Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 2

Louisville Middle School

Lab Report Basics


2006 2007 sjl

Title: Every lab should have a descriptive title ex: Evaporation of Water or Building
Molecules. Do not title your lab LAB or something misleading like the cave of the
flying monkeys

Purpose: Every lab has a purpose. This is WHY you are doing the lab it usually
relates to what you are studying in science
Examples: The purpose of this lab is to demonstrate the difference between
atoms and molecules
Note: sometimes the textbook will use a PROBLEM instead of a PURPOSE. The
difference is that the Problem is in the form of a question (What is the difference between
atoms and molecules?). You should change it to a statement rather than a question.

Hypothesis: This is the prediction of what you think will happen in the lab. A
hypothesis might take the form If. Then.
Example: If the chemicals in the beaker are stirred, the reaction will happen
more quickly.
If there is not an experiment testing something, there may not be a hypothesis.
Examples might include a microscope lab, or demonstrating forms of energy.

Materials: This is a list of materials you will need to complete the lab. It is like the
ingredients for a recipe. You should include all the needed supplies, but do not need to
include things like pencil & paper to write the lab.

Procedure: This is the step by step instructions for how to do the lab. If you are doing
a lab in class, the teacher will probably give you the procedure. If you are writing the
experiment (like for science fair) you need to do the following:
- Make sure the procedure is detailed enough for someone else to repeat your
experiment.
- List and number the steps (1, 2. 3. ) NOT written as a paragraph

Results: The results section is where you write down the data you collect in your
experiment. It should include:
- Data in a table, labeled, including units
- Quantitative data: Measurements (time, distance, mass)
o ALWAYS use metric measurements!
- Qualitative data: descriptions and observations (color, texture)
- Problems that may have affected your results (fact, not opinion)
o ran out of time
o spilled the beaker and had to start over
o was absent one day

Conclusion: The conclusion is the most important part of the lab it summarizes
everything you did, what, how, and why. See the next page for a more detailed
description.

Louisville Middle School

Lab Report Basics


2006 2007 sjl

Conclusion:
The reader should be able to read ONLY the conclusion and know what you did,
how, why, what problems there were, and what you learned. If the reader wants more
information, they can look at your results and procedure.
Conclusions should be written in the third person (NOT using I, we, our) and
should have a formal, scientific voice. Labs are about what you observed and what you
learned from this, NOT whether you thought the activity is boring or fun. You should
NEVER finish your lab with this was fun, we should do more labs like this or the
end.
Conclusions should always be written in paragraph form, referring to the lab so
that the reader has all the information needed. For example: The results confirmed the
hypothesis, that stirring the mixture caused the reaction to happen faster, NOT yes,
my hypothesis was right. However, you may restate the hypothesis and then say this
hypothesis was proved correct.

Outline for a good four paragraph conclusion:


Paragraph 1: Purpose, procedure, and hypothesis
First sentence summarizes the purpose:
In this lab the researchers found that
Second sentence summarizes the procedure:
The experiment was completed using to see what happened when
OR
The experiment was performed by in order to .
Third sentence summarizes your hypothesis (educated guess) or predictions:
The researchers predicted that because.
OR
The researchers predicted that if then
DO NOT say see the procedure above
And if your hypothesis was correct:
This confirmed (or contradicted) our hypothesis
Paragraph 2: Background information and vocabulary
Define words from the lab, explain and make connections as necessary. DONT
assume the reader knows it is your job to explain
Paragraph 3: Summarize results
Next sentence should summarize the results what happened:
The experiment showed that
OR
The group found that
DO NOT list EVERY bit of data, just the highlights or overall patterns
Paragraph 4: Sources of error, changes for next time, practical applications
Sources of Error yes, there are ALWAYS sources of error measurement,
things that didnt go right or that you forgot or misunderstood, human error, things that
involve opinion (what color is it?).
Practical applications, or uses for this information (the textbook usually has this
info). This might include other labs you have done that are similar or on a related topic
OR Better design for next time or follow up experiment.