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Scientific report example template

May 16, 2018

Stuck writing reports? Have no idea what you're writing? You've clicked on the right thread, you procrastinator you. Or not so procrastinator! Who knows.

Here's a handy report template for your perusal. I've been 'working on'™ this since my preliminary 2011 year, so I hope you find some use in it.

Preachy preface oh nooo

: Hold up. Before you dive into some keyboard-smashing trance, I want to give a few friendly cautions, from one HSC student to another. Report writing is a lot of things (mostly terrible), but, above all else, it's an exercise in understanding the subject material. Write them with a focused mind, caffeine-induced or otherwise. And enjoy what you write. Sneak in a few run-on sentences just to spite that one teacher that keeps giving you the evil eye. Whatever makes you happy!

Science can be fun - and it is, if that's what you make of it at the end of the day (as is the case with many other subjects, might I add). Hold on to that ember of motivation, and carry it into the rest of your studies. After that, it'll become something of your own. A pool of inspiration you'll always be able to fall back on, even in the worst of times. By the time the HSC exams roll over, you'll be a force to be reckoned with. (And yes i've hammed it up with the cheese. This is probably the cheesiest thing you'll ever read and, for that, i'm deeply sorry.) I should probably stop here. I'm betting this is old news to most of you anyway, haha. So, on a concluding note, happy learning???




Template is ; example biology pracs: (Yr 11, Abundance and distribution of an estuarine plant and animal species) and (Yr 12, Investigating the Effect of Temperature on Enzymes); example chemistry pracs: (Yr 12, Testing Natural Indicators) and (Yr 12, Decarbonating Soda Water). No physics, I'm sorry to say.

Title
Abstract: [[the abstract can be skipped in most cases. only include it if you’re asked to by the teacher]]
Quick Abstract Reference
Must have:
1. Purpose
2. Key result(s)
3. Most significant point of discussion
4. Major conclusion
Summarize in a concise paragraph the purpose of the report,
data presented, and major conclusions in about 100 - 200 words.

Aim: What do you want to test or prove? OR What do you want to learn or discover?
-What you are doing
-‘To (verb)’ is the standard beginning of an aim

Hypothesis: This is your prediction of the effect one variable will have on another.
-What you think will happen/your predicted answer
-Justify your hypothesis
-Future tense

Equipment: List the equipment you need to conduct the experiment. Draw a labelled diagram clearly showing what the equipment is and how it is used, preferably large and easy to understand.

Procedure: List the steps you follow to conduct the experiment.
-Every. Single. Step. No skipping. Fight the temptation!!
-No pronouns
-Present tense
-Commands (‘Burn the…” “Prepare the…” “Record any…”) always start with a verb
-Exact measurements with the appropriate units

Safety Precautions: What danger could there be in doing this experiment? Consider electric shock, burns, chemical contamination etc.
-In table form, you could use the headers: Hazard; Consequences; Probability; Damage Control and Prevention
Alternatively, you could use these headers for non-serious reports that aren’t being marked: Risk Factor; Hazard; Control

Results: Draw up a TABLE to record results, if numerical data is obtained. Results may include written observations in a list or table, sketches, diagrams, photos, etc.
-You could possibly find the average of your results + percentages
-Make sure you include calculations, etc. if you’ve included any ‘processed’ information in the table. Yes, I know they’re a pain to type up. Do it for practice & revision purposes
-Include graphs (if appropriate)
-Date; Time; Location; Method (of gathering data e.g. quadrat sampling) [optional]

Discussion: How did you ensure that the measuring was accurate? What mistakes were made? How could this improve? What did you observe? Is the result what you expected? Compare to published information. Were there any hazards (dangerous things/situations)?
-Was your hypothesis correct? Make reference to the data gathered
-Mention and account for any trends or outliers (explain them properly, referencing variables) AKA Describe + Explain observations
-Mention average in discussion (if appropriate)
-Could add further calculations here (depending on the experiment)

a. Reliability
i. A general statement (e.g. ‘There was a low level of reliability…’) which is accordingly justified when discussing the later points
ii. Sample size
iii. Repetition
iv. Improvements

b. Validity (Food for thought: ‘are you testing what you’re setting out to test?’)
i. Variables –

1. controlled variable (e.g. area of the quadrat kept at 1m2)
2. dependent and independent variables (e.g. distance from the creek and no. of crabholes respectively)

ii. Assumptions made during the course of the experiment include: (e.g. …

1. The testing area was not subject to any man-made contaminants prior to the investigation (i.e. no littering or disposal of hazardous chemicals, etc.). Such aspects would have affected the distribution of seedlings and crabs.
2. The distance from the creek was a sole and determining influence apropos the placement of crabholes and seedlings – sunlight, soil nutrients and other factors notwithstanding.
3. The seedlings were distributed as uniformly as naturally possible along the distance, in the sense that there were no clusters in certain areas.
4. The quadrats were placed entirely randomly. Such would have been impaired, considering the travel restrictions placed by the boardwalk.
5. And then finish off with an evaluation – e.g. As such, the investigation possessed moderate validity, hedged by a number of fallacies in scientific method

iii. Improvements (could refer to the ‘assumptions’ section)

c. Accuracy (Could include a graph in the accuracy section, depending on the experiment)
i. Make reference to the relevant apparatuses (e.g. beakers, plastic pipettes, measuring cylinder) in evaluating their accuracy, whilst mentioning their accuracy to…

1. Half of the smallest measuring unit. (e.g. 25ml for a solution in a 50ml measuring cylinder [with 1ml increments on the side] – making it accurate to 0.5ml,)
2. Step one can be skipped if you obtained a digital reading (i.e. digital scale, ph meter)

ii. General statement whilst considering the prior points
iii. Improvements (e.g. alternatives to the equipment used; e.g. digital scale)

Conclusion: Have you tested or proved what you had as your aim? Say that you have done so in a clear, logical statement. Make an assessment of the reliability and validity* of your experiment.
-Answer aim and then hypothesis
-Basically a two sentence response, although this is only a guideline—feel free to expand upon your response to the aim and hypothesis if absolutely necessary. No waffling, or else you chance the wrath of a thousand science teachers

KEY/LEGEND: [[general paragraph (s)]] [[reliability paragraph (s)]] [[validity paragraph (s)]] [[accuracy paragraph (s)]].

OVERALL TIPS:
-Use formal language
-Do not use contractions
-Use relevant scientific terminology/jargon (possibly refer to your textbook’s glossary)
-Add endnote references if you've searched something on the net, etc. Proper format if you’re handing it in for marking!
-Check the marking criteria (again, if you’re handing it in for marking)

Questions + suggestions are A-okay. Note: the validity section makes a lot more sense if you check out one of the example pracs; just putting that out there. :L

Here's a handy report template for your perusal. I've been 'working on'™ this since my preliminary 2011 year, so I hope you find some use in it.Template is; example biology pracs:(Yr 11,) and(Yr 12,); example chemistry pracs:(Yr 12,) and(Yr 12,). No physics, I'm sorry to say.: [[the abstract can be skipped in most cases. only include it if you’re asked to by the teacher]]Quick Abstract ReferenceMust have:1. Purpose2. Key result(s)3. Most significant point of discussion4. Major conclusionSummarize in a concise paragraph the purpose of the report,data presented, and major conclusions in about 100 - 200 words.: What do you want to test or prove? OR What do you want to learn or discover?-What you are doing-‘To (verb)’ is the standard beginning of an aim: This is your prediction of the effect one variable will have on another.-What you think will happen/your predicted answer-Justify your hypothesis-Future tense: List the equipment you need to conduct the experiment. Draw a labelled diagram clearly showing what the equipment is and how it is used, preferably large and easy to understand.: List the steps you follow to conduct the experiment.-Every. Single. Step. No skipping. Fight the temptation!!-No pronouns-Present tense-Commands (‘Burn the…” “Prepare the…” “Record any…”) always start with a verb-Exact measurements with the appropriate units: What danger could there be in doing this experiment? Consider electric shock, burns, chemical contamination etc.-In table form, you could use the headers: Hazard; Consequences; Probability; Damage Control and PreventionAlternatively, you could use these headers for non-serious reports that aren’t being marked: Risk Factor; Hazard; Control: Draw up a TABLE to record results, if numerical data is obtained. Results may include written observations in a list or table, sketches, diagrams, photos, etc.-You could possibly find the average of your results + percentages-Make sure you include calculations, etc. if you’ve included any ‘processed’ information in the table. Yes, I know they’re a pain to type up. Do it for practice & revision purposes-Include graphs (if appropriate)-Date; Time; Location; Method (of gathering data e.g. quadrat sampling) [optional]: How did you ensure that the measuring was accurate? What mistakes were made? How could this improve? What did you observe? Is the result what you expected? Compare to published information. Were there any hazards (dangerous things/situations)?: Have you tested or proved what you had as your aim? Say that you have done so in a clear, logical statement. Make an assessment of the reliability and validity* of your experiment.-Answer aim and then hypothesis-Basically a two sentence response, although this is only a guideline—feel free to expand upon your response to the aim and hypothesis if absolutely necessary. No waffling, or else you chance the wrath of a thousand science teachers-Use formal language-Do not use contractions-Use relevant scientific terminology/jargon (possibly refer to your textbook’s glossary)-Add endnote references if you've searched something on the net, etc. Proper format if you’re handing it in for marking!-Check the marking criteria (again, if you’re handing it in for marking)Questions + suggestions are A-okay. Note: the validity section makes a lot more sense if you check out one of the example pracs; just putting that out there. :L

Formatting Science Reports

This section describes an organizational structure commonly used to report experimental research in many scientific disciplines, the IMRAD format: Introduction, Methods, Results, And Discussion.

Although the main headings are standard for many scientific fields, details may vary; check with your instructor, or, if submitting an article to a journal, refer to the instructions to authors.

When and when not to use the IMRAD format

Although most scientific reports use the IMRAD format, there are some exceptions.

This format is usually not used in reports describing other kinds of research, such as field or case studies, in which headings are more likely to differ according to discipline. Although the main headings are standard for many scientific fields, details may vary; check with your instructor, or, if submitting an article to a journal, refer to the instructions to authors.

Use the menu below to find out how to write each part of a scientific report.

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