AP and Accelerated Biology Formal Lab Requirements:

(Semi-Formal laboratory write-ups are usually modified from theformal requirements)



The title is a statement (not a question) reflecting theindependent and dependent variables. Example: The Effect of VariousConcentrations of Sucrose on Carrot Slices.

Abstract: 4-8 sentences.

Includes 1-2 sentences of introductory information, 1-2 sentencesregarding the purpose/hypothesis of the activity, 1-2 sentencesregarding the result trends and 1-2 sentences regarding theanalysis/conclusions of the activity.

Introduction: 1-2 paragraphs

Includes prior knowledge and important information regarding theactivity. Also includes explanation of the key concepts and/orvocabulary. Make sure references used are credited in the followingformat. (Author's Last Name, Date of publication). Also make sure thefull reference is found in the references section.

Hypotheses, Variables and Control

Please use the "if...then...because" format for your null andregular hypotheses. Make sure your independent, dependent andstandardized variables are sentences. Also make sure your controlincludes an explanation of "why" this is a control for yourexperiment. Last the format for this section looks like:


Null Hypothesis:

Independent Variable(s):

Dependent Variable(s):

Standardized Variable(s):



Briefly describe in a paragraph what materials, methods andprocedure used in the activity.


Data tables and graphs must have a descriptive title, see thetitle section for information. The data tables must be computergenerated with appropriate reference to the units of the measurementstaken during the activity. The graphs must be computer generated withboth axes labeled and if more than one line is shown, a key must beprovided.

The third requirement is a trend/results paragraph, describing inwords the graph and/or data table contents.

Analysis/Conclusion/Lab Review Questions:

In general the requirements of this section of the report is toprovide an explanation of "why" of the results/data section supportsor doesn't support your hypotheses. What information in the datasection and the introduction help you explain the results you found? This might include the answers to the questions at the end of anactivity.


Who did you work with?

References: (note: number more that one reference please) (here are links for MLA automatic generators:




http://citationmachine.net/ (if you want the site to write your references for you...)

For a book:

Last Name of Author, First Name. (Year Published). Title.Pages.

For the Web:

Last Name of Author or Authors. (Year Published). "Title of WebPage." Place of Origin...example University of California, Berkeley.Date accessed. URL: http://......

Additional Information: (from http://www.ncsu.edu/labwrite/ )

LabWrite for Students is divided into four sections—Pre-Lab, In-Lab, Post-Lab, LabCheck--each forming an integral part in the process of writing lab reports.  Throughout each section, there are multiple learning tools that students can use to understand and write lab reports.  There are also ample resources—tutorials, examples, a glossary—that offer additional information and advice.  Resources are available from the home page menu, from each section’s individual resource pull-down menu, and from an individual Resource Page accessible from each LabWrite site.  Links to resources are also referenced throughout the LabWrite text. 

LabWrite for Students is mainly a web-based learning guide, but students also have the option to click on the printer icon located on each page to obtain a complete printable version of any on-line document.  This way, students can use the materials on-line as well as in print, in class or at home.  See the outline below for a quick overview of what LabWrite for Students has to offer.


LabWrite for Students

I. Pre-Lab: questions to answer before doing the lab
     A. Establishing a learning context for the lab
     B. Identifying goals and objectives
     C. Formulating hypotheses and identifying variables
II. In-Lab: guidelines to follow during the lab for managing lab data
     A. Organizing lab data
     B. Recording lab data
     C. Describing lab data
     D. Corroborating lab data
     E. Entering raw lab data onto a spreadsheet
     F. Transforming the lab data into graphs
III. Post-Lab: the process of writing the lab report
     A. Making sense of the lab data for yourself
          1. Determining the visual form that best represents the data
          2. Transforming the raw data into the appropriate visual format
          3. Stating the main findings for the visual representations of the data
          4. Determining whether or not to support or reject hypotheses
     B.  Making sense of the lab data for others:  Results
          1. Stating the overall results of the procedure
          2. Deciding which tables and graphs to include in the results
          3. Organizing verbal statements of findings
          4. Revising the visual elements of the results
          5. Revising the verbal elements of the results
     C. Describing the lab procedure:  Materials and Methods
     D. Establishing the context for the lab:  Introduction
          1. Identifying the learning context for the lab
          2. Defining the learning context for the lab
          3. Identifying objectives, purpose, and research question
          4. Stating and supporting the hypothesis within the learning context
          5. Organizing the full introduction
     E. Interpreting the results:  Discussion
          1. Stating the relationship between the hypotheses and the results
          2. Explaining the relationship between the hypotheses and the results
          3. Comparing the lab results to results of related scientific work
          4. Considering other issues pertinent to the discussion
          5. Composing a complete discussion section
     F. Placing the results within the learning context of the lab:  Conclusion
          1. Determining what you have learned
          2. Writing the conclusion
     G. Summarizing the report:  Abstract
          1. Summarizing each section of the lab report
          2. Organizing the abstract
     H. Capturing the Essence of the report:  Title
IV. LabChecka guide to improving your lab report
     A. Revising the lab report before you turn it in
          1. Lab checklist
     B. Going over the graded report when you get it back
          1. Evaluation guide
          2. Improving your lab report