Lab Report Format and Guidelines

Kehoe France Science-Lab Report Guidelines                                                                

General Information:
·        Lab reports should be written in the following order with the same letters and headings.
·        Lab reports may be typed (Times Roman 12pt) or hand written (print- not cursive)
·        One inch margins on each page
Lab Report Should Include:
A. Title Page
·   A title for your experiment (centered on the page). Be creative.
·   Be short and descriptive (often starts with the effects of ____and  _____.)
·   Your name underneath the title.
B. Problem
·   What is the question you will investigate during the lab?  Many times you can re-write the problem from the pre-lab or lab instruction sheet.
C. Hypothesis
·   What is your testable prediction?  What do you think will happen. Your hypothesis will include information as to what variable is dependent and what variable is independent.
D. Materials List
·   Include a complete list of all the materials you used during your experiment.  You may list them in bullet form
E. Procedure
·   What steps would another scientist need to follow to be able to replicate your experiment?  The steps must be written in numeric order (1,2, 3) and in complete sentences.  Each step is usually one sentence.  Keep it simple!
F. Variables (Independent and Dependent)
·   Identify each variable in the experiment. The independent variable is the factor you changed on purpose in your experiment.  There can only be 1 independent variable.  The dependent variable is the change you are going to measure.  There can only be one dependent variable.
G. Data Table(s) 
·   Visual representation of data (e.g. line or bar graphs, pie charts) drawn on graph paper or generated by computer.
·   Calculations (correct units!) done during the lab.
H. Conclusion/Analysis
·   The conclusion is written in paragraph form.  It is an explanation of how your data supports or rejects your hypothesis.  The data you collected in the lab is used to support statements in your conclusion.
I. Reflection/Discussion
The reflection/discussion section is written in paragraph form and answers the following questions:
o       Do you feel your data is valid (reliable and accurate)?  why or why not? 
o       Explain 3 possible sources of error (factors that may have influenced your results).
o       Explain 3 possible ways to improve or change your experiment if you were to do it again. 
o       Explain 3 limitations to your experimental design.
o       What new questions did you experiment generate?