Lab Report Help Center
How to write a Lab Report: A Step-by-Step Checklist
Title (underlined and on the top center of the page)
I. Question/Problem Statement:
· Identify the research question/problem and state it clearly.
II. Background Information:
· Sometimes you will have no idea and will need to do additional research before you write a hypothesis.
· DO NOT do “THE GOOGLE” to answer your question, that is the cheap way out. Look at the questions and collet information.
- State the hypothesis carefully, logically.
- Write down your prediction as to how the independent variable will affect the dependent variable using an “if” - “then” – “because” statement.
- If (state the independent variable) is (choose an action), then (state the dependent variable) will (choose an action), because (describe reason for event).
- The procedure must be step-by-step directions. This may change when you go to high school and you may be asked to write a summary, but for right now I want to make sure that you give accurate and concise details about the apparatus and materials used.
- List and describe the equipment and the materials used. For example:
- Pan Balance Scale
Variables and Control Test:
- Identify the variables in the experiment. There are three types of variables:
- Independent variable (also known as the manipulated variable): The factor that can be changed by the investigator (the cause).
- Dependent variable (also known as the responding variable): The observable factor of an investigation that is the result or what happened when the independent variable was changed. (the effect)
- Constant variable: The other identified variables in the investigation that are kept or remain the same during the investigation. They will be used for comparison of the independent variable.
- Ensure that all observations and/or data are recorded.
- Use a table and write your observations clearly. (color, solubility changes, etc.)
- Pay particular attention to significant figures and make sure that all units are stated. NO NAKED NUMBERS!
- Analyze data and specify method used.
- If graphing data, to look for common trend, be sure to properly format and label all aspects of the graph (name of axes, numerical scales, etc.).
VI. Conclusion and Evaluation:
A conclusion statement answers the following questions in at least two paragraphs.
- First Paragraph: Introduction
- What was investigated?
- Briefly describe the problem.
- Was the hypothesis supported by the data?
- Compare your actual result to the expected result (Your hypothesis)
- Include a valid conclusion that relates to the initial problem or hypothesis.
- What were your major findings?
- Did your data support your hypothesis?
- Discuss the relationship between the dependent and independent variable.
- Last Paragraph: Conclusion
- What possible explanations can you offer for your findings?
- Evaluate your method.
- State any assumptions that were made which may affect the result.
- What recommendations do you have for further study and for improving the experiment?
- Comment on the limitations of the method chosen.
- Suggest how the method chosen could be improved to obtain more accurate and reliable results.
- What are some possible applications of the experiment?
- How can this experiment or the findings of this experiment be used in the real world for the benefit of society?