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How to Write a Lab Report for 6th Graders

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Name __________________________
How to Write a Lab Report for 7th Graders
All lab reports should be written using the following format. Include all section subtitles underlined as you see below. All lines should be drawn using a ruler. Follow standard writing conventions for grammar and punctuation. Formal lab reports should be written in ink or typed, one-sided and double-spaced. Name _______________
Period ______________
Date ________________
Pre-lab Section
Purpose or Problem Statement
Write either a purpose statement that reads as "The purpose of this experiment is to ..." or a problem statement that is in the form of a question.
Background Research
Write a brief introductory paragraph describing 3 significant pieces of information that are not commonly known about your topic.
Write a hypothesis, or educated guess, in an "if..., then...., because" format. The "if" phrase is what you are changing (independent variable), the "then" phrase is what you predict will (dependent variable), and the "because" phrase explains why you think your prediction will happen (inference).
List the variables as:
Dependent variable- identify the variable that you are measuring to find out, or that depends on the independent variable. Independent variable- identify the variable that you are allowing to change or are manipulating in order to find out what will happen. Controlled/Constant variables- list all the variables that you are keeping constant, in order to see the effect of the independent variable on the dependent variable clearly. Control group- identify the test or comparison group that you are using to see if the independent variable really affects the dependent variable in the first place. (You may not always have a control group.)
List all materials needed for the experiment using bullet format.
List all procedures as a numbered set of specific directions.
Results Section
Data Table
Make a data table as a titled box of labeled columns and rows that contain measurements with units and any qualitative observations, (for example, texture, smell, color), taken during the experiment. Always include a title for your table and units for measured quantities.
A graph shows the relationship between the independent and dependent variables. Make a bar graph for data that is not related to each other (preference for apples or oranges), and a line graph for data which does (how does water quantity affect the number of apples produced). It should also have a title, and the x-axis should be labeled with independent variable and the unit it is measured in, and the y-axis should be labeled with the dependent variable and the unit that it is measured in. Include a legend or clearly labeled lines if making a graph with more than one line. Numbers should be spaced evenly and logically on each axis.
Scientific Drawing
Make a drawing of your experimental set-up and label all the materials used. Your drawing should include a title, and labels of all objects on straight lines to the right on the paper. If you are drawing specimens, then you should also include the specimen name, magnification, and the view, (top, side, or x-section), on straight lines underneath the drawing.
Post-lab Section
Data Analysis
In a short paragraph interpret the relationship between the two variables by describing the data in detail. It should include actual data numbers and what, if any, trends there are in the data.
Write a summary paragraph by describing all the steps of the experiment in order, and then conclude if the data supports your hypothesis or not, and, therefore, you have learned about your purpose or problem statement. Also discuss what kinds of errors may have occurred during the investigation, and then finally state in what way the experiment is related to real life situations.
o Description of experiment
o Description of Results
o Describe what "therefore" has been learned about your problem statement.
o What were possible sources of errors in the experiment, (and there is always room for error!).
o Describe what might be another unique investigation on the general topic that could be done.
Future Research
Briefly describe a new related experiment that would be interesting to do next. 
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