Lab Report Format


¨    Lab notebooks should be bound (Composition Books).

¨    Page 1 should have the following:

o   Your name

o   Teacher’s name

o   AP Environmental Science, Period 1 or 6

¨    Page 2 should be your table of contents.

¨    Number the pages in the bottom outside corner as we go through the year.

¨    BE VERY NEAT! Print if you must.

¨    If you make a mistake simply draw a line through the error.   DO NOT erase, use “white out” or try to cover it with marks.

¨    Write in the passive, no first person “I” or “we.”

Each lab should include the following information:

¨    Title

 ¨    Date (dates) you performed the experiment

 ¨    Lab partner(s) (if any)

 ¨    Purpose — a brief statement about what you were trying to accomplish

 ¨    Raw data — collected DURING the procedure.  Label the raw data and record it on the left hand side from the write up.  Use a data table whenever possible.  It is also acceptable to make notes here.

 ¨    Background — use the introduction to the lab to get on the right track.  Don’t just copy the information.  Give enough information that anyone reading the report would have enough background to understand what is going on.

 ¨    Materials — this can be a list.

 ¨    Hypothesis — make it an if…then statement.  You should be able to figure out what to graph from this statement.  What is the effect of the independent variable on the dependent variable?  The Independent Variable goes on the x axis and Dependent Variable goes on the y axis.

 ¨    Procedure — this section should be brief.  There is no need to write out every step taken in the lab.  Just describe how you did the lab.

 ¨    Data — most of the time a data table is the best way to report data.  Use a straight edge when making tables and make sure they are “roomy” enough for the data.  Always use the proper units!  There should also be room in this section of the report to record observations or comments about what happened while running the experiment.  If any calculations were performed you should show them here.

 ¨    Analysis — This is the heart and soul of your report.  No report will receive a passing grade without an analysis.  This should be written in paragraph form.  If there are questions in the lab, you should answer them here.  This is the place where you identify the independent and dependent variables, controls and constants.  You should explain what the data means and the source of errors.  If there are graphs include them in the analysis.  Always include title, both x and y axes labeled with units and a legend.  Make sure the graph is neat!

 ¨    Conclusion — The conclusion should answer the question in the purpose.  Avoid “wordy” phrases which are unnecessary and do not add to the report.

o   Poor example:  “In this lab, it was first concluded that the best or optimum pH for bean germination is 5.6.”

o   Better example:  “The optimum pH for bean germination is 5.6.”

Grading Rubric:

¨    Title—2

¨    Date—2

¨    Lab Partner(s)—1

¨    Purpose—8

¨    Background—12

¨    Materials—2

¨    Hypothesis—5

¨    Procedure—6

¨    Data—12

¨    Analysis—35

¨    Conclusion—15