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How to Write a Formal Lab Write Report

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How to Write up a "FORMAL" Lab Report

THE REQUIRED COMPONENTS

Ð'* Title Page

Ð'* Introduction

Ð'- Objective

Ð'- Background Information on experiment and technology used

Ð'- Hypothesis

Ð'* Materials & Methods Section

Ð'- Materials (Listed)

Ð'- Methods (DETAILED) descriptions of all sections of the lab in an organized fashion.

Ð'* Results Section (no interpretation, JUST DATA)

Ð'- Results Part A. (in paragraph) (Just TELL "what happened." Can Refer to the tables, charts, and/or graphs you used/created in this section, but make sure those graphs/charts are in the ensuing Results section B. )

Ð'- Results Part B. (Tables, Graphs, Charts, and Diagrams referred to from the Results "Paragraph" section.)

Ð'* Discussions & Conclusions Section

Ð'- Discussion (INTERPRETATION of the numerical data in your results)

Ð'- Error Analysis

Ð'* (What went wrong or What COULD HAVE gone wrong in this lab. Include any common pitfalls a person running this lab for the first time should make sure they avoid.)

Ð'- Discussion Questions (from initial lab packets)

Ð'- Final conclusion (usually about one paragraph) (What happened in general? Were your hypothesis correct? Why or why not?)

Ð'* Acknowledgements/Bibliography

Title Page

Ð'* Title should be brief and give the reader a generalized idea of what the experiment was, what was being measured, & possibly any technology used.

Ð'* Title should be unique and not identical from student to student.

Ð'* Includes student name & period

Ð'* i.e. "DNA Analysis of a Crime Scene via Gel Electrophoresis"

Ð'* i.e. "Comparison of Chloroplast Effectiveness at Different Temperatures via Spectrophotometry."

Ð'* BAD EXAMPLE: Enzyme Catalysis

Introduction

Ð'* Introduction: Includes the aim/goal/objective of the experiment, the hypothesis, and SOME background information on the project.

Ð'* Introduction

Ð'- Experiment Objective/Purpose: Use objectives given in the lab and re-word them

Ð'- Hypothesis: What did you expect to happen AND WHY did you expect this?

Ð'- Background Information: In one paragraph, give an ABSTRACT/Overview of the entire experiment.

Ð'* Example: The specific enzyme "catalase" is an enzyme that is found in ______________________ and is used to ____________________. (This is where you might want to do some "RESEARCH" and write down a source used to include at the end of the lab report's bibliography) After talking about the specific enzyme "CATALASE", I would then talk about how environmental factors in general affect enzymes.

Ð'* Finally, I would discuss the overview of the lab in general and the general results.

Materials & Methods Section

Ð'* Materials: List of ALL materials required in the lab. Never assume anything. If the lab requires a single toothpick in addition to all other materials, the toothpick also needs to be listed.

Ð'- Can give a general list OR subdivide into sections of the lab.

Ð'* Materials: Part A

Ð'* Materials: Part B

Ð'* Methods/Procedures: This needs to be written so that ANYBODY, including your 8 year old brother/sister, can follow the procedures and complete the same experiment with similar results. It is important because it allows the procedures to be repeated and confirmed.

Ð'- IMPORTANT NOTE: THERE IS/ARE NO INTERPRETATIONS/DISCUSSIONS DONE IN THIS PART OF THE WRITEUP

Ð'* Bad example: 1. put some of the enzyme in a cup. 2. add some hydrogen peroxide. 3. notice the bubbles.

Ð'* Good example: (should be in PARAGRAPH format) The first step of the procedure requires the experimenter to obtain 10 milliliters of catalase. This 10 milliliters of catalase should then be mixed with 10 milliliters of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). Any observations should be recorded at this time in Table 1.

RESULTS SECTION

Ð'* RESULTS: This section includes a full description of the results and INCLUDES TABLES AND GRAPHS.

Ð'* NEEDS TO BE DIVIDED INTO TWO SECTIONS

Ð'* 1. PARAGRAPH ON RESULTS: Simply write about what happened, but DO NOT INFER WHY ANYTHING HAPPENED. THAT PART WAITS FOR THE DISCUSSION.

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