Seed germination project – lab report final draft grading rubric

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Seed Germination Project – Lab Report Final Draft Grading Rubric

Lab Report Part 4 –Rough Draft


· You are going to be writing a Lab Report based on the work you’ve done from Lab Reports Parts 1-3.

· Your rough draft is only worth 10 points

· while it’s okay to have mistakes in your rough draft, if you are missing sections or major areas of your paper, you will get fewer than 10 points

· I recommend spending a LOT of time on your rough draft so that you get better feedback from your instructor and your final draft is easier to finish

· Be sure to also use the Lab Report Rubric while writing your lab report, it can also be found in this week’s content section

· Be sure to check your class schedule for the due date of the final draft.

· Please note that your rough draft and final draft will be checked by to ensure that nothing has been plagiarized

General Guidelines and expectations:

1. Scientific writing should be concise and to the point. This is not the place to use “flowery” language.

2. Your report must be typed, and must be double spaced with normal font and borders.

a. Your instructor doesn’t care about the number of pages of your document as long as you follow the guidelines in this document and the lab report rubric

3. Figures and graphs should be completed using a computer program and integrated within the text of your report or placed at the end of the report. Each figure should include a figure number and a short description. (Example – Figure #1: Graph showing the average mold colony size per piece of bread over 6 days).

a. Your text (writing) must also refer to and discuss each figure you include.

b. You must include at least one graph showing some of the important or interesting data you collected.

4. For any outside sources you use, you must cite it! You should clearly indicate the source and include a references cited section. Please ask your instructor if you are not sure how to do this.

Content and format instructions:

Use the following pages to see what information should be in each section of your lab report. Write your report in this order. Be sure you include the section headings!

· Introduction

· Methods

· Results

· Discussion

· Abstract (place at top of your report, but write it last).

The content and format of your report should follow the guidelines laid out on the following pages. Each section of your lab report must contain very specific information, and ONLY that information. Follow the instructions carefully.

You must give your lab report an appropriate title.

(Note: A good title tells what you did in the fewest number of words possible. The title should always include a few key things such as the scientific name of the organism you used, and the independent variable you tested)

By: Your Name


Your report should start with an abstract, BUT you should write this last! An abstract is a short paragraph that is a summary of your experiment, and your results and conclusions. Your abstract must include all of the following (don’t use bullets in your abstract, but them in a paragraph format):

· Your central question.

· Your hypothesis.

· A brief summary of the methods (you will describe methods in detail later)

· A summary of the most important data.

· Your conclusions about your hypothesis and the data.


Introduce the reader to your experiment. In this section, you must include a minimum of two in-text citations for information you have found from another source. This might be information about the type of species use for example. All of the following must also be included in the introduction (again, in paragraph format, not bullets).

Here is a good website with information on one style of in-text citations. If you know another style (like MLA) you can use that style instead.
In Text citations – APA style

· Background information about the species you used (should cite at least one outside source here).

· Background information that relates directly to your independent variable (should cite at least one outside source here).

· A Discussion of your central question. Why is the question important and what lead you to ask it (what is the significance of your question).

· Your hypothesis.

· Your if/then prediction.


Your methods sections is used to describe exactly what you did (in paragraph form, not bulleted) during the entire course of the experiment. The idea of this section is that someone else should be able to repeat the experiment exactly as you did it with only this methods section to guide them. Be sure to include specifics such as the type and amounts of everything you used.
Be very specific and detailed!

You must write this section in the past tense. Be sure you do NOT present any data or results or analysis in this section.

Don’t include details that are not relevant to the successful outcome of the experiment (such as- “I took off my jacket and hung it in the closet”).

Look back through this section. Could someone with no knowledge of the experiment use this section to successfully complete the exact experiment that you did. You might have a friend read this section to see if anything is missing.


In this section, you will present just the results and data you gathered during your experiment. You should include a few paragraphs of text that summarize your results. You MUST include at least one graph summarizing your data. You can include more than one graph. You should use a computer to make your graph(s).

All graphs must have a figure # and a short description. Be sure all graphs are properly completed (axes labeled etc.). Be sure that you refer the reader to each graph by using the figure number and describing why the reader should look at the figure and summarize the data they will see there.

This is just the results section. You should NOT include any type of analysis or conclusions in this section. Just simply describe what happened for each treatment over time and present the important data you gathered. All data you talk about in any section of the report should be presented in the results section.


Now you finally get to interpret and discuss your conclusions about your data and your central question. In the discussion section, you are basically saying what your data means.

You should clearly state if your data supported or contradicted your hypothesis and how your results led you to your conclusion.
If your data contradict your hypothesis then you must provide an alternative hypothesis that might explain your results after further experimentation.

If you averages are close to each other –
they are likely not significantly different. A difference of something like 5% germination does not show a significant effect of the variable you tested.

Don’t use the word “prove”. You can’t prove your hypothesis. You can support it with your data or you can “not support” it with your data.

In the discussion section you should also describe

· What you learned about the species you used and what you learned about how the independent variable you tested affects your species.

· Include an analysis of your experimental methods. Did anything unexpected happen that might have affected the results? What were the possible sources of error? How could the experiment be improved? There are always possible sources of error or influence in an experiment like this!

· Discuss what further research could be done to more fully answer your central question. The research you discuss cannot be just a repeat of what you already did but it should be directly related to your experiment or central question.


In this section, you should list the full citation for any outside sources you used in your experiment. When you originally discuss the information that you found from these listed sources, you must refer to the source with “in-text citations”. In this citations section you are just giving the details of the source. Below are examples of the types of information that must be included. This follows the APA citation style. You can also go to the link provided in the introduction section information. It has links to specifics on how to cite different types of material.

Articles in journals, magazines, and newspapers: author(s), date of publication, article title, journal title, volume number, issue number (if applicable), and page numbers


Seed Germination Project – Lab Report Final Draft Grading Rubric

3 points

2 points

1 point

0 points

Title (2pts)

Brief, informative, includes independent variable and species name.

Vague, inaccurate, missing important information.

No title or not at all informative.

Abstract (2pts)

Single concise summary paragraph. Includes central question, hypothesis, summary of methods, results, and conclusions.

Missing one or two of the following: central question, hypothesis, summary of methods, results, and conclusions.

No abstract, or missing more than 2 parts.



At least one paragraph that provides accurate and relevant background information on the species and the independent variable and that contains 2 in-text citations.

Background information is not complete or contains non-relevant information or only 1 in-text citation.

Background information lacking or not accurate or relevant. No in-text citations.

No background information or citations.

Central question, hypothesis, and prediction clearly stated and explained.

Missing 1part of the following: central question, hypothesis, and prediction. Or not clearly stated or explained.

Missing 2 parts of the following: central question, hypothesis, and prediction. Or not clearly stated or explained.

Missing 3 or more parts of the following: central question, hypothesis, and prediction.



(double the listed points)

Methods are clearly described in paragraphs and using past tense. Methods are chronological and contain sufficient detail to be reproduced by another researcher.

Some steps or materials not included; methods not in chronological order or not reproducible or includes irrelevant information.

Large amounts of details missing. Not enough included to be able to reproduce the experiment.

Section missing.



All data are presented with at least one paragraph of results that includes references to figures.

A small amount of data is not discussed or not referenced in text.

A large amount of data is not discussed or not referenced in text.

No results paragraph or text.

Contains at least 1 graph. All figures have a figure number, a description, and are properly set-up and labeled (axes/titles).

Figure(s) missing just one of the following:

a figure number, a description, or are not properly set-up and labeled (axes/titles).

Much of the following is missing:

a figure number, a description, or are not properly set-up and labeled (axes/titles). Data presented inaccurately or inappropriately.

No figures.



Question and hypothesis restated. Clearly states if hypothesis supported or contradicted and clearly states how results led to that conclusion.

Clearly stated if hypothesis supported or contradicted by the results, but no or very little explanation given. Or missing information.

Completely missing statement regarding hypothesis support OR completely missing the restatement of information.

Or analysis not supported by results.

Missing both restatement of information and missing statement regarding hypothesis support.

Includes discussion of what was learned about the species and the effects of the independent variable. Includes an analysis of the methods and possible errors. Includes alternate hypothesis if needed and a discussion or relevant further research that could be done.

One of the required components (what was learned, method analysis, or further research) not included or not clearly presented.

Two of the required components (what was learned, method analysis, or further research) not included or not clearly presented.

No discussion of what was learned, method analysis, or further research.



At least two appropriate citations included in-text in the introduction and with full citations at end.

Two citations, but missing either in-text or full citation at end. OR only one complete citation.

One citation but missing either in-text or full citation at end.

No citations.



Typed, double spaced, section headings used, paragraphs, figures inserted properly.

Typed but single spaced or not using appropriate fonts, headings, or figure insertion.

Not typed or all required formatting aspects missing.

Spelling / Grammar


Good language structures with no more than three spelling or grammatical errors throughout.

4-6 grammatical or spelling errors.

More than 6 spelling or grammatical errors or language structure makes understanding difficult.

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