The Rough Draft of the Final Lab Report must contain the following seven sections in this order:
Title Page – This page must include the title of your report, your name, course name, instructor, and date submitted.
Introduction – This section should discuss why the experiment was conducted. At a minimum, it should contain three paragraphs. One paragraph must cover background information of similar studies that have already been done in the area. This is accomplished by citing existing literature from similar experiments and explaining their results. A second paragraph should discuss an objective or a reason why the experiment is being done. Why do we want to know the answer to the question we are asking? A third paragraph should provide a hypothesis for the experiment conducted, along with your rationale behind that hypothesis.
Materials and Methods – This section should provide a detailed description of the materials used in your experiment and how they were used. A step-by-step rundown of your experiment is necessary; however, it should be done in paragraph form, not in a list format. The description should be exact enough to allow for someone reading the report to replicate the experiment, but it should be in your own words and not simply copied and pasted from the lab manual.
Results – This section should include the data and observations from the experiment. All tables and graphs should be present in this section. Additionally, there should be at least one paragraph explaining the data in paragraph form. There should be no personal opinions or discussion beyond the results of your experiments located within this section.
Discussion – This section should interpret or explain the meaning of your data and provide conclusions. At least three paragraphs should be outlined here. First, a paragraph should be present that addresses whether your hypothesis was confirmed or denied and how you know this. Second, you are to discuss the meaning of your findings in this area utilizing scholarly sources to put the paper into context. For example, how do your results compare with the findings of similar studies? Also, you should discuss if there are any outside factors (i.e., temperature, contaminants, time of day) that affected your results. If so, how could you control for these in the future? Finally, you should discuss any future questions arising from your results and how you might test them with new experiments.
Conclusions – This section should provide a brief summary of your work. What are the key take-away points from your study?
References – Provide a list of at least two scholarly sources, two credible sources, and your lab manual that will be used in the Final Lab Report. Format your references according to APA style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center.