reports - Lab [#]  ­ [Title of Lab] [your name]...

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Unformatted text preview: Lab [#]  ­ [Title of Lab] [your name] Partners: [name], [name] Work Performed: [date of lab] AST 1022L ­[section number], [semester] Introduction This is a guide for creating formal lab reports for AST 1022L. You will be required to submit reports for about six to eight of the labs we do over the course of the semester. Reports must be typed, but the font, size, margins, line spacing, etc. will be left up to your discretion. A title page containing the information shown above the introduction on this sheet would be nice, but is not necessary. A simple header like the one on this page will suffice. Reports are due one week after the lab is performed. The introduction of your report need only be one or two paragraphs long, and its purpose is to familiarize the reader with the lab. You should write about the history of the subject, why it is important in astronomy, and how what you did experimentally relates to the subject of the lab. For example, in the report for the crater lab you could mention the history of both our interpretation of cratering in the solar system and when the cratering actually took place. You could then write about what craters can tell us about our environment, and how they are very useful indicators of how our solar system was formed, which is an important process for astronomers to understand. Finally, you could say that the crater we created in lab were similar to the smaller craters found on bodies such as the moon. Procedure Your report should contain (roughly) the following sections: Introduction, Procedure, Data and Calculations, and Discussion. Any data tables or hand ­drawn graphs from the lab manual should be stapled onto the back of the report. If a specific lab report would benefit from more appropriate section headings, feel free to use them. I just want you to follow the same basic flow of the report: introduction to the lab, the work you did, the data you collected, and the results of the experiment. There is no minimum length for a report, but you should expect to produce at least one or two pages of your own writing. The procedure section of the report is where you describe the steps you took to collect the relevant data. It should be written so that somebody unfamiliar with the lab could recreate it and obtain the same data. Include details about any shortcuts or deviations from the lab manual you made and justify them. You should also include information about what devices you used to get your measurements, like if you used a ruler to measure the size of the crater, calipers to measure the width of the impactor, etc. Data and Calculations Staple any handwritten data tables and graphs to the back of your lab report. If you wish to type up your data with the rest of your report, please feel free to do so. If you staple things to the back, please indicate so in this section. If there are calculations or unit conversions to be made before those asked for in the questions, include them in this section, either typed or on a separate sheet of paper. Discussion This is where you answer the questions from the lab manual. I prefer that you answer them in sentence and paragraph form, i.e., don’t just create a list of numbered answers. There is a flow to the questions and you should be able to include the answers in a nice discussion paragraph or two. Please be sure to also include a paragraph about any errors that you think may have influenced your results. How do they arise, were they the same for every measurement, and what could you do to reduce them? If you made any graphs for your report, discuss the trends you see (or don’t see). Indicate whether these trends were expected or not, and state why. Remember you can always email me or come to my office hours if you have questions about anything at all. Asking questions is what science is all about! ...
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