Lab report observation sections

hello students this onsen here and welcome to the sixth episode on how to rate high school lab reports today we’re taking a look at how to rate the observation section so the first thing you need to know is the difference between an observation and an inference obviously observations go in the observation section inferences they do not go in observation sections of a lab report so what is the difference between these two observations have to do with how you sense things so smell touch sight taste and sounds obviously and maybe a chemistry lab you don’t want to be tasting the chemicals you don’t want to touch them unless your teacher tells you to and you want to use the proper technique for smelling them but anything based on information from your five senses is an observation an inference is an explanation or interpretation based on those observations in an observation section all we write is the stuff that we know based on our five senses we do not make any sort of assumptions based on that information so let’s do a little activity to just cement that idea here I have a picture or part of a picture I want you to make three observations and one inference about this picture so pause the video write these down three observations and one inference all right so here’s the next part of the picture again pause the video write down three observations and one inference based on this new data and then here we have the final piece again pause the video three observations and one inference write these down so as you notice as you went through this activity your inference what you think happens probably change your observations do not change what you saw is always true you maybe saw more information along the way but the information your observations from the very first piece didn’t change once you saw the third piece they were still there however your inferences what you think is happening probably did change as he went through that’s one of the reasons we don’t include them in an observation section observation section is just for stuff that you know is happening now let’s take a look at the difference between qualitative observations and quantitative observations qualitative observations or observations made only using those five senses quantitative observations also use some sort of tools like ruler scales graduated cylinders those types of things now where do we put our observations in the observation section well there are two places either in a chart or in paragraph form or point form depending on what’s more appropriate at that point so charts all quantitative data goes in a chart it must go in a chart it doesn’t belong anywhere else also in our charts we can put qualitative data that shows how the variables are being compared or how they’re being measured so sometimes the qualitative data is what we’re primarily examining in our in our lab report so that will also go in a chart paragraph form or point form will be any additional details that you notice so it could be point 4 if they’re small little things or if they’re major catastrophes that happened during your lab report you might want to write paragraphs about that so these are just additional pieces of information they’re not the primary thing that you’re looking for in the lab now a major point here graphs are used to analyze information therefore they go in the analysis section not in the observation section observations have paragraphs and they have charts or data tables but no graphs so let’s take a look at how we actually or how we actually make our data tables first thing the independent variable goes in the first column if you don’t remember what the independent variable is go back to the video on how to write titles there there’s a good overview of the independent variable and dependent variable so independent variable goes in the first column and you use a logical sequence in order to put your data so instead of starting off at 0 I don’t notice this temperature so 0 degrees then going to 20 and then going down to 5 and then going to 50 it doesn’t really make sense so you got to put them in a logical order next thing the dependent variables go in the columns to the right of that and if there’s only one dependent variable you would just have the one column if there are multiple dependent variables they each get their own column now you’ll notice there are units in the column headings so temperature and then in brackets it says degrees Celsius the height in brackets that says centimeters so instead of writing the unit’s in each of the little blocks all the way down you put it in the title and then below that you just need to put numbers now let’s take a look at the title you need to first of all number the data table so that you can refer to it later in your analysis you can just say data table number three and then you need a descriptive title so what does that look like this is just an example format but something like the effect of and then you’d write the independent variable on you write the dependent variable under and then you would have certain conditions so in this example the effect of temperature on the growth of spider plants over the course of eight months so that gives plenty of information about what’s actually happening in that data table all right that’s all for now for observations see you later bye bye

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