Laboratory Report Standards
* NO FELT TIP PENS! (the ink bleeds through the paper)
* Number all pages.
* Do not tear pages out of your lab notebook.
* Draw a single horizontal line through misstreaks mistakes.
* Draw a diagonal line through a page, or partial page, if you don’t want it graded.
Prelab Format: (Record the following information in your lab book as directed by your instructor)
1. Background information: Include all class notes, terminology, etc. relevant to the lab
Independent variable – the variable that has a condition or a value that you are
Dependent variable – the variable that has values which you are measuring.
Controlled variable – variables that are held constant.
3. Equipment notes: record instructions on using equipment and steps to eliminate
4. Safety issues
5. Raw data: record data here when instructed
Lab Report Format:
1. Title: Be descriptive and concise. Date(s): Tell when the lab took place.
2. Problem Statement:
Include a description of the main idea you are investigating and a brief description
of how you will carry out the investigation.
Example of a problem statement: “To investigate the relationship between temperature and balloon diameter by heating a balloon and measuring changes in diameter?”
A testable explanation (in “If...then...” form) based on observation, experience, or reasoning;
includes expected cause and effect. Write a hypothesis when doing an experiment that tests
Example of a Hypothesis: “If temperature and balloon diameter are directly related, then as temperature increases the diameter will increase.”
4. Materials: Write a neat list.
5. a. Procedure: To be used if you write the experimental procedure; a numbered list of steps
b. Procedural Changes: Used if you are given a list of steps to follow; write only the changes
from the steps given.
6. Data Collection:
•The initial recorded results (measurements, descriptions, or illustrations) obtained
during the hands- on investigation.
•All observations must include a title and any units of measurement.
•Data tables are drawn with a ruler and large enough to write legibly.
Example of a data table:
Data Table 1: Change in diameter of balloon with temperature change
Temperature (o C)
Balloon Diameter (cm)
7. Data Processing:
•Transform the initial results, to make graphs and calculations, after the hands-on investigation is complete.
•Graphs have a title and are drawn with a ruler.
•Use at least half a page for your graph.
•The independent variable belongs on the x axis.
•Calculations have a label, begin with the general formula, show numbers and units.
Example of graph:
Change in diameter of balloon with temperature change
Example of calculation:
Calculation of average temperature
General formula Substitutions Answer
Avg. temp = Temp1 + Temp2 + Temp3 = 16.2oC + 26.5oC + 39.4oC = 27.4oC
•With your problem statement in mind, summarize the results of the investigation,
supported by collected data. If trends are apparent in your data, your description
of these trends will be your results summary.
•If you made a hypothesis, indicate whether the data supports your hypothesis or not;
refer to data.
A) Using appropriate vocabulary terms, explain the scientific concepts that are
important to the understanding of this investigation. (This section will be an
explanation of WHY the trends in your data occurred.)
B) Explain sources of unavoidable experimental error. (In other words, explain how
any other uncontrolled variables may have affected the results.)
Do not discuss mistakes, they should have been corrected.