Why is that element important or part of the report, and what information is being relayed by that element?

Posted: July 4th, 2022

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The Lab Report is the single most important communication device that leaves the laboratory. Although few analyses result in testimony, every analysis performed in the forensic lab results in a lab report. This assignment is meant to assist you with thinking deeper and more critically about the lab report and the lab report components.
According to your Firearm Examiner Training:
“Typically the contents of a firearms/toolmark report will include these elements:
Date of the report
Laboratory/agency address
Attention line
Submitting agency case number
Laboratory tracking number
Written title for the case (may contain suspect’s name, the victim’s name, and the violation)
Examinations requested
List and general descriiption of evidence items received
When, how, and by whom the evidence items were received
Results of examination(s) performed
Information regarding return of evidence
Signature of examiner and quality assurance reviewer(s) (per laboratory protocol)”
(NFSTC, n.d., https://projects.nfstc.org/firearms/module14/fir_m14_t07_01.htm)

Please describe in general what each aspect of those elements contain. What is each element, what should be contained in each element, why is that element important or part of the report, and what information is being relayed by that element? This should be a general paper regarding a generic lab report (or, a generic firearms/toolmarks lab report) and not written as a report about specific evidence. Please be sure to provide significant detail for the “Results of examination(s) performed” section, including all of the possible results and what each means.

Much of this may be common sense. And, there are not many resources out there that explain the lab report… which is why only 1 is required! However, here are 2:
Module 14: Communicating Results: http://projects.nfstc.org/firearms/module14/fir_m14.htm
Idaho State Police Quality Manual, Section 7.8 Reporting of Results (starts on page 112): https://isp.idaho.gov/forensics/wp-content/uploads/sites/10/documents/currentAMs/Quality%20System/Quality%20Manual%20rev7.pdf

Format Requirements
Paper must be double spaced, 11 or 12 pt font and 1” margins all around.
All APA 7th edition format requirements must be followed (cover page, in text citations, reference page). Refer to APA/UMGC – learning resources found in the content page of this course.
You must have resources to support your thoughts/opinions/information. These must be cited both in text as well as at the end of the document. Your paper should not contain direct quotes, sourced material must be paraphrased.

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