Scientific Method Lab Report

The report should be typed and single spaced. See grading rubric at the end of this page for clarity on formatting.


Title Page

Should include Title (brief, concise, yet descriptive), your name, lab instructor’s name, and lab section (such as L14 or L24, etc.).

Note: this is a separate sheet

Body of Report

Identify the different sections of the body of the report with headings.

  • Introduction
    • The report should begin with a brief paragraph (complete sentences) that includes a statement of the problem and your hypothesis (remember your hypothesis should be written as a testable statement).
  • Statement of the problem
    • What question are you trying to answer?
    • Include any preliminary observations or background information about the subject (in this case the Alka-Seltzer tablet) such as what the tablet is used for, directions on packaging, personal experience you may have, etc. Be sure to cite any sources.
  •  Hypothesis
    • Write a possible explanation/prediction for the problem/question you are asking.
    • Make sure this possible explanation/prediction is a complete sentence and not a question.
    • Make sure the statement is testable. In other words, can you perform an experiment that will either support or refute your prediction. If you cannot not think of a way to test your prediction, then it is not testable.
  • Materials
    • Make a list (this does not need to be in paragraph form) of all items used in the experiment and their quantities. Of the materials used, identify which are dependent and independent variables, constants (standardized variable) and control group (you will lose points if you do not identify all dependent and independent variables, constants and controls).
  • Procedure
    • Write at least one paragraph (complete sentences) which explains what you did in the experiment.
    • Your procedure should be written so that anyone else could repeat the experiment. For instance, if you used hot water, how did you make the water hot and what temperature was it; if you chose salt water, what was the concentration of the salt water, etc. That means that even some of the most obvious steps need to be stated so there is no uncertainty.
    • When designing the procedure, be sure to include replicating the experiment (trials) to ensure data is reproducible and valid.
  • Results
    • Write at least a paragraph (complete sentences) describing the results and observations of your experiment. Here you will compare results for control groups and experimental groups and not simply list the numbers.
    • This section also includes both a data table and graph to illustrate the results of you experiment. Be sure to include calculated averages of trials.
    • All tables, graphs and charts should be labeled appropriately (a title, labels for x & y axis, legend etc.) so the reader will be able to understand the information presented.
  • Conclusions
    • Write at least a paragraph restating your hypothesis and whether you accept or reject your hypothesis
    • In this section, explain why you accepted or rejected your hypothesis using data from the experiment. Include a brief summary of the data—averages, highest, lowest, etc., to help the reader understand your results and why you have come to particular conclusions.
    • Discuss your thoughts about the possible reasons for your results (for example, if you chose salt water as a variable, give a possible reason why salt water, in particular, may have generated your results).
    • Discuss possible errors that could have occurred in the collection of the data (experimental errors) and describe how these errors may have impacted the data.

Sample Report

This is a good lab report written for a different (and more complex experiment). You can use it as a model if you want.

Lab Report Grading Rubric

Excellent—2 points Satisfactory—1 point Unsatisfactory—o points
Title Page Contains title, student name, instructor name and section Missing either instructor name or section No title page
Formatting: typed, spacing, grammar Typed and single spaced; complete sentences and no misspellings Typed, but not single spaced; or incomplete sentences; or misspellings Not typed
Formatting: headings Each section has a heading as described in template Some sections lack headings or labeled incorrectly No headings
Hypothesis Predictions are clearly stated and written as a testable statement Predictions/expected outcomes are not clearly stated Not written as a testable statement
Materials All equipment and materials described; identify variables, controls and constants Materials incompletely described; incorrect identification of variables No identification of variables, controls and constants
Procedure Clear step-by step description Description missing details making it difficult for another scientist to repeat experiment Description missing so much detail it would be impossible to repeat
Trials Multiple trials performed Only 2 trials performed No trials performed
Results Clearly written description of results comparing controls and experimental Results are presented but no comparison between controls and experimental are made No written description of results
Data tables, graphs or charts Easy to interpret, clear labels, all data, including calculated averages, included Disorganized (not easy to understand, missing labels) but all data included Disorganized and or data clearly missing
Conclusion Clearly explains acceptance or rejection of hypothesis using data to support conclusion; identifies sources of error Accepts or rejects hypothesis but does not use data to explain why; or does not identify sources of error Does not explain conclusion and does not identify sources of error
 Total points possible: 20