Lab Report Format 07 - Teacher

Lab Report Format 07 - Teacher

Topic: Laboratory Report Format

Content Standard(s): 1. a--g, j--l, o

Laboratory Laboratory Report Report Format Format for for Chemistry


There are many styles for writing a laboratory report, but there is one way which will

be accepted for AP and CP Chemistry at La Costa Canyon Mr. Smith. Below is a list

and brief description of each section to be included in a complete laboratory report.

Certain labs may require less and the instructor will notify you which sections may be

omitted from the laboratory report. Laboratory reports will be written neatly in black

or blue ink or typed. Any data or notes copied from another sheet of paper must be

stapled to the back of the completed laboratory report (These items may be recorded

in pencil).

1. Your Your Name Name and and Partners Partners Name, Name, Date Date, Date , Hour Hour, Hour

, Instructor

• This information should be located in the upper right hand corner of each

laboratory report you turn in to your instructor.

2. Title


• The title should be located at the top of the paper and centered. You can

use the laboratory report title given or come up with your own creative title.

The title however must reflect the type of laboratory being performed.

3. Purpose/ Purpose/Hypothesis

Purpose/ Hypothesis Hypothesis

• The Purpose is a statement about the laboratory, and will always be the

first sentence below the title. A great way of starting a purpose to a

laboratory report would be “To determine…” The hypothesis is a prediction

statement made before you perform the laboratory. It does not contain

any “I” statements. Some laboratories may or may not require a

hypothesis. The instructor will explain whether a hypothesis is required for

the laboratory report.

4. Materials


• A bulleted list of all materials used for the laboratory. This allows for

another person to gather the proper materials to verify the findings of the

laboratory report.

5. 5. Procedure


• This is a numbered list of instructions describing how to perform the

laboratory. The key to science is the ability to repeat an experiment and

verify the results. This list must be detailed to allow another person to

perform the laboratory as you performed it in class. All good experiments

must be repeatable! Certain labs will require you to write a procedure,

while others will have detailed procedures already present for you to use.

E. Smith Page 1 of 5


6. Data


• This section includes all the quantitative and qualitative data collected

during the experiment. The key is to write down important observations as

they they occur occur. occur You are an individual and have your own senses, use your own

observations not just your laboratory partner’s. Collect your data in a

table/chart to keep the information organized. Label all numbers with the

appropriate units.

7. Graph(s)


• Graphs are used to visually show trends in the data. If you are required to

have a graph for the data it will be described by the instructor. A graph

must include the following:

o Title

o Axes fully labeled

o Uniform increments for each axis

o Proper graph for data collected (i.e. scatter plot, bar graph, etc.)

8. Analysis/Calculations


• In this section you will analyze the data collected during the laboratory. In

order to analyze your data, you may need to perform calculations or

answer questions that lead you toward the purpose of the laboratory.

9. Sources Sources of of Error


• There is error in every laboratory performed. You are not perfect and

neither is your lab partner. A minimum of three sources of error must

accompany the laboratory report and explain how the error error did or would

affect the outcome of the data.

10. 10. Conclusion Conclusion


• This section of the laboratory report is the most important because it

brings everything together into one or two clear and concise paragraphs.

You need to consider these questions as you are writing the conclusion:

o Did your results support or refute your hypothesis?

o What did the results state about the purpose of the laboratory?

o Why did the results not turn out according to the current theory or

predicted outcome?

o Give a small summary of the results and what it means (relate this

back to the purpose of the laboratory)

• The conclusion does not have any “I” statements! It is to the point and

concise information which relates back to the purpose of the laboratory.

Please refer to the attached copy of a laboratory report which represents the order

and detail I am looking for each time. Keep this in in your notebook as as a reference tool!

E. Smith Page 2 of 5


Lincoln Lincoln is is Drowning…Everyone Drowning…Everyone Else Else for for Themselves


E. Smith Page 3 of 5


John Smith

Josephine Schmoe


Instructor: E. Smith

Purpose Purpose: Purpose To determine how many drops of water fit on the surface of a penny.

Hypothesis Hypothesis: Hypothesis The penny will hold 12 drops of water.



• 50-mL Water (Tap)

• 1 Pipet (Thin Stem)

• 30-cm Ruler (x1)

• 1 United States issued Penny

• 1 Dixie Cup

• Paper Towel (Approximately 30 centimeters)

• Paper

• Pencil



1. Gather materials listed above. Place the 50-mL of water into the Dixie cup.

2. Place penny heads up on a level table with a small section of paper towel

underneath for easy clean up (Lincoln face up). Verify there is no debris on

the penny. If the penny is wet or damp, dry it thoroughly with paper towel.

3. Draw water into the thin stem pipette and practice dropping water into the Dixie

cup to allow for uniform drops. Make sure the same person drops the water onto

the penny for each trial.

4. Hold the thin stem pipet 2 cm above the surface of the penny. Make sure the

thin stem pipet is perpendicular to the table surface and over the center of the


5. Apply pressure to the thin stem pipet and allow the drops of water to

accumulate on the surface of the penny. Count the number of drops from the

pipet that stay on the penny. Once the water goes over the side of the penny,

stop counting and dry off the penny.

6. Perform steps 2-5 of the procedure four more times.



• Penny is a shiny copper color

• The penny was minted in 2006

• There are little black spots on the penny that cannot be removed with water and

a paper towel.

• The table appears to be level

Drops Drops of of Water Water on on a a Penny


Trial #

Number of


Trial 1 35

Trial 2 32

Trial 3 30

Trial 4 37

Trial 5 44

• A “dome” of water forms on top of the penny for each trial

• The other laboratory group bumps the table occasionally as well as our group.



Number of Drops of Water












Drops of Water on the Head of a Penny

Trial 1 Trial 2 Trial 3 Trial 4 Trail 5


E. Smith Page 4 of 5





Average number of Drops:


• = 35.6 Drops of Water


(Answers to questions given by the instructor would be found in this section)

Sources Sources of of Error:


1. The group next to the experiment inadvertently hit the side of the laboratory

table and may have caused the water to spill over the edge of the penny. This

would decrease the overall number of drops the penny could possibly hold.

2. The instructor was wandering and caused a slight breeze which could have

caused the water the spill over the edge of the penny. This would decrease the

number of drops the penny could hold because the breeze would disrupt the

balance the water on top if the penny.

3. The table may not be level. It was not possible to determine if the table was

level. Therefore this could decrease the number of drops held on the top of the




According to the data collected the number of drops of water the penny could hold was

on average 35.6 drops. This is based upon the 2006 penny used for this experiment.

Other experimenters were either higher or lower than the average of the data, due to

differences in the procedures or the kind of penny the group used. One such difference

was the height at which the experimenters in the other group held the pipet. This group

used a height of 5 cm instead of 2 cm for this experiment. The average amount of

drops from the other group was far less than the average collected in this experiment.

This might suggest the height at which the water droplet is released might affect the

overall number of drops of water a penny can hold.

The hypothesis is incorrect because there were many more drops than 12 that could

collect on the head of the penny. This may have to do with the great surface tension

that water possesses. This would explain the dome structure seen in the water on top of

the penny.

E. Smith Page 5 of 5


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