Lab Reports

Writing Formal Lab Reports

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All labs must be written or typed and be submitted to the teacher in a pocketed lab notebook (2”, 3-ring binder with pockets). Always use third person (no personal pronouns) when writing all parts of a lab report. A cover sheet with the lab title, your name, date, and period should be stapled to the front of the lab report. Place the lab report in the front pocket of the Notebook. When typing your report put lab headings and lab questions in bold type (underline when writing). Use Times New Roman font 12 point only and only 1″ margins. Include a floppy disk or CD with your lab report in your lab folder.

Your lab report should be written using the following format:  (Be sure to left align & bold headings)

The title should indicate clearly & concisely the subject and scope of the report. 

The introduction should give background information about the experiment. It should also state the purpose of the investigation.

The hypothesis should be a single statement telling the exact thing you are trying to prove in your experiment.  Never write this statement using “first person”.

This section includes a list, written in paragraph form, of all the materials and equipment used.  Be sure to include specific amounts and concentrations of chemicals used. 

This section includes one or more paragraphs explaining the step-by-step procedures used.  The description should be so thorough that someone else could use your listed materials and procedures to conduct the same experiment & get the same results. 

All data should be collected and organized in a logical order.  Results should be illustrated as charts, tables, graphs, &/or diagrams. All graphs should include a title, the independent variable on the horizontal axis, and the dependent variable on the vertical axis.  All lab questions and answers should be included also with this section. ( Bold the questions & italicize the answers)

Error Analysis
Include any important factors that you think may have actually affected your results.

Discussion and Conclusion
In this section, you should interpret the collected data and relate it to the restated hypothesis.  Explain the significance of the results. If additional research and experimentation is needed, explain in this section.