Lab Report

In general, a scientific paper should:
 Be concise but descriptive  Use a past tense, third-person narrative and strong verbs  Be written in paragraph form  Follow the outline provided below

Individual Laboratory Report Rubric (100 points)

Title (5 points)
 5 points. A descriptive title that clearly represents the main experimental question and what was measured (and was not copied from the Project Description). Report author’s name and
group member’s name(s) are listed.  4 points. An adequate title that mostly represents the main experimental question and what was measured (and was not copied from the Project Description). Report author’s name and group member’s name(s) are listed.  3 points. The title does not make clear what the main experimental question or what was measured (and was not copied from the Project Description). Report author’s name and group member’s names are listed.  2 points. A generic title such as “Lab Report 1” or copied from the Project Description and/or incomplete list of names.  0 points. Not included.

Abstract (10 points)
This section outlines the purpose of the experiment, the tests carried out, and the measured values obtained. Details about errors that occurred, etc. should not be included. This section is essentially a brief summary and should typically be around only four or five sentences in length.
 10 points. A clear, concise description of the purpose of the experiment, tests carried out, and
measured values obtained. The text is tightly focused and relevant.  8 points. A decent description of the purpose of the experiment, tests carried out, and measured values obtained. Text is fairly focused and mostly relevant.
 6 points. A mediocre description that mostly encompasses the purpose of the experiment, tests carried out, and measured values obtained with significant details omitted. Text is only somewhat focused.  4 points. A poor description that mostly encompasses the purpose of the experiment, tests carried out, and measured values obtained with significant details omitted. Text is poorly focused.  0 points. Not included.

Introduction (15 points)
The section should state the hypotheses/objectives of the experiments and why these experiments were carried out. This should include externally referenced information that ties into the preformed experiment and enhances the reader’s understanding of the topic. This is also where the underlying theory of the experiments should be described. This section should typically be about one-half to one page in length at the most.
 15 points. The introduction contains scientific background information from relevant sources to explain the context of why the study and the variables are important. The research question and information are translated into student’s own words. Purpose of the experiment, research
question, hypothesis and predicted outcome are clearly stated.  12 points. The introduction refers to some scientific background information but does not completely support the research question or variables. Purpose, research question, hypotheses, and predictions are stated.  8 points. The introduction does not provide adequate background information about the question or variables of the research question, and/or research question, hypothesis or predictions are missing.  5 points. Little to no background information is provided. The introduction is missing several pieces of information including purpose, research question, hypotheses and predictions.  0 points. Not included.

Experimental (10 points)
This section should detail what was actually done in the laboratory. It is essentially a well-edited version of the information collected in the laboratory notebook during the experiments. Calculations are not included in this section. This section should be in your own words, and should include all pertinent experimental details.
 10 points. The methods for data collection are clearly described (i.e. someone who has never done this before could read the methods and easily duplicate them). Methods are written in
past tense, paragraph form and not as a list of steps.  8 points. A few minor steps are missing but all of the important steps are included. Methods are written in paragraph form.  6 points. A few important steps in the methods are missing. Methods are written in paragraph form.
 4 points. Procedures for data collection are unclear and missing important steps. Methods are not written in paragraph form.  0 points. Not included.

Results and Discussion (25 points)
This section is typically the largest in the laboratory report and contains the following information. The Results and Discussion section should not include data irrelevant to the discussion and conclusions drawn.
 25 points. The results are correctly interpreted and related to the research questions, hypotheses, and predictions. Hypotheses (both null and alternative) are accepted or rejected with a clear explanation. The results are compared to previous research cited in the discussion and discussed in the context of the broader scientific community. Errors in the experiment are identified and their implications discussed, as are modifications of improvements that should be made in future research. Sample size and extrapolation of results is discussed. Relevant additional research questions arising from the result are posed and further studies are suggested. Clear understanding of the results and experiment is evident  20 points. Most of the results are correctly interpreted and related to the research questions, hypotheses, and predictions. Hypotheses are accepted or rejected with at least a minimal explanation. Results are compared to previous research and within the context of the broader scientific community. Errors in the experiment are identified, as are modifications or improvements that should be made in future research. At least one research question arising from the results is posed and further studies are suggested. Clear understanding of the results and experiment is evident.  15 points. Some of the results are correctly interpreted. Results are superficially compared to previous research. Hypotheses are accepted or rejected but no explanation is provided. Errors in the experiment or improvements are discussed. Additional research questions and future students are not relevant. Partial understanding of the results and experiment is evident.  10 points. Results are incorrectly interpreted or discussion is incomplete. Hypotheses are not addressed. No errors or modification are identified. No additional research question or future studies are suggested. There is an overall lack of understanding of the results.  0 points. Not included.

Conclusions (10 points)
This section provides a summary of the experiment and results. It should be more in depth than the abstract and will typically be about two paragraphs.
 10 points. A clear, concise summary of the experiment and results, with no new experimental
data added. The text is tightly focused and relevant.  8 points. A decent summary of the experiment, with no new experimental data added. Text is fairly focused and mostly relevant.  6 points. A mediocre summary of the experiment that mostly encompasses the purpose of the experiment, with no new experimental data added. Text is only somewhat focused.
 4 points. A poor summary of the experiment with significant details omitted. Text is poorly focused.  0 points. Not included.
References (5 points)
This section records the resources used to create the lab report. This should include many more resources than just the project description, and should be referenced throughout the report in ACS formatting.
 5 points. Each in-text citation is included in the bibliography section and vice versa. In-text citations are formatted correctly. No direct quotes are used and all work cited is paraphrased appropriately. Bibliography is formatted correctly and according to ACS standards.  4 points. Minor errors in formatting but all other requirements are followed. No direct quotes
are used; all work cited is paraphrased appropriately.  3 points. A few formatting errors in text citations or literature cited. An in-text citation or citation in the bibliography is missing. No direct quotes are used and all work cited is paraphrased appropriately.  2 points. Format and style are inappropriate for the assignment and do not follow ACS guidelines. Direct quotes are used or work is not paraphrased appropriately.  0 points. Not included.

Figures and Tables (10 points)
 10 points. The figures and tables are correctly displayed. Each figure/table is labeled (e.g. Fig. 1). Plot axes are correctly labeled and include units. Columns and rows are clearly labeled in tables. A clear description is given as a caption for the figure or table (i.e. a reader could look only at the figure/table and understand the data). Figures and tables are computer generated, clear,
organized, and easy to read.  8 points. The figures and tables are correctly displayed but have minor problems. Minor issues with formatting but otherwise all formatting requirements are met.  6 points. Some mistakes with figures and tables. Inappropriate format is used for plots (e.g. line vs. bar). Important information is missing from captions. Some labels are missing.  4 points. Figures and tables contain significant errors that lead to incorrect interpretations or results. Labels are missing and formatting is incorrect and does not follow guidelines.  0 points. Not included.

Overall Writing Style (10 points)
 10 points. Format follows course guidelines. No obvious errors are present in writing and report was proof read and no obvious errors are present. Writing includes complete sentences, correct
spelling and grammar and is easily understood.  8 points. Minor errors in formatting, grammar, and spelling. Overall report is still easily understood.  6 points. Frequent errors in formatting, grammar, and spelling. Some incomplete sentences are present or the flow of ideas is difficult to follow. Format is inconsistent.
 4 points. Numerous grammatical and spelling errors are present. Report was obviously not proofread. Flow of ideas is difficult to follow. Format and style are inappropriate for the assignment and do not follow the course guidelines.  0 points. Report essentially unreadable.

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