Focus of the Final Lab Report
Please read over the Sample Final Lab Report before beginning this assignment (PDF can be found in your online course). You are required to write a complete laboratory report for Lab 2: Water Quality and Contamination using knowledge gained throughout the course. The report must be 6 to10 pages in length and formatted according to APA style. You must use at least four scholarly sources (at least two of which can be found in the Ashford Online Library) in addition to the textbook and/or lab manual to support your points. Cite your sources in text and on the reference page. For information regarding APA samples and tutorials, visit the Ashford Writing Center, located within the Learning Resources tab on the left navigation toolbar, in your online course.
The Final Lab Report must contain the following eight sections in this order:
1. Title Page – This page must include the title of your report, your name, course name, instructor, and date submitted.
2. Abstract – This section should provide a brief summary of the methods, results, and conclusions. It should allow the reader to see what was done, how it was done, and the results. It should not exceed 200 words and should be the last part written (although it should still appear right after the title page).
3. Introduction – This section should include an overview of why the experiment was conducted. It should first contain background information of similar studies that have already been done in the area. This is accomplished by citing existing literature from similar experiments along with explaining their results. Secondly, it should provide an objective or a reason why the experiment is being done. Why do we want to know the answer to the question we are asking? Finally, it should end with a hypothesis. You should pose a question and predict the answer to the question that will be investigated. This hypothesis should be made prior to your experiment and should not be adjusted to reflect the “right” answer. Simply place your previous hypothesis in the report here. You do not lose points for an incorrect hypothesis; scientists are often wrong in their guesses.
4. Materials and Methods – This section should provide a detailed description of the materials used in your experiment and how they were used. A step-by-step run down of your experiment is necessary; however, it should be done in paragraph form, not in a list format. The description should be exact enough to allow for someone reading the report to replicate the experiment.
5. Results – This section should include the data and observations from the experiment. All tables and graphs should be present in this section. There should be no personal opinions or discussion outside of the results located within this area.
6. Discussion – This section should interpret your data and provide conclusions. Discuss the meanings of your findings in this area. Was your hypothesis confirmed or denied, and how can you determine this? Did the results generate any future questions that might benefit from a new experiment? Were there any outside factors (i.e., temperature, contaminants, time of day) that affected your results? If so, how could you control for these in the future?
7. Conclusions – This section should simply provide a brief summary of your work.
8. References – List references used in APA format.
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