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Learning Resources - Writing Scientific Reports

Title

The title of your investigation/experiment, which should be concise and informative.

Example title: The Investigation of Osmosis in Potato Chips in Varying Concentrations of Salt Solution.

 

List of Contents

Any report that is more than a few pages long would benefit from having a list of contents. Write it when your report is complete. Use a system of consistent headings and numbers to all sections of your report.

 

Summary

A precise summary of your whole report- a preview of your content which enables the reader to decide whether to read the entire report.

The summary should include a statement of the aim/objective(s) of your investigation/experiment and also:

A short description of the method used

The main results

Conclusions or implications of the results

Up to 200 words

All content in the summary must be discussed in the main content of your report

 

Introduction

Note: Write your introduction after you have written your method and results sections of your report.

Provide an explanation of:

Aims of your investigation

Explain why your report is important and exactly what your report is about.

Note: Your aim in writing your introduction is to help your reader understand the significance of the content within the rest of your report.

 

Preliminary Work

Describe any preliminary experiment(s) and provide the results.

Explain how you used the results to decide on the method and rang of values in your main experiment.

 

Method

Describe your method in detail:

Note: Your method should be written precisely and step by step so that your reader could repeat the procedures if required.

Describe the materials used to conduct your experiment and explain your choice of apparatus

Draw diagrams if appropriate

Explain how you controlled the factors, other than the one you were investigating

Explain how you ensured that your measurements were accurate and reliable

Explain/justify why you chose a particular method

Provide information and observations, stating changes to your method

 

Results

Tabulate all of your results clearly.

 

Graph(s)

Present your graph(s) clearly and accurately, using them to visually display the reliability of your data.

 

Conclusion

State your quantitative conclusion:

Explaining the results of your investigation

Interpret and describe the pattern of your results and/or correlations.

Explore the significance of your findings

Review the scatter of any graph(s)

 

Theory

Suggest a plausible scientific explanation of your results.

 

Evaluation

Review your procedure

Evaluate the reliability and accuracy of your evidence

Discuss + explain any anomalies

Consider + discuss the level of confidence of your evidence

Suggest how further data would increase confidence in your conclusion

Describe improvements and modifications to improve the validity and reliability of the data in order to make more confident conclusions.

 

References

List any references used.

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