In this section of your lab, you talk about the significance of your results. It's a good idea to consult other lab reports, submitted by a different group that received a good grade or is well-respected. Be sure to list your original hypothesis, regardless of whether it was proved or disproved by the results of your experiment. You don't want to keep repeating a mistake if you can avoid it from the start! It's a good idea to suggest avenues for further study. The concentration of the samples can then be worked out from the graph, and recorded in a separate table. In this section, the report writer needs to briefly explain why they undertook the experiment.
There are rules in place to protect your health, the safety of others, and ensure the lab protocol has the best chance for success. Sometimes the conclusion is not separate from the discussion, i. Explain any problems or complications that prohibited an action from occurring. In high school, hands-on labs teach students about scientific procedures and method. Below your procedure, list all of the data that you record during the completion of the experiment. Apply your experiment to real life by discussing an issue or problem relevant to your findings.
References This is usually just a list of the sources you consulted for your discussion. Your procedure should be explained explicitly enough, in a step-by-step fashion, so that others can perform the exact same experiment that you performed, allowing them to test the validity of your results. In the procedure section, you must explain what you did during your science experiment. Sometimes the title will be assigned by the teacher, other times you will be asked to come up with your own. Different classes may vary the requirements for the contents of the report, but most will follow the basic pattern below. Also, inform the reader of estimations you made to come to your results and why you made those estimations.
Even if results aren't published, the report is a record of how an experiment was conducted, which can be valuable for follow-up research. For example, if you are trying to determine protein levels by spectrophotometry, you would record all the spectrophotometry readings for your standards and samples in the first table, and use the standard readings to construct a graph of protein concentration versus absorbance readings a standard curve. . Some lecturers will be happy with a reference to the method, e. Conclusions follow data not wild guesses or leaps of logic , 3. Describe the procedure in detail.
In a classroom setting, lab reports take a long time to grade. Discusses applications or real world connections 4. Include only the most important information. Include extensive detail, thereby allowing others to replicate your experiment in the future. Here's a quick look at the types of information you should put in the parts of the lab report and a gauge of how long each section should be. Don't try to be cute or funny.
Method or materials and methods How you carried out the experiment and what reagents you used Normally, the method is given out as part of the practical notes and very rarely would you be required to rewrite it, although you may have to note any alterations. This section is where you describe what happened during the experiment and whether the results turned out as you expected. The first section of a experiment report is the purpose section. This would be in the form of a normal and an abnormal control of known value for a practical like the serum protein analysis. An error analysis is usually here, although it may be its own section. Tables and graphs are good. References are needed for all facts except those that are readily available to the intended audience of the report.
Develop a conclusion as a result of the data that you collected. Write the steps in order, unnumbered, as a paragraph, without frivolous narrative. Record your data in tables and use the tabulated data to do the graphs. The explanation in the purpose section should be succinct. By creating charts and diagrams, you can effectively develop an understanding of the meaning of your data.
If these controls give results within their expected ranges you can generally assume that your sample result is valid. A crucial part of a lab is the proper writing of a lab report. Most of the excellent conditions were met; possible minor errors in format or procedures Some of the excellent conditions met, directions were not explicitly followed, lab stations may have been left unclean or group not practicing good safety such as not wearing goggles Student did not follow directions, practiced unsafe procedures, goofed around in the lab, left a mess or equipment lost Total out of 20. Includes the question to be answered by the lab 2. Summarizes data used to draw conclusions 2.
Sometimes the controls are past their expiry date, which means you have no way of knowing if your results are valid. The introduction is other one paragraph or a single page. Sometimes the conclusion may be required to go after the discussion, in which case it will not be a summary of the results but will be what you conclude based on your discussion. Signs and symbols are there for a reason! It should always reflect the question s posed in the Aim s. If your results are not what you expected as frequently happens in biochemistry practicals , don't panic — you can often score excellent marks by being able to explain what went wrong. Include charts, graphs and any other pictorial representation of the numerical data that you collected.
Read a sample report to know what a reviewer or grader is looking for. This can be a single paragraph or one or more pages. All appropriate labels are included Results are clear and labeled, trends are not obvious or there are minor errors in organization Results are unclear, missing labels, trends are not obvious, disorganized, there is enough data to show the experiment was conducted Results are disorganized or poorly recorded, do not make sense ; not enough data was taken to justify results Conclusions 1. List the hypothesis that you created below the purpose section. Even mistakes or undefined results should be listed here - presume that everything that happened is relevant, and propose theories for unexpected results.