We introduced writing activities into a project style third year undergraduate biomolecular
science laboratory to assist the students to produce a final report in the form of a journal
article. To encourage writing while the experimental work was proceeding, the embedded
writing activities required ongoing analysis of experimental data. After formative feedback
from peers and teaching staff, the revised work was incorporated directly into the
prepared journal framework. Surveys of student attitudes showed significant
improvements in confidence in their ability to write an introduction, produce figure
legends, distinguish results from discussion and generate a logical flow of information.
Attitudes towards report writing became significantly more positive and the training was
highly rated. Key factors that contributed to the perceived benefits were use of the
student’s own data, the chance to incorporate revised work directly into their reports and
the realisation that they were performing tasks of direct relevance to their future careers.