Lab write-up guidelines
A lab write-up is important in all science and engineering fields to communicate main points of the lab, its procedures, and results to other people.
You can use this outline as a template for each of your labs that you will submit this quarter. You will be graded on the quality and correctness of your lab write-up in addition to the lab itself.
The lab write-up must be submitted as a plain-text file into the course locker along with your other lab files.
The Lab Write-up
The lab report consists of several sections: title, purpose, materials, procedure, algorithms, and conclusion. Sometimes you will have to answer questions we ask you in the lab assignment (e.g., "What is your favorite HC11 instruction?") which you will answer in the other information section.
The title of your lab report may be the same as the title of the lab. Also include your name, lab number, date, and in whose lab section you are enrolled.
Why are we doing this lab? The purpose is a short description of the problem or exercise.
What did you use to accomplish this lab? If you are designing a circuit, include the parts you used. If you are writing assembly language code, indicate the registers you used and what they were used for. In some cases, it is sufficient to site the lab assignment.
E.g., R4 held the counter value throughout the entire program. The other register values were as outlined in the lab assignment.
Exactly what you did. This can be a list or a short paragraph. Keep it simple!
Algorithms and other data
Exactly how you did it. This can be a list or a short paragraph. Or a list of lists. Again, keep it simple!
Good (partial) example: Flash the lights and stop after 10 iterations
Bad (partial) example: Increment X by 1; shift D; compare X to 10; check that X is less than 10; if it is, then repeat the process; if not, break out of the loop and continue.
Answer any questions posed in the lab assignment.
Example: What is your favorite HC11 instruction?
This is arguably the most important part of the lab. The conclusion is a paragraph or two that tells the reader what you learned. Sometimes we will skip down to the conclusion and read that first, and give you a grade based just on that. Ha ha! Just kidding; of course, we'll read the rest of the lab report as well.
How we grade write-ups
Here is how we will grade your lab write-up on a 12-point scale.
12 points: EXCELLENT - Not only is the lab write-up complete, readable, succinct, and to the point, but also it goes above and beyond the basic meaning of the lab and tells the reader how the lab relates to general concepts. The student has gained insight through doing the lab, and effectively communicates the insight to the reader.
10 points: GOOD - The lab write-up is complete, readable, succinct, and to the point. The student has effectively communicated his or her work on the lab to the reader, and has gone one step beyond that by creating a link between lab, lecture, homework, and the real world.
8 points: SATISFACTORY - The basics of what you did and why you did it. The lab write-up is complete, readable, succinct, and to the point. The student has effectively communicated his or her work on the lab to the reader.
6 points: LACKING - Entire sections are missing, or there is no clear conclusion. The student did not communicate his or her work on the lab to the reader.
4 points: POOR - A meager attempt. At least you typed something up and submitted it.
0 points: The lab write-up you submitted is wholly inadequate or irrelevant.
-1 point: You did not submit a lab write-up.