Formal Lab Report Format - Southington Public Schools

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Formal Lab Report Format - Southington Public Schools

Heading:

Science Lab Report Format

Title of Experiment

Your name

Period

Date of lab

Collaborators

The title of the experiment should be informative and accurately describe the experiment. The heading must

contain all of the information shown above.

Purpose: This section introduces the purpose and background of the experiment. Explain the purpose or

objective of the lab/experiment. The purpose is never to prove something, as this is never a realistic goal for

scientists. With the purpose, the problem (observations and question) explored, the basic experimental setup

(control, independent and dependent variables, etc.), and background relevant to the problem are all described.

Frequently, a starting hypothesis should be included. Relevant mathematical equations should be double spaced

between the lines of text and centered. For example,

Einsteins famous equation would be shown as:

E = mc 2

Materials & Methods: List the materials used to perform the experiment. Do not leave out chemicals or

equipment. In your own words and complete sentences, list the steps taken to carry out the experiment. It need

not be in paragraph form, a sequential list is fine. It should be detailed enough so that anyone reading it may

exactly duplicate your experiment. Include labeled diagrams when needed. Be thorough about the quantities of

materials used and specifics of your setup. Gathering or putting away equipment, entering numbers in a table,

calculating values, and writing a report are not laboratory procedures.

Results: This section presents all of the data obtained from the experiment, without interpretation.

A. Important Observations Any general observations are presented in complete sentences.

B. Data – All data should be organized in a table, if possible.. Data is values that you measure. The

table should be neat and include the proper units.

C. CalculationsAll values calculated should be presented clearly, possibly in table form. It is best

that show an example of the most important calculations.

D. GraphsAll graphs should be on a separate sheet of graph paper and should be properly labeled

with a clear and descriptive title, units and a scale. Graphs may be made by hand or on the

computerunless otherwise directed.

Discussion & Analysis: Write out here what has been discovered. Use the purpose (particularly the question

and hypothesis) to guide the analysis. The significance of the results should be discussed, referring to important

results directly as evidence to support your conclusions. Include a discuss of experimental validity, with

discussion of the sources and consequences of experimental errors. No experiment performed by any scientist is

perfect. Human error or my lab partners fault or the equipment was broken are not valid errors. It is

always a good idea to discuss possible future experiments or improvements that should be made to the

procedure.

NOTES:

· Neatness counts! Lab reports can be typed. Any parts handwritten must be readable.

· Plagiarism is strictly forbidden. Collaboration is encouraged, but any lab reports with word-forword

copied purpose, procedures, results, discussion, or conclusions will result in a significant loss

of points.

· Grammar is essential. Complete sentences, proper punctuation, scientific terminology, and proper

usage are a must. A scientist who cannot communicate his or her work effectively will not succeed.


CRITERIA

1. Title & Heading · Title is informative,

concise, and accurately

describes the experiment.

· Heading is complete.

2. Purpose · Purpose states why the

experiment is being

performed and is written in

the present tense.

· Purpose uses background

appropriately and accurately

to place the work in context.

· Hypothesis should be

clearly stated and accurately

represent the variables

explored.

3. Materials &

Methods

LABORATORY REPORT GRADING CRITERIA Version 1.0

SCORES

4 – Exemplary 3 – Above Average 2 – Satisfactory 1 – Unsatisfactory

· Chemicals and equipment

used are listed completely.

· Procedure is listed in

complete sentences in past

tense.

· Procedure clearly and

accurately describes the

experiment carried out,

including quantities of

materials used.

4. Results · Important observations are

presented in the past tense,

without interpretation.

· Tables and graphs are

used to effectively organize

and present the data, if

necessary. Tables and graphs

are referred to in the present

tense.

· Important calculations are

accurately shown.

5. Discussion

(Analysis)

· Explains correctly the

significance of the results

(data) relevant to the

hypothesis and/or question

being explored.

· Important results should

be referenced explicitly in

order to support any

conclusions.

· Sources and consequences

of experimental errors should

be explained fully.

· Future experiments or

improvements to the

procedure should be

explored.

6. Mechanics · Exhibits consistent use of

well-formed sentences.

· Exhibits a rich vocabulary

appropriate to the topic.

· Demonstrates consistent

and accurate use of

conventional spelling,

punctuation, grammar and

usage rules.

· Title accurately describes

the experiment, may not be

clear or concise.

· Heading is possibly

missing author,

collaborators, or date.

· Purpose states why the

experiment is being

performed.

· Purpose provides some,

accurate background.

· Hypothesis and variables

should be clearly stated.

· Chemicals and equipment

list may be incomplete.

· Procedure is listed in

complete sentences.

· Procedure clearly

describes the experiment

carried out, although there

may be some inaccuracies.

· Important observations are

presented, without

interpretation.

· Tables and graphs are

used to organize and present

the data, if necessary. Tables

and graphs may have slight

errors.

· Important calculations are

shown, although they may be

incorrect.

· Explains the significance

of the results (data) relevant

to the hypothesis and/or

question being explored.

· Important results are at

least alluded to.

· Sources and consequences

of experimental errors should

be discussed.

· Exhibits use of complete

sentences.

· Exhibits a sound

vocabulary.

· Demonstrates generally

consistent and accurate use

of conventional spelling,

punctuation, grammar and

usage rules, errors do not

affect the overall quality of

the paper.

· Title does not accurately

describe the experiment.

· Heading is likely missing

author, collaborators, or

date.

· Purpose states why the

experiment is being

performed.

· Purpose provides some

background, although it may

have slight errors.

· Hypothesis and/or

variables may be missing or

inadequate.

· Chemicals and equipment

list may be incomplete.

· Procedure describes the

experiment carried out,

although the description is

not clear and/or completely

accurate.

· Some observations are

presented.

· Tables and graphs are

used to organize and present

the data, if necessary. Tables

and graphs are inadequate or

incomplete.

· Calculations are missing.

· Explains the significance

of the results (data).

· Results are at least alluded

to.

· Discussion of sources of

error is incomplete or

missing.

· Uses complete sentences

predominantly.

· Employs basic but

accurate word choices.

· Demonstrates some

spelling, punctuation,

capitalization, grammar and

usage errors; errors do not

confuse the intended

meaning.

· Title is missing or does not

relate to the experiment.

· Heading is likely missing

author, collaborators, or date.

· Purpose states why the

experiment is being

performed.

· Purpose probably lacks

any real background.

· Hypothesis and variables

may be missing or

inadequate.

· Chemicals and equipment

list is most likely incomplete.

· Procedure only

superficially describes the

experiment and likely there is

little detail provided.

· Observations are missing

or unimportant.

· Tables and graphs are not

used to organize the data.

· Calculations are missing

· Little explanation of the

results is given.

· Little or no relevant

results are even alluded to.

· Discussion of sources of

error is incomplete or

missing.

· Shows limited ability to

use complete sentences.

· Shows limited or

inappropriate word choice.

· Demonstrates numerous

spelling, punctuation,

grammar, capitalization, and

usage error that lead to

confusion and affect the

readability of the report.

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