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1. Lab report assignment: Catalase Activity Assay

This course page is designed to help you locate appropriate resources for the write-up of the catalase lab. Work through it individually, or in small groups, depending on the availability of computers. Feel free to use your own laptop or other devices.

  • Before you start, briefly review the Catalase lab that you will be doing a little later in the semester, and make sure to note what will be required for your partial lab report (hint: hypothesis, results, discussion, and reference list).
  • Note the general question the lab is trying to answer, and any keywords that you think will be helpful in your searching

Overview of what we'll cover:

  • Summon as a starting point for finding background research
  • JSTOR database of scholarly, peer-reviewed articles for your topic
  • Criteria to evaluate information sources
  • Citing key resources in APA

Learning objectives:

  • Locate and cite appropriate information sources for lab report
  • Use evaluative skills when assessing a website for credibility
  • Recognize proper APA citation format 

Download the following Catalase Assay Lab- Worksheet for Library Research, complete it, and return it to your lab instructor.

2. Develop your search strategy

What is the question your lab is trying to answer?

What effect does pH have on enzyme activity?

To start your search, focus on the most essential words in that question:

What effect does pH have on enzyme activity?

These keywords and their synonyms or related terms should form your search strategy.

Search diagramme

3. Start with a Summon Search

This video will help you find sources for your Catalase Lab using the Library's Summon Search.

Help: Recognizing peer-reviewed, scholarly articles

4. Using KPU's science databases

The Library subscribes to over 100 databases, many of which contain specialized science collections of scholarly, peer-reviewed articles. For the catalase lab, try these to start with:

Help: How to search JSTOR

This video explains searching for articles in JSTOR. Thanks to Utah State University Library.

Help: How do I know if it's scholarly?

Not sure how to tell whether an article would be considered scholarly or peer-reviewed?

Use the page linked here and see for yourself.

Help: Using Google Scholar to find more sources

Once you've searched the Library's databases, check Google Scholar for more articles and reports. Use the "Where Can I Get This?" link to take you to articles available through KPU's subscriptions. Ask a librarian how to set up Google Scholar for your off-campus use.

Google Scholar Search

5. Evaluate your sources

When deciding whether or not to use a source of information for your lab report, take a minute to consider the following questions. 

Click on the arrows below.

Help: Useful web resources and Wikipedia

The following are freely available, reliable sources for searching concepts in introductory biology. If you do include information from one of these sources, make sure to cite it correctly in the text of your report, as well as include it in your reference list.


A note about Wikipedia:


Wikipedia provides useful background information on topics in biology and biochemistry. It will likely be one of the first pages in your Google search results. Explore the broad overviews, recommended links to external sites, further reading, and references. These will very often lead to information on government and research sites that is freely accessible to the public.

Use your best critical thinking to determine whether a site is accurate, credible, and relevant to your research.


Think of Wikipedia as a starting point for your research that will lead to other, verifiable, sources. You should not be citing Wikipedia in your lab reports.

Citing Sources in a Lab Report

APA Citation for Articles, Books, and Websites

6. Credit your sources

Please refer to the KPU Library APA Citation Style guide. Examples for citing books, reference works, journal articles, and websites are all there.

Please be aware that as of October 2019, APA  has updated its Publication Manual (7th edition). KPU Library has updated its guide to reflect these changes. Check with your instructor to see what edition you should be using.


When citing your textbook, you will need to pay attention to the edition you are using, and how to treat the numerous authors. See the rules for: 

Lab manual:

When citing your lab manual, treat it as a book, with a group (or corporate) author.

This means that you will use the name of the faculty as the group responsible for the content of the manual. Also remember to include any edition information, following the title, just as you would for any second or subsequent editions of a book. 

Faculty of Science and Horticulture. (2019). Biology 1210: Introduction to Biology II (2019/2020 ed.). Macmillan Learning Curriculum Solutions.

(Remember that your reference should be indented on the second line.)