Format for Writing a Lab Paper


1. Title:  The title should indicate the problem that you are trying to solve.


2. Purpose:  The research question is stated.  In other words, what are you trying to find out?

                     The hypothesis is stated and is related to the question.  The independent and

                      dependent variables are identified.


3. Materials:  A list of the equipment that you used during the lab.  If lab has more than one part, than

                     this is a list of materials used in all parts of the lab.  Make sure that the materials

                     you used are appropriate for the lab that you carried out.


4. Procedure:  These are the instructions for how you did the lab.  If the lab has more than one    

                         part, than write all of the procedures, or a summary of the procedures, for all

                         parts of the lab into one procedure.  Make sure that the procedure allows for

                         control of variables and for the collection of relevant data.


5. Data:  All observations, measurements, drawings, tables, calculations, graphs.  The data is

               presented clearly, with errors taken into account.  For calculations, all work must be

               shown.  On graphs, each axis must have its units clearly shown.  The grid for a graph

               may not be hand drawn, but must be either graph paper or a graph or grid prepared

               by a computer.  Any data presented in or after the conclusion section of your lab will

               not be considered for points toward your grade.


6. Conclusions:  This is not data.  These are answers to all questions asked in all parts of the

                           lab, written in the order that they are asked, and using the same numbers     

                           as found in the lab.  Your hypothesis statement is validated or refuted with

                           a valid explanation.  Sources of error that could result from the lab’s procedure

                           are identified.  Suggestions for improvement are given.


NO cut and paste work will be accepted.  If you have something that needs to be pasted to a paper,

then paste it and make a photocopy of the paper and turn the photocopy in instead.


All work appearing in your personal lab paper will be your ideas, your answers, and your  work! 

Any copying of anything from someone else’s lab, including your partner’s, will result in you receiving an “F” for the lab.