Lab Report Rubric BIO 152 by E5J3RJFE


									BIO 152

Lab Reports
Your assignment is to write a formal laboratory report that clearly conveys all necessary
background information and all the components of the laboratory exercise to a wider
audience. Although I, your instructor, will grade your reports, your true “audience” is a
person who understands science but is not necessarily knowledgeable about your
particular subject. The following guide serves to explain the specific format of the
laboratory report and what is expected of you as the writer.

Why am I making you write lab reports?
Lab reports are an important learning tool that will prepare you for writing scientific
papers later in your careers. More importantly, they force students to critically analyze
the exercises that are being performed in lab. Writing a formal report is one of the best
ways for students to put the laboratory exercises in perspective, to truly gain an
understanding of the biological principles that were being demonstrated in the exercise,
and to improve their ability to think scientifically by presenting, analyzing and
interpreting real data.

Report Format
Your report must be typed and double-spaced. Length will vary depending on the
exercise and the amount of data that was collected. Quality not quantity is what is
important. Your report should include the following sections and each section after the
Title should be clearly defined by a section heading:

Title- should be informative and state the problem that you are investigating. Following
the Title should be your name, the name of the course, the names of your lab partners and
the date.

        In this section you should tell the reader what your investigation was about. You
should provide all necessary background information that is important for the
understanding of your investigation, including explanation of biological principles and
definition of terms. Your hypothesis should be clearly stated in the introduction and you
should state why this research question that you are investigating is an important or
worthy question. You should also briefly state how you will go about testing your
hypothesis and what your expectations are.
        Since you are not an expert in this field (not yet anyway), you must use references
to provide the necessary background information. References may include your lab
manual, your textbook or other books, and even your Instructor. These references must
be cited within the body of the report by giving the authors’ last names and the date of
publication. A list at the end of your lab report, called the “Bibliography” or “Literature
Cited” section, provides the other details (title, journal name, volume and page numbers,
etc.) so this reference can be found by the reader.

BIO 152

Materials and Methods
        In this section, you must give a detailed description of the procedure so that other
scientists could replicate your experiments if they wished to. Write this section as if you
are explaining to someone what was done in your investigation. You must write in the
past tense and in paragraph form. DO NOT write as if you are giving instructions and
DO NOT write is list form. Be specific. State specifically the number of replicates,
specific measurements, what equipment was used, etc.

        In this section you must present your results in an organized, readable format. In
addition to figures and tables, your result section should include a paragraph that draws
the reader’s attention to the important points or trends in your data. Do not, however,
explain why the results are significant, that is saved for the discussion section.
        Data should be organized into tables and relationships or trends should be
demonstrated in graphs. Graphs should be computer generated. All tables and graphs
should have a Figure number and a descriptive Title. For example:
        Figure 1. The Effects of Temperature on Growth Rate.
Numbering each table and figure will allow you to refer to them in your written results
paragraph and in the discussion section.

        This is the section where you interpret your results. Explain what your data
means and point out any flaws or weaknesses in your investigation. This is the most
important section of your lab report because it shows how well you understood your
        You should analyze all of your results and explain their significance to your initial
question and hypotheses. You should state whether you accepted or rejected your
hypotheses. You should come up with a conclusion for your lab report based on the
analysis of your results and specifically state your conclusion in your Discussion section.
        You may also use this section to point out any sources of error, difficulties that
arose or weaknesses in your experiments. You can also relate your investigation to a
larger biological concept. You can make recommendations for future research that will
help to more clearly answer your original research question.

Literature Cited
        You must list all the references that were used to write this report. I am less
concerned with the specific format used than I am that all of the necessary information is
included. Please see me for some format examples. Sources should be listed
alphabetically by author’s last name. Note that all non-original ideas and statements
included in your paper must be cited in the report and in the literature cited section.
Failure to do so constitutes plagiarism.

Scoring Rubric (maximum of 20 points):
The following is an explanation of how your reports will be graded. A point system will
be used and the following scoring rubric describes how many points you will receive
based on how well written each of your report sections are:

BIO 152

Introduction (max 4pts)
4- Provides all necessary background information in a well-written paragraph or two.
Terms are defined and concepts are explained when necessary. Clearly states the
objective of the laboratory experiment and what the hypotheses were.
3- Gives basic background information but some minor points are missing. Attempts to
define the objective and hypotheses but they are not clearly stated.
2- Introduction is present but is not well-developed. Much of the necessary background
information is missing or not appropriated defined. Little attempt is made to state the
specific objectives and hypotheses of the lab exercise.
1- Only a very brief introduction is present which does not provide the necessary
background information and does not state the objectives and hypotheses of the lab.
0- There is no Introduction Section

Materials and Methods (max 3 pts)
3- All steps of the laboratory procedure are described clearly in the past tense and in
paragraph form. The materials used are specifically stated within the context of the
2- All steps of the methods and the materials used are stated but in the wrong format. For
example: in a list form or as directions.
1- Some of the procedure is missing
0- There is no Materials and Methods section

Results (max 4 pts)
4- Major results and trends in the data are clearly described in paragraph form while
referring to tables or figures. Data are presented well in appropriate figures or tables.
3- The written aspect of the results is too brief and the student relies mostly on the tables
and figures. The figures are well prepared and appropriate.
2- There is no written portion to this section, only tables and graphs are given with no
attempt to point out important trends in the data. The figures and tables are adequate
1- There is no written portion and the tables or figures are flawed in some way
(inappropriate graph, poorly organized tables, etc.)
0- There is no Results Section

Discussion (max 5 pts)
5- All of the results are analyzed and discussed to explain what the data mean. The
acceptances or rejections of the original hypotheses are stated. A general conclusion is
stated and an attempt is made to tie this exercise into a larger problem or to provide ideas
for further research
4- Most of the major results are analyzed and explained. An attempt is made to relate the
results back to the original objectives and hypotheses and come up with an overall
3- Many of the results are never discussed, only a small portion is analyzed. There is no
overall conclusion or reference to the original hypotheses.
2- The discussion is mainly a reiteration of the introduction. There is very little to no
analysis of the results and no conclusions are made.

BIO 152

1- There is no Discussion section
Literature Cited (max 4 points)
4- All references consulted are listed in this section. A consistent citation format is used.
There are no references to Wikipedia.
3- A consistent citation format is used, but 1-2 references are mistakenly left out.
2- The citation format used is not consistent, and 1-2 references are mistakenly left out.
1- The citation format used is not consistent, and more than two references are
mistakenly left out.
0- There is no Literature Cited section.

Prepared by Dr. J. Anastasia, Ammerman Campus, with modifications by Dr. J. Remsen
& Dr. P. Smith, Grant Campus


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