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Data Collection and Processing


Aspect 1: Recording Raw Data
Draw a table (using Excel or Word) with a column for each measurement.
This will generally mean one column for the independent variable and 5
for the repeated measurements of the dependent. There should be at
least 5 rows, one for each time you change the independent variable.
Make sure to record quantitative (measurements, results) as well as
qualitative data (colour, odour, )
If your data is coming from a data logger graph or other graphic
computer display include an example of this graph in you report.
The number of decimal places should be the same for all values in a
column
Each column must have a heading and the units of the quantity plus the
uncertainty of the raw data
Uncertainties should be rounded of to 1 significant figure 0.2 not 0.17
The number of decimal places in the data should not exceed the limit of
the uncertainty.
e.g. if uncertainty is 0.2 the measurement should only be quoted to 1
decimal place
Comment on how you arrived at any uncertainty value in the table
Comment on any observations you made that might be relevant later;
there might not be anything here.
Aspect 2: Processing Raw Data
The data should be processed in some way, including calculations of
uncertainties. Processed data should be displayed in a table separate to
the raw data table.
The table must have headings that include units and uncertainties
The number of decimal places in each column must be consistent with
each other and the uncertainty.
Any calculation must be explained at least once.
Aspect 3: Presenting Processed Data
Processed data should be presented in an appropriate manner.
If graphs are used, they must
- have heading, axis labels and units
- have the independent variable on the x axis
- include error bars
- should have the best fit line plotted automatically

Conclusion and Evaluation


Aspect 1: Concluding
State your results/conclusion and whether your results supports the
theory.
Are there any results that appear to be due to mistakes made? Discuss
possible reasons.
Dont forget unit(s).
Compare your result with an accepted value, say where this value is from
and quote uncertainty if known.
Aspect 2: Evaluating procedure(s)
This is where you say if the conclusion is reasonable or not, you must
have evidence for anything you write here, this can be from your results
or the observations you made during the experiment. It might help to do
a small experiment to show that something was a problem.
Comments do not have to be negative.
Are the errors reasonable, are they obviously too big or too small?
Comment and discuss the affects on your results of the following aspects
- whether you managed to keep the controlled variables constant
or not
- the equipment used and the method in which you used it.
- the range of values and the number of repetitions.
Comment on time management
Avoid statements such as the school equipment isnt good enough or
other superficial statements
Aspect 3: Improving the Investigation
List ways of improving the investigation (I.e. reducing the uncertainties).
Anything you write here must be related to something you mentioned in
the evaluation. This in turn should be linked to the results. Think like a
detective, look for evidence.
If possible do a calculation or a small experiment to show how the
improvement might improve the accuracy of the result.
If you had more readings (wider range or more repetitions) would it
improve your result and why?
Is there any modification to the apparatus that would make the results
better? How would it affect the experiment and how would it improve the
results?
If you made any modification to the original method then mention it here,
you will then get credit for suggesting improvements.

Design
Aspect 1: Defining the problem and selecting variables
Did you clearly formulate and identify a focused research question?
Will you be able to make a qualitative and quantitative assessment?
Identify and explicitly state the controlled, independent and dependent
variables.
State a hypothesis based on your research work and knowledge.
Explain how you expect the change in conditions to affect your
independent and dependent variables.
Aspect 2: Controlling variables
Explain how you will perform the experiment.
The method should be clearly described in sufficient detail so that it could
be reproduced by someone else from the information given.
List the equipment that you will use, make sure to give precise relevant
details about all apparatus and chemicals (including concentrations of
solutions)
Describe how you plan to control the controlled variables and how you will
measure the independent and dependent variables
Aspect 3: Developing a method for collection of data
How much data do you need to suitably address your aim or research
question?
Make sure that you have enough data so that you can evaluate the
reliability of the data.
Do you need to test out the equipment first? Do you need a trial run?