Flavour School | Dissection | Detection | Following

What is a banana? Let’s describe it by dissecting it!

As mentioned in Description, you have four descriptive methods at your disposal when attempting to elaborate a definition. One of these four descriptive methods is the Dissection method.

What is dissection?

In its simplest formulation, this method involves describing an object according to a plan that involves taking it apart so as to see more clearly the physical forms (or structures) of the specimen. In science, the study of physical form is called morphology. The Dissection method can be summarized in three questions:

  1. Of what parts does the whole organism–or part of the whole organism–consist?
  2. How do these different parts fit together to make the whole organism?
  3. What might the structure of the individual parts tell us about their function(s)?

There is much more to the Dissection method, however, than simply asking these three questions. Believe it or not, dissecting is actually much more challenging than you might think! Furthermore, dissection is still an important practice in modern science. This is why Dr. Merritt has developed a wide array of resources to help you perform dissections that will give you the best chance of providing scientific answers to the three questions listed above.

Some useful dissection tools…

  • An entire “How To…” page dedicated to the art and science of dissection
  • Dr. Merritt’s dissection protocol for fruits and vegetables (Coming soon!)
  • Dr. Merritt’s dissection protocol for seeds and nuts (Coming soon!)
  • Dr. Merritt’s dissection protocol for roots and tubers (Coming soon!)
  • A dissection kit
  • A magnifying glass (or hand lens)
  • A binocular/stereo microscope
  • Personal qualities such curiosity, patience, persistence, and organization
  • The camera feature of a mobile phone or tablet
  • Lab Notebook


  1. Your teacher asks that you record all of your Dissection method work in your Lab Notebook.
  2. Your Dissection method work should be identified by a title that closely resembles the following example: Banana weeLAB™ – Description (Dissection)
  3. Your final ‘dissected’ definition should be boxed (i.e., enclosed in a neatly drawn rectangle) and labelled by a title placed just outside–and above–the top left corner of the box (the title should be “Dissected definition”).
  4. Finally, you should perform a word count of your final dissected definition and list this word count just outside–and under–the bottom right corner of the boxed definition.

Proceed to DETECTION

Last updated: September 2019