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DP Laboratory Work

Title: (simple outline/overview of your experiment; but not the whole
research question)

Research question: Explain a problem OR question to be tested. It

should be fully focused.

For example:

An investigation into how the independent variable affects the

dependent variable. Make sure that your independent variable and
dependent variable are clearly stated and specific to what you will
manipulate and what you will measure.

Background Information: What are the relevant scientific theories that

relate to your topic? Explain the theory(s) and how they relate to the
question you are investigating. It should set the context for your
investigation. What you write here should be used to support your
conclusion. Why is this investigation important to conduct? Relate it to
social, environment, economic factors, etc? Ask yourself, why would
anyone want to read about my findings? Why is it relevant to you? This
shows personal engagement.


What do you think will happen? Relate the independent variable to the
dependent variable and describe how one will change in relation to the
other. Why? Give a scientific explanation for your hypothesis.

References (you will transfer this to your references section at the end)

I Independent variable is =
what you
C Change
D Dependent variable is what =
M Measure
S Same (control and keep =
other variables the same)

Control of variables:


Measuring Units:

How will you measure the IV:

** 5 changes to the independent variable necessary

** 3 repeats necessary; or enough for consistency of data

Range of values of


Measuring Units:

How will you measure the DV:

Controlled Method and

variables: Effect on results: instruments for control:

A steeper ramp would Set the ramp height to

e.g., Ramp height
cause 50cm using a ruler

Materials List:

List all the

materials that you
will use in the
experiment. Be
specific - for
example, instead
of beaker write
200 cm3 beaker.


Equipment set

Draw a labeled
diagram/photo to
show how your
equipment was set
up. Include
measurements of

Step by step
method including
units and how you
will record data.

This should be
written in
paragraph form.

Raw data tables (must include headings, units, space for trials and

variable Dependent variable (units) (uncertainty)

(uncertainty) Trial 1 Trial 2 Trial 3 Average

** significant figures of data should be consistent with uncertainties

Processed data table (must include headings, units, space for trials and

Averages for dependent variable (units)


(units) Change Change Change Change Change
(uncertainty) 1 2 3 4 5

Data Processing
Examples of appropriate calculations e.g., averages, rates of reaction,
percentage uncertainty, percentage error, etc. Do you need to include
standard deviation?

Appropriate graph(s) - these should be allowing you to answer your

Research Question
(title, correct axes for IV & DV and labels, line or bar graph, clear data
points and minor gridlines for x- and y-axis, and trend lines)
Conclusion (write as a paragraph)

Accurately interpret your data and explain your results.

What happened to the dependent variable when you changed the

independent variable? This should describe the trend of the graph in

For example:

As the independent variable increased/decreased the dependent

variable increased/decreased.

Give several pieces of evidence from your graph to support your





Does your evidence support your hypothesis or not? Evaluate the

validity of your hypothesis based on the outcome of your scientific
investigation; see also Evaluate Your Data (below).

Does your qualitative data have trends that can support your quantitative

Provide a scientific reason for your conclusion statement. What scientific

theories, sources (e.g., textbooks), or accepted/published values could be
used to support your conclusion.
(Remember to use in-text citation of sources to support your reasoning)

The Research Question and Conclusion are the two ends of the scientific
story; the Research Question introduces the aim of the investigation while
the Conclusion should answer the Research Question and show what you
have learnt from the investigation.

Evaluate your data: Is there enough data to answer your Research

Question? Is there any evidence that your data is reliable/unreliable? Is
there a big difference between your changes to the independent variable?
Are the data points all near the best-fit line or scattered all over the
graph? Percentage uncertainties; big or small? Standard deviation (if
required)? Percentage error? What do these say about the reliability of
your data and therefore conclusion?

Evaluate your procedure

Did your method allow you to collect good data? Were your measuring
instruments suitable? Were your measurements accurate and precise
enough? Are there any errors associated with the measurement
instrument? Did you take enough samples? Was your range big enough?
Your evaluation should provide enough detail for someone else to improve
upon your investigation. Evaluate the validity of the method based on
the outcome of your scientific investigation. (You can include this
evaluation as a table in your report). Remember to include both strengths
and weaknesses in your evaluation of the procedure.

Strengths/Weakne Significance on the

sses experiment Realistic improvement

consider where error describe how this be as specific as possible;

or uncertainty comes strength/weakness is suggest alternate
from; what did you likely to affect the methodology or
use to collect your quality of your data apparatus that will reduce
data and hence what you the errors/uncertainties;
can conclude things that could be done
in a secondary school


If you could continue this experiment, what would you investigate next?

Use the Harvard Referencing system: