« Return to AACT homepage

AACT Member-Only Content

You have to be an AACT member to access this content, but good news: anyone can join!

Need Help?

How To Write a Formal Lab Mark as Favorite (21 Favorites)

LESSON PLAN in Introduction, Interdisciplinary. Last updated October 14, 2019.


In this lesson, students learn how to put the parts of a formal lab write up together.

Resource Type

Lab Rubric

Grade Level

High school


By the end of this lesson, students should be able to

  • Write a formal lab write up.

Chemistry Topics

This lesson supports students’ understanding of

  • Writing in chemistry


Teacher Preparation: No time

Lesson: depends on the lab


Safety precautions for the individual lab experiment should be observed.

Teacher Notes

  • Having students familiarize themselves with this format expedites teacher grading.

For the Student

How To Write a Formal Lab Report



  • Contains supporting information (from research or class notes) that will lead to an educated guess as to what should occur in the data.
  • Contains definitions of vocabulary or applicable laws


Clearly states why you are doing the lab investigation


May be a statement of what you expect to occur OR may be a prediction of results OR may be a starting point for experimentation.


  • Bulleted or numbered list of what was done
  • Written in third person (Heat for 10 minutes vs. I heated the sample)
  • Should not contain data
  • Should be specific enough to be replicated but not too intricate
    • obtain materials
    • heat chemical in hot water bath
    • record data every 30 seconds


  • Should be a chart of results
  • May be after the procedure or may be next to the procedure, as long as it is somehow separated


  • Must refer to the Hypothesis
  • Must answer the purpose of the lab
  • May contain graphs or diagrams
  • May contain narrative of results


  • Must contain at least three items that may have affected data
  • Should be procedural (Age of chemicals may cause a slow reaction)
  • Should not be personal (My lab partner spilled......)