## SCIENCE WITH MRS. SHANEYFELT

 HOW TO WRITE A LAB REPORT   1. Title                                                                  Write a statement that relates the independent and the dependent variables that were investigated.  The title should be The Effect of IV on the DV.   2. Introduction                               This is a review of the literature on the topic being studied. It may be a paragraph of several pages depending upon the requirements for the specific assignment.   3. Experimental Design                       Begin the experimental process.                                                                                 -Begin the diagram by drawing a rectangle.                                                                                 -Write the independent variable (IV) across the top of the rectangle. -Divide the rectangle into labeled columns to represent the different levels of the independent variable.                                                                                 -Indicate the number of trials in each column.                                                                                 -Write the dependent variable (DV) and constants (C) beneath the rectangle.   4. Procedure                                  List the exact steps followed to complete the investigation. Check the list carefully for accuracy, completeness, and precision.   5. Results                                     Complete a data table and an appropriate graph for the data using the following guidelines:                    Data Table                       -Make a table containing vertical columns for the independent variable, dependent variable, and derived quantity.                                                                                 -Subdivide the column for the dependent variable to reflect the number of   trials.                                                                                 -Order the values of the independent variable--preferably from the smallest   to the largest.                                                                                 -Record the values of the dependent variable.                                                                                 -Compute the derived quantity.       Graph                                                -Draw and label the X (ordinate) and Y (abscissa) axes of the graph. The independent variable is plotted on the X-axis and the dependent variable is plotted on the Y-axis.                                                                                 -Determine the appropriate scale for the two axes.                                                                                 -Plot the data pairs on the graph.                                                                                 -Summarize the data trends on the graph.   6. Discussion                                                         The discussion is the essence of the report. The results and conclusion should flow smoothly and logically from the data. Be thorough. Allow the readers to see the train of thought, letting them know exactly what was done.     Compare the results obtained with theoretical values, published data, commonly held beliefs, and/or expected results. Include a discussion of possible errors. How did the data vary between repeated observations of similar events? What would you do differently if you repeated this project? What other experiments should be conducted?   7. Conclusion                                  Briefly summarize the results. Be specific; do not generalize. Never introduce anything in the conclusion that has not already been discussed. This should include a statement that addresses how the results relate to the purpose of the experiment. Reasons for experimental results that are contrary to the hypothesis are included.                                                                 Printable Version
Last Modified: Wednesday, February 25, 2009