AP Biology Laboratory Student Instructions
In AP Biology, we will be spending a great deal of time in the laboratory. The laboratory will count as one of two grades for this course. It is important to learn proper laboratory technique and the correct way of reporting your results.
Formal Lab Reports:
You should keep ALL COMPLETE copies of lab reports in your 3-ring binder in a back section/tab labeled “AP Lab Reports”. Ultimately, all formal labs and lab worksheets should go into this binder for later use during review. Formal lab reports will be done on the computer and NEED TO BE TYPED and submitted to www.turnitin.com! They should be stored on a hard-drive or on disc/cd/flashdrive for back-up. Formal lab write-ups should contain the following:
I. Heading and the title of the lab
a. Title of lab, including the number
i. Ex: AP Lab #1: Diffusion and Osmosis
b. Your name and lab partner(s) (if any)
c. Period, Teacher (Ms. Gaynor) and Class (AP Biology)
II. Table of Contents
a. Please make sure all pages are numbered and the table of contents follows these pages numbers.
a. A simple FULL, COMPLETE SENTENCE statement giving the reason for performing the experiment (remember: major themes and concepts of biology already discussed).
a. An introduction to the general topic of the laboratory. This should include primary references from internet, book, research articles, etc. It should be in your own words (plagiarism will result in an F and zero credit given) and not copied from the internet or lab handout. Generally, 2-3 pages is sufficient for your introduction. You should also include a discussion of controls and variables used in the lab and why they are used.
b. Use APA Format citations within your introduction to show where you obtained your information.
a. If….then….because… statement(s). BE SPECIFIC!
i. Each part/section of an experiment needs its own hypothesis.
1. Ex: There is a Part A and PART B in the lab procedure. You will need 2 hypotheses.
a. List ALL materials used in the lab and the quantities (in metric measurements).
i. NOTE: sometimes materials used in the actual lab may differ from the materials in the lab directions/handout.
a. The procedure should be complete enough for anyone to take your lab and repeat it, getting the same results. Oftentimes, we will adjust the procedures for time purposes. Write what YOU did in the lab. If the procedure is the same as followed in the AP lab manual, you may reference those pages. But, if you do anything differently, you must note this.
a. Quantitative Data (numerical data)
i. Data table:
1. You should always try and present numerical data in a data table using columns. Each column should be labeled appropriately and contain the units in parentheses. DO NOT WRITE THE UNITS NEXT TO EACH PIECE OF DATA (NUMBER). UNITS GO IN PARENTHESES ONLY ONCE AT THE TOP OF THE COLUMN IN THE TABLE! ii. Graphs
1. You should use Excel (or some similar program) to produce the graphs. Graphs must have axes correctly labeled (with units of measurement). They must be titled. If the data suggest a function, there must be a curve fit with the statistics of the analysis or a best-fit line. Graphs should be pasted into the body of the lab report and not simply attached at the end. You should refer to this graph and numerical data points in your conclusion.
2. TRY TO ALWAYS INCLUDE A LINE GRAPH!!!
b. Qualitative Data (non-numerical, descriptive data)
1. A section of observations rewritten from your laboratory notebook. This might include drawings, sketches, tables listing observations, etc., which need to be labeled and titled.
a. Interpret the results of the experiment and say if your hypothesis is supported/ rejected. Remember to restate your hypothesis for the