# Multivariable calc lab 10 Essay

Submitted By jirachi369
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Pages: 12

COMMENTS ON WRITING A GOOD LAB REPORT
CHRIS CONKLIN

These comments are derived from feedback I have given to students in the past after having written their ﬁrst lab reports. They are meant to supplement, but not replace, the advice given in the lab manual. Please consult the lab manual for general guidelines ﬁrst, then look here for ideas on how to polish. The sections are broken down into Argument,
Technical Style, Use of Physics, and Quantitativeness, to follow the sections of the grading rubric. 1. Argument
This is an area where many students struggle. Remember that a lab report is a lot like a persuasive essay. You want to present what you are trying to prove in your introduction and prediction sections, then present the data in a clear way, then use the data you have presented to show that your prediction was deﬁnitively correct or incorrect, or that your results are inconclusive.
In order to present your argument convincingly, a few things have to happen:
(1) You must understand why you are doing the lab.
In a given lab, you will investigate many things on your way through the procedure, but it can be diﬃcult to keep track of what exactly was your goal. Some students say their goal was to investigate more than one thing, which is ﬁne. At the same time, understand that the steps necessary to get to our goal may not be key predictions themselves. For instance, as a part of reaching a conclusion about acceleration, you may need to determine the velocity of an object. If that’s the case, then determining the velocity is not the goal of the lab; it is merely a stepping stone to ﬁnding the acceleration. Before you begin writing, make clear in your own mind what the goal of the lab was, and then state it clearly in your report.
(2) You must include all data necessary to draw your conclusions.
This means any (relevant) graphs that you have and any (relevant) measurements you took must be in your lab (with uncertainty of course). A good way to determine if you missing anything is this: if I think you computed something incorrectly and
I wanted to double check your calculation, I should have all the necessary numbers to redo your calculations. I don’t need to see every mathematical step, but I should have enough information to carry out any mathematical steps left out on my own.
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CHRIS CONKLIN