GUIDELINES FOR WRITING LAB REPORTS
Prof. M. Haruta
Labs must be typed or word processed on 8.5''x 11'' paper, corner stapled. Use a spell-checker if you have one. Equations maybe done by hand. Graphs can be done on a computer, transferred from your TI via TI-LINK software, or neatly hand drawn. Number all pages.
You should be working with one or more classmates to formulate answers to the questions. However, all Abstracts, Results (i.e. answers to questions), and Evaluations must be written independently. You may turn in duplicates of group-created charts, tables or graphs.
The lab will be graded on its mathematical content as well as the written component. Take time to check your math, spelling and grammar because each will affect your lab grade. Read the outline below and make sure that you turn in all pieces, because each is an important part of the lab grade.
Graphs, tables or charts should be clear, well labeled with all important points marked. Provide units (lbs, days, temperature, etc.)for everything. Use a label ``Figure 1'' or ``Figure C'', for reference within the text of your results, as well as a title such as ``Temperature change in coffee cup without lid''. Graphs can be included in the text, or placed together at the end, following the Results section.
The finished lab should be comprised of the following:
Cover Page -- Include lab number and title, date turned in, and my name. Also list anyone you worked with, along with your name.
Abstract -- a brief summary that includes the lab purpose, description of methods used, and reference to results found. This should be at most 1/2 page long. Abstracts provide a quick way for researchers to determine the content of paper or study and whether they want/need to read it. Your abstract will be graded on how well it does this job.
Results -- the body of the lab. Answer all the questions in completely and in depth. Answer in paragraph form. Results will be graded on accuracy, completeness of explanation, and cohesiveness.
Evaluation -- approximately one page long. Include your impressions of the lab and comment on what you got out of it.
The evaluation is a very important part of the lab and will be graded on the thoroughness and thoughtfulness of your response.
Answer the following questions: Did the results contradict or support your original hypotheses? How did it relate to what we have been studying in class? i.e. What mathematical concepts were involved? What other practical applications of these concepts can you think of? Explain the role of the calculator in this lab, perhaps considering how it would have been to work without one. What would be a good follow-up question you might see on a future test?
You should also include responses to: What new mathematics did you learn? What new calculator skills did you learn? Was the lab fun, interesting? What did you like best, and what suggestions could you make for improvements? How much time did you spend on it? How difficult or easy was the work?
State with whom you worked and be specific about what each of you contributed to the lab.
Both positive and negative feedback are important. In particular, any critical comments should be accompanied by suggestions on how you would improve the lab if you were assigning it yourself.