HOW TO WRITE A LAB REPORT N/P/D First & Last Name/Period/Date should always be in the upper right hand corner of paper. TITLE A descriptive title should appear centered towards the top of the page. PROBLEM The problem should be the question you are trying to answer. This will usually include information about why you are looking at the question. HYPOTHESIS A hypothesis is an educated guess about what you predict will happen. You will also need to explain why you think it is so. One of your hypotheses should be supported by the data you collect. Steps for creating your hypotheses: 1. Make a guess about what you think will happen. Write it down. 2. Think of all other possible outcomes. Write them down. 3. Make sure to write down the possible outcome that says, “ Nothing will happen.” This is called the 0 hypothesis. 4. Write down what you will observe if your first hypothesis is true. 5. Write down what information you have that helped you make your first hypothesis. EXAMPLE: My hypothesis is that I will expect to find more igneous rocks by percentage then sedimentary rocks in a particular gravel outcrop because of the direction the glaciers came from was the northeast. My alternative hypothesis is that I will expect to find more sedimentary rocks by percentage then igneous rocks in a particular gravel outcrop because of the direction the glaciers came from was the northwest. My 0 hypothesis is that there will be no difference significant difference in the percentage of rock types in the gravel outcrop. If my first hypothesis is correct, I will expect to find more igneous rocks by percentage then sedimentary rocks in a particular gravel outcrop because of the direction the glaciers came from was the northeast. METHODS & MATERIALS Materials: List all the materials you used in doing this experiment. You can add the amounts after you have set up the experiment. Methods: It is very important to list all of the steps you take to set up your experiment. The steps should be listed like the steps for cooking. Write each step in the order that you did it. If some steps are repeats, it is OK to write “repeat steps 1-4 with second pebble count.” The more detailed the steps the better. The best scientific labs are written so that someone who has never done the experiment can repeat the process. DATA Data includes table(s) and graph(s). Both should be titled and labeled. A few labs may require sketches in place of graphs. DATA ANALYSIS In this section of the lab report you will briefly summarize what you did in the lab and analyze the data you collected. The data analysis should be able to stand on its own. This means that if a person were to read this section alone, they would understand what you were trying to find out and what you discovered. A simple way to remember the steps for this part of the write-up is RERUN. R = Recall. Describe what you did briefly. E = Explain. Why you were doing the experiment. R = Results. Use your results to state if you first hypothesis was/was not supported. U = Uncertainty Describe any uncertainty or issues that may impact your results. N = New. Write two new science related things you learned from this experiment or new ways you could apply the information you learned from this experiment. Example RERUN paragraph for data analysis: In this investigation we measured the percentage of igneous vs. sedimentary rocks in a sample of 100 randomly chosen rocks from a gravel outcrop. You should give the location of the outcrop here as well. We were trying to determine if there more igneous rocks than sedimentary rocks by percentage at this outcrop of gravel. On average, there were more igneous rocks then other rocks at this outcrop. There were on average 70 percent igneous rock compared to other rock types. This supports our first hypothesis that the glacier came from the northeast. However, we cannot exactly where the igneous rock came from in the northeast, as we did not identify to specific ingots rock types. Two things I learned from this lab are that I can may a calculated determination as to which direction the continental glaciers move across this area and I can predict what I would find in a gravel outcrop of material form a glacial lobe coming from the north west. You can use this space for notes about which graphs to use for showing data and other hints for helping to improve your labs and reports. General Lab Report Rubric (this is a generic scale, point totals will vary with different lab requirements) Title and Problem Statement 4: Descriptive title. Problem statement is clear and relates to topic. Relevant background information is included. 3: Problem statement relates to topic. Background information is missing or irrelevant. 2: Problem statement is present but does not directly relate to topic. 1: Either problem statement or title is missing. Hypothesis 4: Hypothesis’ “why” statement clearly connects to problem statement. 3: Hypothesis has “why” statement but it lacks connection to problem statement. 2: Hypothesis is missing the “why” part. 1: Hypothesis is missing or irrelevant. Methods & Materials 4: Procedure is clear and thorough enough for someone else to repeat it. Enough trials are included to be appropriately reliable. 3: All materials are listed. Procedure lacks a few details or a sufficient number of trials. 2: Some materials are missing. Procedure is unclear or lacking many important details. 1: Materials may not be listed at all. Procedure is missing, irrelevant, or very incomplete. Data 4: Graphs are of appropriate type and scale for data, large enough (~1/4 page), and contain appropriate title and axes labels. Data table is well organized, titled, and labeled. 3: Data table is well organized, titled, and labeled. Graphs are appropriate type, but are either missing a title or axis label, or are too small (<1/4 page). 2: Data table is organized, but missing title or column labels. Graphs are present but may be of inappropriate type or scale or missing title and axes labels. 1: Data table is poorly organized or missing. Graphs show lack of understanding of the data. Data analysis 4: All parts of analysis are complete and show good understanding of lab results. 3: Only one part of analysis shows a lack of understanding, data reference is missing, or link to hypothesis is absent. 2: Two parts of analysis show a lack of understanding or are missing. 1: More than two parts of the analysis show a lack of understanding or are missing.
Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013