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Lab Report Help Center

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.

 

III.  Hypothesis

  • 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.
    1. If (state the independent variable) is (choose an action), then (state the dependent variable) will (choose an action), because (describe reason for event).

 

IV.  Procedures:

  • 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:
    1. Pan Balance Scale
    2. Sugar
    3. Beaker

 

Variables and Control Test:

  • Identify the variables in the experiment. There are three types of variables:
    1. Independent variable (also known as the manipulated variable): The factor that can be changed by the investigator (the cause).
    2. 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)
    3. 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.

V.  Data:

  • Ensure that all observations and/or data are recorded.
    1. Use a table and write your observations clearly. (color, solubility changes, etc.)
    2. Pay particular attention to significant figures and make sure that all units are stated. NO NAKED NUMBERS!

Data Analysis:

  • 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.

 

  1. First Paragraph: Introduction
  1. What was investigated?
    1. Briefly describe the problem.
  2. Was the hypothesis supported by the data?
    1. Compare your actual result to the expected result  (Your hypothesis)
    2. Include a valid conclusion that relates to the initial problem or hypothesis.
  3. What were your major findings?
    1. Did your data support your hypothesis?
    2. Discuss the relationship between the dependent and independent variable.

 

  1. Last Paragraph: Conclusion
  1. What possible explanations can you offer for your findings?
    1. Evaluate your method.
    2. State any assumptions that were made which may affect the result.
  2. What recommendations do you have for further study and for improving the experiment?
    1. Comment on the limitations of the method chosen.
    2. Suggest how the method chosen could be improved to obtain more accurate and reliable results.
  3. What are some possible applications of the experiment?
    1. How can this experiment or the findings of this experiment be used in the real world for the benefit of society?