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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?
2. Include a valid conclusion that relates to the initial problem or hypothesis.
3. What were your major findings?