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Anatomy of a Lab Synopsis

A lab synopsis represents what you and your teachers identified as essentials for you to demonstrate
your understanding of a lab.

1. Testable question (sentence)


● States the specific testable question being investigated
● Answers the question “What are you doing”?

2. Prediction / Hypothesis (sentence for prediction, sentence[s] for explanation)


● States what you predict will happen to the dependent variable when you made a specific
manipulation to the independent variable
AND
in a separate sentence explain why you think that specifically will happen
● Answers the question “Why are you doing it?”

3. Graph/s (embedded in Results paragraph)


● Illustrates the results of the investigation and shows trends or patterns in the data
● NOTE: graphing the raw data may or may NOT be the best representation of results. Sometimes
it is how you have manipulated the raw data that is the best representation of the results
(averages, %, % difference, etc.)
● Answers the question “What happened?”

4. Results (paragraph/paragraphs)
● Includes evidence-rich description of what the graph/s illustrate using specific data points,
calculated values, trends, etc. to analyze the results and elaborate on the meaning of the
graph/s
● Elaborates on the question “What happened?”

5. Explanation (paragraph/paragraphs)
● Accepts or rejects the prediction / hypothesis
● Justifies the results with a scientifically sound explanation that applies class content and
relevant vocabulary
● NOTE: if data / results are ​unexpected​, an explanation for why the data are “weird” is included
(this may include experimental errors that lead to “weird” data or if you don’t know, you should
include the expected outcome along with a justification).
● Answers the question “Why are the results the way they are?”

6. Connection*** (to be included for students who show readiness for this)
● Unites the topic of this lab with a larger biological topic or other previously studied concepts in
the class.
● Explains the relationship and connection between the two.
● Answers the question “How does this connect to a larger biological concept or theme?”
Bessy’s BIO 200: LAB SYNOPSIS RUBRIC
Exceptional Experimental Biology Standard Needs Work
5 4 3

PRECISE AND CONCISE​ one sentence One sentence question that summarizes
question with no GUMS errors​ that precisely what was done in the
Testable Question summarizes precisely what was done in experiment and includes both the
the experiment and includes both the independent variable (manipulated) and
1x independent variable (manipulated) and dependent variable (measured).
dependent variable (measured).

One sentence prediction, i​ n if/then


One sentence prediction of experimental
format​, of experimental outcome that
outcome that includes how independent
Prediction / includes how independent variable will
variable will be changed and how the
Hypothesis be changed and how the dependent
dependent variable will respond.
variable will respond.
2x
Logical scientific reason(s) for prediction
Logical scientific reason(s) for prediction
given in separate sentence(s).
given in separate sentence(s).

Has all required graph elements AND Required graph elements:


one​ item from the following ● Correct graph type(s)
● Descriptive Title ● “Y vs X” type title
● Graph components (lines or bars) ● Axes properly titled including units
arranged to help clearly show of measure
Graph/s answer to testable question. ● Displays appropriate calculated
● Graph(s) logically supplemented values (average, %, % difference).
3x with % comparison
● Graph(s) logically supplemented If no numerical data collected​, then
with data set comparison (box and relevant graphic/s present (helpful in
whisker) supporting answer to testable question)
● Graph(s) logically supplemented
with statistical analysis
Separate paragraph/s that clearly
answers the testable question and
supports this with discussion of Separate paragraph/s that clearly
appropriate calculated values (average, answers the testable question and
%, % difference). supports this with discussion of
appropriate calculated values (average,
Data discussion enriched with raw data %, % difference).
Results points chosen to give a more complete
sense of the results. Writing contains specific references to
4x graphs or trends on graphs.
Writing contains specific references to
graphs or trends on graphs. Weird data are identified, BUT these
data are still used to answer the
Weird data are identified, BUT these question even if the result doesn’t make
data are still used to answer the sense scientifically.
question even if the result doesn’t make
sense scientifically.
Separate paragraph(s) devoted to the Separate paragraph(s) devoted to the
scientific reason(s) for results. This is scientific reason(s) for results. This is
explained using ​abundant relevant class explained using some relevant class
vocabulary and demonstrates vocabulary.
Explanation
sophisticated understanding.
If results include unexpected data, this
5x
If results include unexpected data, this section should explain what you
section should explain what you understand about science that makes
understand about science that makes you think the data are “weird”.
you think the data are “weird”.