experiment, measurement, and observation in your data logbook, or take picture or video record it if you can. Do not rely on memory. Remember to change only one variable at a time when experimenting and make sure to include control experiments in

which none of the variables are changed. Make sure you include sufficient numbers of test subjects (at least 3 different tests). Be sure to devise effective data sheets that can easily be analyzed.

Recording your data:

Examine your Results When you complete your experiments, examine and organize your findings. Did your experiments give you the expected results? Why or why not? Was your experiment performed with the exact same steps each time? Are there other explanations that you had not considered or observed? Were there errors in your observations? Remember that understanding errors and reporting that a suspected variable did not change the results can be valuable information.If possible, statistically analyze your data.

Draw Conclusions Which variables are important? Did you collect enough data? Do you need to conduct more experimentation? If your results do not support your original hypothesis, you still have accomplished successful research.An experiment is done to prove or disprove a hypothesis.

Writing the Research Project Report

Although this outline should prove useful to you in writing a research paper, you should also refer to scientific periodicals (journals) in order to develop a format and writing style appropriate for the area of study.

1. Title: Choose a title that briefly conveys to the reader the purpose of the paper.

2. Abstract: The abstract should give a brief summary of your research project, and is often used to help the reader quickly ascertain the paper’s purpose. It should include the results and conclusions of your research paper and the recommendations from you. It should be at least 200 words.

3. Introduction The introduction provides the reader with the context needed to understand your work and its significance. The introduction explains the “why” of your paper, and provides background information on the history of scientific investigation that led to our present understanding of the phenomenon being studied. Introductions define key terms and specify the problem and the general investigative approach. Be sure to properly cite any historical background referred to inthe introduction.

4. Materials and Methods This section should describe what you did to get your data, but should not present the data itself. The description of your work needs to be specific that someone else can duplicate it with the expectation of getting the same result, assuming that the person was knowledgeable of the techniques involved.

Carefully outline the procedure and the techniques you used. Describe any deviations from standard procedures so that others can appraise the new procedures or attempt to reproduce the new procedures themselves.

5. Results This section refers back to the question asked by the study and to the hypothesis. State what you found out and whether or not that data supported the hypothesis. Then present the summarized data to support this conclusion.

It is crucial that you clearly organize and present the outcomes of your experiments. This is best accomplished by presenting data in clearly labeled graphs and charts, consistently labeled and cited in the text. Graphs and tables should be clear without reference to the text. Number graphs and tables in the order in which they are mentioned in the text (i.e. Table 1, Table 2 and so on).

6. Discussion The significance and interpretation of the study should be explained in this section. Discuss specific points made in the Results section in light of previous studies or hypotheses.

Some of the questions to be answered in this section are:  Why do you think the data did (or didn’t) support the hypothesis?  What previously unsuspected data phenomenon does this suggest?  How might your experimental procedures be improved?  Are some of your results due to artifacts?How do you know?  What variables might you have overlooked?  What other studies should be done on the basis of your results?  How does this work affect the field you are working in?

Here is where you analyze your results and draw conclusions. You may also add opinions here (and only here), but keep your opinions brief.

 

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