Guide and Grading Rubric for Formal Lab Report Fall 2017
Students will complete one formal lab report.
Students will be prepared for the task by:
1) reading the assigned lab activities in the lab manual which are structured in a similar manner to the structure of scientific papers
2) completing the “Scientific Paper Tutorial On-Line Assignment”
3) listening to the lab instructor’s explanations of the expected content and format of the formal lab report and the grading rubric for the assignment
4) reading the “Writing a Lab Report” section of the lab manual
5) reading and understanding the grading rubric for this assignment (included at the end of this document) before writing the lab report
6) taking advantage of the individual assistance available from the lab instructor and the learning assistants
Students are not to copy each other’s graphs, figures, tables, illustrations or any written portion of the formal lab report. Students who engage in this activity will be considered to be in violation of the Honor Code and will be subject to its process and consequences. The minimum sanction recommended for a violation of the Honor Code will be a zero on the assignment. Students who are repeating this course may incorporate portions of their previous lab report into the current lab report provided that the new data is utilized and all sections are adjusted accordingly. A student who chooses to utilize this approach must keep in mind that plagiarism checking software will be able to compare the current report to
reports submitted in the past.
In other words, if a student plagiarized portions of their previously submitted report, it will be detected on the currently submitted report and will still be considered a violation of the Honor Code. The first version of the formal lab report will be graded via a peer-review process conducted during your lab class.
During lab class, each student will grade the formal lab reports of two of their classmates using the grading rubric. This means the each student will have their formal lab report graded by two of their classmates. The purpose of the peer-review process is to
1) provide an incentive for students to scrutinize, evaluate and understand the formal lab report grading rubric prior to their lab instructors using the grading rubric to grade the formal lab report,
2) give students the opportunity to learn from seeing examples of formal lab reports of different qualities, and
3) give students the opportunity to improve their formal lab report based on input from their peers prior to it being submitted for grading by the lab instructor.
The grades that students receive on their formal lab report from their peers WILL NOT COUNT TOWARD THEIR FINAL GRADE ON THE FORMAL LAB REPORT! HOWEVER, THE PEER REVIEW PROCESS WILL BE THE ONLY OPPORTUNITY STUDENTS WILL HAVE TO RECEIVE FEEDBACK ON THE REPORT PRIOR TO IT BEING SUBMITTED FOR GRADING BY THEIR LAB INSTRUCTOR.
The purpose of the grades received from one’s peers is to give students a sense of the grade they might receive from the lab instructor grading the lab report with the same grading rubric used by the peers. Participating in the peer-review process will be worth 12 points of the 300 possible lab points, or 4%. Full credit for the peer-review process will be given for a student who is present on the day of peer-review, brings two hard-copies of their formal lab report, and reviews and grades (using the grading rubric) the formal lab reports of two peers in a thoughtful, thorough, conscientious manner.They can submit the formal lab report but they will not have the opportunity to receive feedback prior to the submission. Format and Content Requirements The following sections are required. Format and content requirements are summarized below. Please refer to “writing a lab report” in the lab manual and the grading rubric for additional detail.
General content and format information o Font: Times New Roman o Font size: 12 point o Tense: Past o Person: Not 1st o Margins: top and bottom = 1”; left and right sides = 1.25” o Writing style: Scientific o Sentence structure: Extremely well-developed o Grammar, punctuation, spelling: No more than two insignificant errors (meaning the errors do not detract from the message or interfere with reader’s comprehension o Minimum length: There is no minimum length for the lab report. The goal is to say everything that must be and should be said as concisely as possible.
o Section headings: Should be centered on the page before the beginning of each section. New sections do not need to begin on a new page, except that the abstract and literature cited sections will begin on new pages.
Section-based content and format information o Title Content: Title must be thoroughly descriptive of the experiment (not the assignment) Format: Title should appear on a cover page with title mid-way down the page, centered. At the bottom of the cover page, centered, student’s name should appear on its own line, followed on the next line by the name of the instructor (centered), followed on the next line by the lab section number (centered), followed on the next line by the date of submission. o Abstract: Content: A “miniature” version of the lab report that will contain enough information about the experiment for the reader to decide whether or not they should read the entire paper.