BI 103 Lab Writing Assignment 2

Design your own experiment!

This assignment requires you to evaluate a hypothesis and communicate the results of the lab experiment you designed. The questions and information below are meant to guide you to reporting the key findings of your experiment and help you think through how to explain the findings and draw conclusions from them in a scientific manner. Because you’ve already practiced these skills once, this assignment is worth 16 points.

ASSIGNMENT: Please respond to the following questions to complete your laboratory write up.. Make sure that your write

up is accurate, and clearly written so that it is easily readable.

A grading rubric is provided on the second page of this assignment. To earn full points on your write up, you must provide answers that align to the “meets” column of your grading rubric as well as meeting all “Quality of Writing and Mechanics” elements described in the rubric. There are also some tips on pages 4-5 of this assignment to help you succeed.


 Type your responses, using 1.5 or double spacing.

 Include the section headings (Hypothesis, Results, Analysis) and question number (example: 1, 2, 3, etc) in your answers but do not rewrite the question.

 Graphs may be made with a computer program (example: Microsoft excel, Mac numbers, etc) or may be neatly produced with a ruler on graphing paper.

 Print out the cover sheet on page 2 of this assignment, read and sign the academic honesty statement, and submit it with your write up. Your instructor WILL NOT accept a write up without the signed cover sheet.

DUE DATE: Your write up is due at the beginning of class next week. Late assignments will have 1 point deducted per day

up to 5 days, at which point the assignment will be assigned 0 points.

Hypothesis and Prediction – Part 1 of Rubric 1. What did you think was going to happen in this experiment and why? You may find it helpful to state your answers

to these questions as an “if-then” hypothesis-prediction. Be sure you have included a biological rationale that explains WHY you made this hypothesis/prediction based on concepts that we have gone over in Biology 103.

Methods: Part 2 of Rubric

2. How did you conduct your experiment? Include a paragraph that describes your experimental setup and data collection. This section should include enough detail that another person would be able to replicate your experiment. Note that the methods should be written in full sentences, and not a bulleted or numbered list of steps!

Results – Part 3 of Rubric 3. What results did you get from your experiment? Answer this question by creating a data table and graph that show

the results of your simulation experiment. If you need assistance building a graph, there is a Guide to Graphing resource available on your Moodle lab course site. Below are some hints:

 Your data table should have clear headings that include all applicable units

 Your data table should be computer generated, not hand drawn.

 Make sure that you are making the appropriate graph type for your data!

Analysis- Part 4 of Rubric 4. Explain why you think that the results shown in your graph support or refute your hypothesis (remember we never

“prove” anything in science). Consider all your data and the overall data pattern as you answer this question. Don’t ignore unusual data that may not seem to fit into a specific patterns (“outliers”). Explain what you think might be behind these unusual data points. Also include any interesting observations you made during your experiment.

5. What is the biological significance of your results? What biological concepts explain why you obtained the results that you did? This section will vary based on your experiment, but you should be using concepts from 103 material to explain your results!

References- Mechanics Checklist 6. Provide at least one full citation (make sure you include an in-text citation that pinpoints where you used this

resource) for a resource you made use of in performing the experiment, understanding the concepts and writing this assignment. (Perhaps your lab manual? Your textbook? A website?) If you used more than one resource, you need to cite each one! If you need help with citations, a Guide to Citing References is available on your Moodle lab course site.

Lab Writeup Assignment 2 Rubric- 16 points total Name _______________________________________ Element Misses: 1 Approaches: 2 Meets: 3

Hypothesis : Clarity/Specificity



___Hypothesis is unclear and hard- to-understand or does not address the experimental question.

___Hypothesis is not testable

___No rationale for hypothesis or rationale is fully inaccurate

___Hypothesis included is clearly stated, but not specific or lacks specific details

__Hypothesis is testable, but not in a feasible way

___Some foundation for hypothesis, but based in part on inaccuracy

___Hypothesis included is clearly stated, very specific, and addresses the experimental question.

___Hypothesis is testable and could be tested within lab parameters

___Rationale for hypothesis is grounded in accurate information

Methods Clarity

___Not all procedures are included, are not clear and lack many details

___Most procedures are described, but not clearly and details lacking

___All procedures are described, with all needed details clearly outlined . Any relevant equipment is mentioned

Graph and Table Data table



Graph clarity

Data accuracy

___ Results not presented in data table or table is very difficult to interpret

___Graph lacks a title or labels

___Variables not addressed in graph

___Graph is hard to read and comparisons cannot be made: no key; Inappropriate graph type or use of scale

___Data graphed is inaccurate or does not relate to experiment

___Results presented in table, but is lacking some data or unclear

___Graph has a title that is not very descriptive, labels are unclear or incorrect

___Variables addressed in graph, but not on correct axes

___Graph is somewhat readable, comparisons can be made with difficulty: key is hard to understand; Appropriate graph type, but not scaled well

___Data graphed is partially accurate; some data is missing

___Results clearly presented in a data table

___Graph has a concise, descriptive title and appropriately labeled axes with

___Variables on correct axes

___Graph is clearly readable and comparisons between treatments are easy to make: key is clear; Graph type and scale are appropriate to data

___Data graphed is accurate and includes all relevant data, including controls (if needed)

Analysis Hypothesis

Scientific language

Data addressed


___Hypothesis is not addressed

___Hypothesis is described using language like proven, true, or right

___No explanations for data trends in table or graph, no mention of outliers

___No explanation for data trends or explanations are completely inaccurate

___Hypothesis is evaluated, but does not discuss specific data

___Hypothesis is not consistently described as supported or refuted

___Some data considered in conclusions but other data is ignored. Any unusual “outliers” are ignored

___Explanations include minimal or some inaccurate concepts

___Hypothesis is evaluated based upon data.

___Hypothesis is consistently described as supported or refuted

___All data collected is considered and addressed by conclusions, including presence of outliers.

___Explanations include relevant and accurate concepts

Presentation _____ Did not participate in group presentation _____ Did not participate in group presentation prep _____ Disruptive audience member during group presentations

_____ Small contribution to group presentation. ______ Participated some in group presentation prep ______ Somewhat attentive audience member during group presentations

_______ Active participant in group presentation _____ Active participant in group presentation prep _______ Attentive audience member during group presentation

Quality of Writing and Mechanics: Worth 1 point. Write-up should meet all of the following criteria!

Yes No

☐ ☐ Write up includes your name, the date, and your lab section

☐ ☐ Write up is free from spelling and grammatical errors (make sure you proofread!!)

☐ ☐ Write up is clear and easy-to-understand

☐ ☐ Write up includes full citation for at least one reference with corresponding in-text citation

☐ ☐ All portions of write up are clearly labeled, and question numbers are included


Plagiarism refers to the use of original work, ideas, or text that are not your own. This includes cut-and-paste from websites, copying directly from texts, and copying the work of others, including fellow students. Telling someone your answers to the questions (including telling someone how to make their graph, question #2), or asking for the answers to any question, is cheating. (Asking someone how to make the graph for this assignment is NOT the same as asking for help learning excel or some other software). All forms of cheating, including plagiarism and copying of work will result in an immediate zero for the exam, quiz, or assignment. In the case of copying, all parties involved in the unethical behavior will earn zeros. Cheating students will be referred to the Student Conduct Committee for further action. You also have the right to appeal to the Student Conduct Committee.

I have read and understand the plagiarism statement.



Guidelines for Good Quality Scientific Reports

Hypothesis and Prediction: The hypothesis is a tentative explanation for the phenomenon. Remember that:

 A good hypothesis and prediction is testable (and should be testable under the conditions of our lab environment; For example, if your hypothesis requires shooting a rocket into space, then its not really testable under our laboratory conditions).

 Your explanation can be ruled out through testing, or falsified.

 A good hypothesis and prediction is detailed and specific in what it is testing.

 A good hypothesis provides a rationale or explanation for why you think your prediction is reasonable and this rationale is based on what we know about biology.

 A good prediction is specific and can be tested with a specific experiment.


I think that diet soda will float and regular soda will sink. {This hypothesis misses the goal. It is not specific as we don’t know where the sodas are floating and sinking, and it does not provide any explanation to explain why the hypothesis makes sense}

Because diet soda does not contain sugar and regular soda does, the diet soda will float in a bucket of

water, while regular soda will sink. {This hypothesis approaches the goal. It is more specific about the conditions, and it provides a partial explanation about why the hypothesis makes sense, but the connection between sugar and sinking is unclear}

If diet soda does not contain sugar, then its density (mass/volume) is lower than that of regular soda

which does contain sugar, and so diet soda will float in a bucket of water while regular soda sinks. {This hypothesis meets the goal. It is specific and the rationale- sugar affects density and density is what determines floating or sinking in water- is clearly articulated}

*Note that these examples are for different experiments and investigations and NOT about your blood pressure lab. They are provided only to help you think about what you need to include in your write up.

Graph: The graph is a visual representation of the data you gathered while testing your hypothesis. Remember that:

 A graph needs a concise title that clearly describes the data that it is showing.

 Data must be put on the correct axes of the graph. In general, the data you collected (representing what you are trying to find out about) goes on the vertical (Y) axis. The supporting data that that describes how, when or under what conditions you collected your data goes on the horizontal (X) axis. (For this reason time nearly always goes on the X-axis).

 Axes must be labeled, including the units in which data were recorded

 Data points should be clearly marked and identified; a key is helpful if more than one group of data is included in the graph.

 The scale of a graph is important. It should be consistent (there should be no change in the units or increments on a single axis) and appropriate to the data you collected


{This graph misses the goal. There is no title, nor is there a key to help distinguish what the data points mean. The scale is too large- from 0 to 100 with an increment of 50, when the maximum number in the graph is 25- and makes it hard to interpret this graph. The x-axis is labeled, but without units (the months) and the y-axis has units, but the label is incomplete- number of what?}

{This graph meets the goal. There is a descriptive title, and all of the axes are clearly labeled with units. There is a key so that we can distinguish what each set of data points represent. The dependent variable (number of individuals) is correctly placed on the y-axis with the independent variable of time placed on the x-axis. The scale of 0-30 is appropriate to the data, with each line on the x-axis representing an increment of 5.}

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