Lab Report Guidelines

1. Your lab report should be written in ink or typed on composition paper (no holes)
2. Include your name, your lab partners, name of class, the date, and sample# if applicable.
3.Your lab report needs to include all of the following: (bold words should be written as headings)
4. Your report should include proper use of language and spelling

    • problem is defined                  
    • any difficulties with coming up with method are addressed
    • a brief overview of process describing experiment (with equations if applicable)
    • hypothesis is stated (may not be applicable for all labs)
    • list all specific materials and equipment used for your procedure
    • be sure to include specific details.  For example, say "50ml glass graduated cylinder" instead of just "graduated cylinder"               
  1. METHODS    
    • A step by step account of what was done during experimentation is given in enough detail so that the reader could do the same exact thing.
    • Tell the reader in detail what you did, but you can assume that they know how to use the instruments -- For example, assume the reader knows how to use the electronic balance so you may say "Place the metal on the electronic balance and record the mass" -- you do not have to say "Plug balance in, push tare button, etc 
    • This may be given in a narrative form or a numerical step form
    • Be sure to include all details of what you did (including instruments used)
    • Tell what measurements you made and how you made them, but do not include any data of measurements in this section
    • Reminders:
      • you make measurements, you do not "find" them.
      • if your unit is grams, then you did not WEIGH it. you measured the mass.
  1. RESULTS    
    • data and calculations are presented here  - everything clearly labeled
    • data tables, spreadsheets, charts, or graphs are useful here
    • label data as being “measured” or calculated.  Show formulas for  calculated data.
    • general conclusions and applications are discussed here.
    • calculate your percentage error or percent yield
    • analysis of results: Did you get what you expected ? why or why not?
    • defend or refute your answer.  Talk about precision and accuracy
    • list possible sources of error from your experiment due to method and predict how it would impact your results
    • state what you have discovered form doing this lab --use your data to support your answer
    • Further Research
      • list any improvements that you could make to improve accuracy of your method
      • list any new questions that now need answered or researched
      • list any different experimentation that now needs done

Lab Report Evaluation







Task is clearly stated and defined.

Task is unclear.

No Attempt is made.

Identification of Difficulties

Accurately and thoroughly describes relevant obstacles.

Gives some obstacles, but does not describe or omits the most significant obstacles

No Attempt is made.








Identification of solutions to overcome problem

Identifies realistic solutions to overcome the obstacles.  Solutions will adequately compensate for difficulties.

Presents solutions to overcome most important obstacles, but not all.

Presents solutions to overcome obstacles, but not all important difficulties are addressed.

Presents solutions that fail to address critical parts of the problem.

No Attempt is made.


Clearly states the process followed including detail on instruments used and task assignment (who did what)

Clearly states the process followed but missing some detail of instruments used or task assignment

Procedure is relatively unclear and missing detail.

Procedure is very unclear and no attempt is made to include detail.

No Attempt is made to describe procedure.

Data Results and Analysis

Completeness of Data

All data is presented in data tables and clearly labeled with correct units.

All data is present, but is unclear or not in data tables.

Most data is present, but some is missing or data may not be clearly labeled.

Much data is missing or not clearly labeled with units.

No Data is reported

Explanation of Calculations

Formulas and calculations are clearly shown in a logical sequence with at least one example shown  with numbers.

All formulas and calculations are shown, but difficult to follow or no examples are given.

Missing some formulas and/or work for some of the calculations.

Much of the work and/or formulas are not shown.

No formulas or work is shown.

Accuracy of Calculations

All calculations are appropriate and performed correctly.

All calculations are appropriate but may contain a calculation error.

The calculations are not entirely appropriate.–or-  Many calculation errors are present.

The calculations do not accurately describe the result or several errors are present. 

No calculations are correct.

Accuracy of Results

Reported results average less than a 5% error.

Reported results average between a 5% and a 10% error.

Reported results average between a 10% and a 15% error.

Reported results average  between a 15% and a 20% error.

Results avg more then a 20% error.

Significant Figures

All readings from instruments and results from calculations are taken to correct sig figs.

One mistake in significant figures is present either in reading the instrument or in calculations.

Two sig fig mistakes are present.

Regard for sig figs is apparent, but three or more mistakes are made.

No apparent regard for sig figs

Error Analysis and Discussion

Identification of sources of error

Accurately identifies all sources of error, including subtleties, and makes clear why the points identified are errors

Accurately identifies all critical sources of error and makes clear why the points identified are errors.

Fails to recognize some important sources of error or identifies some points that are not sources of error.

Recognizes only insignificant sources of error or mistakes valid points for sources of error.

No Attempt is made.

Effects of error

Gives accurate analysis of how the errors will and have impacted the results.

Gives accurate analysis of impact of errors, but missing detail.

Describes effects of errors, but omits some important points or does not predict accurately.

Does not correctly predict the impact of the errors, of describes effects that do not exist.

No Attempt is made.

Future modifications to experiment

Proposes highly thoughtful approach for correcting all sources of error.

Provides adequate methods for correcting major sources of error

Gives some modifications to correct some of the major sources of error, though might not be best or appropriate solutions.

Attmepts to, but does not accurately describe how to compensate for the sources of error.

No Attempt is made.

Formatting, Information, and Use of Language

Formatting and Reporting


All of the following are observed:

- Sample # is included

- Full names of all lab partners given

- All info placed in appropriate sections

- Typed or neatly written on single-sided appropriate paper.

All but one are observed:

- Sample # is included

- Full names of lab partners given

- All info placed in appropriate sections

- Typed or neatly written on single-sided appropriate paper

Only 2  are observed:

- Sample # is included

- Full names of lab partners given

- All info placed in appropriate sections

- Typed or neatly written on single-sided appropriate paper

Only 1 is  observed:

- Sample # is included

- Full names of lab partners given

- All info placed in appropriate sections

- Typed or neatly written on single-sided appropriate paper

None are observed.

Use of Language

Proper use of grammar, spelling, and punc­tuation is obse­rved consistently through­out report.

  Several  minor errors in gram­mar, spelling, and punc­tuation errors are observed

Several grammar, spell­ing, and punc­tuation errors are ob­served.

Little regard is taken to adhere to proper rules of grammar, spelling, and punc­tuation

No apparent regard for proper lanauge use.



                                                                                Grade TOTAL  ________ / 52