Following the extensive literature review, the researcher must decide how he or she will address the questions being asked. This is done by formulating an experimental design that will allow for the objective testing of the hypotheses. Assume again that you want to test the interaction between farming and water quality. Based on background research and an extensive literature review, you have come up with the following hypothesis: If a lake is located directly adjacent to an agricultural field, then it will have higher levels of phosphorous in the water than lakes located more than 500 meters from an agricultural site. Begin this assignment by reading the “How Do I Write the…Methods” as listed in your required readings. Then, read the scientific journal article from Macreadie, Hughes, and Kimbro (2013) paying particular attention to how the methods section is written. Now you are to design an experiment to test the hypothesis. In one page or less, list your proposed study site, independent variable(s), dependent variable(s), experimental group, control group, and number of replicates. Then, write a two- to -four page methods section for your proposed design. You should use the knowledge learned through this week’s readings to formulate an accurate and concise experimental design. As explained in your readings, the methods should provide enough detail so that other scientists could repeat your work and verify your findings. Pretend that you have already completed the study and utilize the past tense throughout the section. Reading through the methods sections of the paper by Macreadie, Hughes, and Kimbro (2013) should provide you with a strong example of how a methods section should be written.
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