• Scientific Method

    How to Write a Lab Report
    Earning A's in Science 

    I. Question

    Identify the problem. Neither too broad nor narrow.

    1-2 sentences usually. Must be a question. 1 point

    How does one earn an "A" in science class? 

    II. Research
    Background information you already know before the experiment. 

    Few sentences. KISS principle. Sometimes given in lab manual, just paraphrase. 1 pt

    It is harder to understand when a lot of class has been missed, one does not pay attention, skips assignments, or is disruptive. 

    It has also been said that sleeping and eating well helps.

    III. Hypothesis
    Prediction of what will happen. Can be tested by an experiment. 

    1-2 sentences. Be sure it answers the question & is the test you perform in class.

    Attending class daily in body and mind, doing the assigned work and taking care of oneself will improve one's grade.

    IV. Experiment

    Tests the hypothesis against a control
    KISS. Just enough info so someone else can repeat your lab from your report.
    Summarize in a paragraph using THIRD PERSON PASSIVE VOICE.
    Never list steps.
    Never copy from lab manual.
    Should be written like a story. 2 points.

    For 3 weeks class was attended each day.  Special effort was made to pay attention and to turn in assigned work on time.  A good night's sleep before the test was observed. Eating junk food was reduced.  No extra studying or credit was performed.

    V. Results 

    Record of observations. 
    happened in the experiment. 
    (never explain why 
    you got those results)

    Observations, measurements. Include all tables, graphs, pictures, diagrams, etc. 2 pts

    Exam score 85%, homework grade 92%. There was a lack of nervousness before the exam. Not eating a lot of junk food was hard to remember.

    VI. Conclusion

    Based on the observations, what was learned from the experiment.
    Hypothesis supported?
    WHY did you get these results?
    All conclusions must be supported by a written observation.

    1st paragraph

    - Was the hypothesis supported or proven wrong?

    - What was learned from the experiment?

    - What is the cause of the results?  Why did the results occur?

     2nd paragraph

    - Any errors by lab team or procedure?

    -What is the significance/importance of errors?

    - How can the procedure/instructions be improved for next year?

    - Based on this new info, what is the next logical step? what experiment should be done now?

    Answer any assigned lab questions. 9 points

         The hypothesis attending class daily in body and mind, doing the assigned work and taking care of oneself will improve one's grade was supported. It was not difficult to earn a good grade. It is easier to concentrate with a clear plan.  

          However, there were too many variables so it's difficult to determine which factors had the most effect. It would be better to test 1 or maybe 2 variables at a time, although testing for months would be required. The next step should be testing the effect of more effort. Namely, can an easy "A" be earned by a little extra studying?