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Honors Biology Lab Report Ruberic

Lab: ___ ___ Student: ___________ Date: _______

Points Earned: Points Available: Score: _


TITLE 0 points 1 point 2 points
Missing Unclear or inaccurate Clear and accurate
HYPOTHESIS 0 points 1 – 3 points 4 points
Missing Unclear, inaccurate, untestable, Clear, accurate,
or illogical testable
BACKGROUND 0 points 1-3 points 4 points
Missing Incorrect, incomplete or fails to Correct, clear and
address the issues important to relevant
the experiment
PROCEDURES 0 Points 1 point 2 points
Missing Unclear, excessively wordy, Clear and concise
copied exactly from protocol
DATA & 0 points 1-3 points 4 points
OBSERVATIONS Missing Information missing, unlabeled, Complete and
incomprehensible appropriate data and
CALCULATIONS 0 points 1 – 2 points 3 points
Missing Incorrect and/or unlabeled Correct and labeled
TABLES AND 0 points 1 – 2 points 3 – 4 points
GRAPHS Missing Unclear, no title, unlabeled axes, Clear, effectively
no legend portrays data,
correctly labeled
CONCLUSION 0 points 1-3 points 4 points
Missing Unclear, illogical, no statement Concise, clear,
about the hypothesis correct, supports or
fails to support
DISCUSSION, 0 points 1 – 3 points 3 – 5 points
ERROR AND Missing Information is irrelevant to the Information is
FURTHER experiment, information is relevant and thinking
RESERACH incorrect process is creative

FORMAT & 0 points 1 – 2 points 3 points

ORGANIZATION Missing Sections indistinguishable, Clear and neat with
contain the wrong information cleanly
or missing, report is excessively distinguishable
messy. sections
GRAMMAR 0 points 1 – 3 points 4 points
> 4 mistakes 1 – 3 mistakes No errors
1. Format - Your lab report should contain a heading for each category on the ruberic
UNLESS that category is irrelevant to the experiment. For example, many experiments
will not include calculations, so you may leave that category out of the lab report. You
may also leave out the heading “Title” for the title if you wish.

2. Grading - I will give you a ruberic with the points for each section circled. I will add the
points up to find your points earned. I will add up the available points for all sections
included in that particular lab report to get the points available. Earned points/total points
* 100 = your score.

3. Parts of a Laboratory Report

a. Title – The title should clearly say what the lab was about. For example, if you
extracted photosynthetic pigments from spinach, you could call the lab
“Extracting Photosynthetic Pigments from Spinach Leaves,” but not
“Photosynthesis and Spinach.”

b. Hypothesis – The hypothesis is a prediction about the outcome of the laboratory.

The hypothesis must predict a measurable outcome of the experiment. The
hypothesis must be specific.

Ex: Most cells in a lily root tip will be in Interphase of the cell cycle.

This is specific because it states that you will be looking at cells in the root tip of
a lily. It is also measurable because at the end of the experiment, you can
compare the percentage of cells in Interphase to the percentage in other stages of
the cell cycle.

c. Background - The background section should provide the reader with all
necessary information to comprehend the reasoning behind the experiment and
the items used in the experiment. This information will come from BOTH the
introduction to lab and from your own research.

For the above hypothesis about the number of cells in mitosis in a lily root tip,
you would need to
- give the scientific name of the lily under study
- explain that the root tip is the most rapidly dividing part of a plant, and
thus cells are likely to be present in many cell cycle stages
- explain that you can determine the stage that the cells are in by staining
the chromosomes and looking at their configuration under the
- Explain each stage of mitosis and interphase
- Explain that cells are in Interphase most of the time

d. Procedures – Write a paragraph about what you did. In the course of writing the
paragraph, all the materials you used should be discussed. You should include
volumes of solutions, but you don’t need to include details like how to set up a
temperature probe.
e. Data & Observations – These are your results that you observe in the lab. You
should present these in a table, as drawings and/or as descriptions. Use whatever
format best suites the data. Be sure to include units.

d. Calculations – Any calculations used in the experiment must be shown

here. For formulas like those for determining percent change, you will need to
write the name of the formula, write out the formula, and then show the
calculation. Be sure to include units.

For example, if we were doing a lab about density, you would write something
like this:
Formula for density: D = m/V
Density of water: = 1.994 g / 2 mL
= 0.997 g /mL
Density of oil: = 2.06g / 2 mL
= 1.03 g / mL
e. Tables and Graphs – If your data involves numbers, you probably need
to show it as a table or graph. Remember all the rules of graphs:
Title the graph.
Label axes with titles and units.
The x axis always contains the independent variable.
Make a data key.

f. Conclusion – This is the answer to your hypothesis. Be specific and

include numbers or specific information to support your conclusion.

Do Say:
My data supported my hypothesis that most lily root tip cells would be interphase
because 70% of the 300 cells counted were in interphase.
My data did not support my hypothesis. Of the 300 lily root tip cells counted,
only 40% were in interphase.

Do Not Say:
My data proved my hypothesis or my hypothesis was correct or my hypothesis
was wrong. (You really can’t conclusively prove anything from one experiment).

g. Discussion, Error and Further Research - Talk about anything that is

important specifically to the experiment but does not belong in any other section.
For example, I might compare my results to those of my classmates. I might
comment that more data is required for a conclusive result. I might say (if it
really seemed true) that some of the equipment gave variable answers and I don’t
trust the results of this experiment. I might say that testing another variable
would have been better. I might say that I spilled my experiment on the desktop
and don’t trust my answers.

DO NOT SAY “Variation was due to human error.” This is a lame answer. If you
really think you made a mistake, say specifically what that mistake was.
Otherwise, leave it out.
Mention a good follow up experiment and how your information might be
applied to a real world problem.

h. Be clear, neat and grammatically correct.

i. Length – The length should suit the material, but 2 to 3 pages will be
typical. Do not hesistate to write more if it is merited.