Lab Procedures


-1 Day or more-
  • I will give you the lab procedure and information on your lab. You will prepare for the lab day the following sections of the lab: The purpose, the apparatus, and the procedure. These will become the first 3 sections in your finalized lab report.

-0 Days-
  • You will come into class with the lab procedure read
  • You will have with you the first 3 sections of the lab report; Purpose, Theory, Hypothesis. A brief quiz on the lab procedure may be given at this time.
    • The quiz could ask questions about the purpose, the apparatus, and the procedure.
    • You may need to provide a few short sentences on what you think will happen in this lab. This does not need to be correct, but they do need to show some thought went into writing them
  • I will sign your predictions while you are performing the lab. If you leave the classroom without your predictions signed, you will lose those points from your lab report.

+7 Days-
  • The lab report is due.
    • You will lose 10% for every day late you hand in your lab report.

Formal Lab Report Format

Name:_________________ (Your name first, followed by lab partners names)               Class:________________
Date:__________________                                                                                   Dr. Croom

Lab Name
       This is a short paragraph describing the problem that is bing researched and the objectives of the experiment. This is your problem statement. It should describe the scenario you are modeling without going into the detail of the procedure. Explicate goals of your investigation and what you expect to learn from the lab should be stated here.

       The theory is the main body of your paper. This is is your research section In this section write in paragraph sentence form the information about your lab. Make sure to include, the definition of major terms, the reasoning and connection to the lab of all major concepts, make sure tell what the theory says should happen in the lab, and make sure to tell the history behind the theory.

       This is not the time to try to rewrite the laws of physics. The theory is factual based on the current understanding of the universe. If you have some information that defies current law, explain it in the results section of this paper

      A short paragraph which is your hypothesis about what type of results believe you plan on getting out of the lab. The hypothesis should be measurable.

      Try to be as accurate as possible. We are trying to use the scientific method here.

       This section includes a list of all items used during this experiment. If this is the first time we have used this apparatus describe what the apparatus is, draw or computer generate and image of the object and explain how it works. Make sure to cite anything you haven't created yourself.

       What steps do you take in the lab? This should outline the procedure you take in gathering your data. Do not simply copy the procedure from the lab sheet. Write down the steps you need to take in the order you need to take them to arrive at your results. Make sure to list how you will use the apparatuses listed above. The overall procedure should be complete enough that an arbitrary person could read your procedure and can perform the lab as you did it.


       Charts, graphs, and tables that include all of your data you have collected. If there is more than one table or chart, make sure to label them ("Data Table 5-2" etc.) so that they can be referenced throughout your paper. Graphs should be done neatly and should contain a large enough scale to interpret all of the data. Please refer to the data table and graph guideline provided by your instructor during the chapter 1 of physics

       Provide one calculation for each of the different types of calculations you preformed on the data you have collected. Make sure to show all steps. An example of this would be:

       Total Normal Force
       =Total mass of block (kg) * (acceleration due to gravity (m/(s2)) * sin(of the angle (radians))
       =0.4136 kg (± error) * 9.80 m/s2 * sin (p/2 (± error) )
       = 4.05 N (± propagated error)


Error Analysis:
       Explain where your error came from in the data that you have collected and if your data is significantly off, greater than 5% error; predict what the acceptable values would be.

       Start this section by interpreting the results and explaining everything that the data shows in paragraph sentence form that is supported by the theory you previously wrote. There may be more than one discovery that is found in the research. Explain the significance of your data, and what your data is representing. In this paragraph explain, what the data is telling you. Interpret your data! This may be 1 or 2 paragraphs.               

       In a new paragraph explain anything strange about your data, for example, any new laws of physics you may have discovered. Example:

              If I drop a ball and a feather they both drop at the same rate according to the theory.
              If your data didn't show that then did we forget something. If not did we discover a new law of physics?

       If there is nothing strange about this data it is all supported by theory make sure to say:

               "There is nothing strange about these results, they are all explained by the research found
               in the theory section."

        If some of the results aren't supported by the theory section but are supported by physical principals explain them here with supporting research. This is where you are creating or discovering new rules

       Finally, in the last paragraph pose new questions that can be researched if you preform the laboratory again.

       *Remember, if there is something that doesn't match your theory, that you didn't explain in the results or analysis and you did not ask about it in the question paragraph, then you can expect to lose points.

       Answer any questions that were asked on the lab hand out but were not answered above. The preferred method for you to do this is to answer the questions in one of the sections above, and then parenthetically site is by writing [Q1] or [Q2] directly before the sentence. If you have successfully included all of the post-lab questions in other sections do not include this section in your paper.
       In the conclusion, evaluate your understanding of the lab. Tell the reader what you found interesting. Explain what was new to you and what you took from the lab.


       Cite all references.

       The word "I" or "We" should only appear in the conclusion section of this report.

       There is no title page. In some reports you may be asked to produce a title page. Do not create one unless asked to do so. If creating a title page, remove the current heading and create a title page in the following format:

       A full page that goes at the front giving pertinent, basic information.  This includes your name, the lab number, the descriptive title of the lab performed, any students in your lab group who helped produce data, the instructor's name, and the date handed in.  Each of these items goes on its own line and is generally centered both horizontally and vertically.  Some kind of illustration relative to the lab may also be placed on this page.