FORMAL LAB REPORT GUIDELINES – Mrs. St.Clair
· Body (written portion) must be written in blue or black ink on white loose-leaf paper or typed in black ink on white paper. DO NOT tear paper out of a spiral notebook.
· Write on ONE side of the paper only.
· Paper: drawings should be on plain white paper; graphs should be on graph paper; tables should be on plain white paper or loose leaf. Graphs and drawings must be done in pencil.
· The purpose, results, answers, and conclusions must be written in complete sentences.
· Use correct spelling and grammar.
· DO NOT PLAGIARIZE (copy from another person or source.)
· Pages must be stapled together.
· All lines must be drawn with a ruler.
· When answering questions, do not include the question in the lab report.
· Do not place report in a binder, cover, or folder.
SPECIFIC DIRECTIONS: Organize your lab report in the following order. Identify each section with a heading.
§ Should be brief and descriptive.
§ Use a simple sentence or two to state the intent or objective of the lab.
§ If a hypothesis is being tested, it should be stated here.
§ List materials, apparatus, chemicals (if specific amounts are used), etc.
§ If four or more materials are used, list items in two columns. Do not number. You do not have to write this in complete sentences.
§ Do not list pens, pencils, paper, calculators, etc.
§ Should be procedure actually used, including any modifications from written description.
§ Use a numbered sequence of steps.
§ Use formal English – no “I” or “we” or “you.”
§ DO NOT copy from the lab manual or handout. Use your own words.
§ Include a description of results in complete sentences, OR …
§ This section may take the form of answers to questions, graphs, tables, or drawings, all of which must be labeled.
§ Graphs (on graph paper)
·All lines must be drawn with a ruler in pencil.
·Include a descriptive title.
·X-axis represents independent variable; Y-axis represents dependent variable.
·Each axis must be labeled and the units indicated.
·Divide axes into regular intervals; label intervals.
·Include a key if multiple sets of data are on the same graph.
·Include a descriptive title.
·All hand drawn tables must have rows and columns drawn with a ruler in blue or black ink.
·Label columns; include units of measurement where appropriate.
·Use colored pencils if appropriate.
·Use simple lines – no scribbling.
·Draw what is observed; do not copy diagrams from the text.
·A circle (5-8 cm) may be used to represent the microscope field.
·Label each drawing. Use a ruler to label.
·Label microscope drawings with magnification (e.g. 400x).
§ Answers to questions
· Answer in complete sentences. (DON’T INCLUDE QUESTIONS)
§ This is the most important part of your report; it counts as 25% of your lab grade.
§ Should be at least 6-10 sentences.
§ Must be directly related to the purpose. Interpret results and explain if purpose was fulfilled successfully. If hypothesis was tested, state whether results support or contradict hypothesis. DO NOT simply restate the purpose.
§ No personal pronouns ("I", "we", etc.).
§ Incorporate information from other sources – notes, text, etc. if appropriate.
§ Discuss possible sources of error.
§ Personal opinions are not appropriate.
§ Sign your name at the end of the report.
§ Enter lab partner’s name
§ Enter date and class period.
· You are expected to be prepared for lab. On the day of the lab, you must come prepared with:
§ Any pre-lab write-up, as instructed by teacher.
§ Appropriate writing implements and materials
§ Lab manual or handouts
· If you are not prepared, you may be excused from the lab or receive a zero for that part of the lab.
· Lab reports are due at the beginning of the period on the assigned day. No time will be
allowed for stapling, signing, etc. Late reports will receive a deduction of 10% per day
late. This includes weekend days!