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I saw this topic because of the Unread Content function. I am not sure it gets a lot of traffic. You might X-post on the High School board.

I have some suggestions to make, but I will be up front and say that I am not sure how stringent everyone is on labs and reports--I know some people do major write-ups and others do barebones.


The purpose of this experiment was to test how much light impacts the photosynthesis process and the making of chlorophyll.

I could read this as how much does light affect photosynthesis or as how much light is required to affect photosynthesis in some unspecified way. Using stronger words and being more specific could clear up the meaning. "To test whether or not light impacts..." Even better would be to be more specific about this lab--you are restricting light in various ways to see what happens. "To test whether or not restricted light affects..." Since you are also showing the affect of different kinds of restriction, you might roll that into the description of the purpose. Also, you are looking at changes in the leaves and then testing for the byproducts of photosynthesis and then comparing, right? So, you could say, "To describe and measure the effects of light restriction on the photosynthesis of basil leaves." 

If this change makes sense to you, this is the kind of edit that needs to be applied later in the report as well.


Plants use photosynthesis to survive. Photosynthesis is the process by which plants produce their food using energy from the sun. Chlorophyll is a green pigment which absorbs sunlight. It is found in the thylakoid membrane in the chloroplast’s organelle.

Light will be cut off from certain leaves for various lengths of time, and we will examine witch leaves are damaged more and which are damaged less. We will then use isopropyl rubbing alcohol and heat to remove the chlorophyll from the leaves. The pigment of the alcohol will then
allow us to approximately measure the amount of chlorophyll in each leaf.

Chlorophyll produces starch when there is light. In the second part of this experiment we will test to see roughly how much starch is in the leaf using iodine. If there is not a lot of starch, the iodine will make the leaf dark.

Our hypothesis was that the covered leaves would cause them to change color due to the lack of sunlight and chlorophyll production.

These sections could use some transition words and more causal ties. Some parts sound like unattached facts because they aren't tied together. For instance, it's not clear how chlorophyll is related to photosynthesis. The reader has to infer that it is. 

What about a hypothesis for the second part of the experiment? 

Will try to respond more, but I hate making long posts and then accidentally hitting the wrong button, so I'm posting this much now.

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Experimental Procedure:
From the healthy basil plant, 8 leaves were chosen that were similar in size and that received direct sunlight. Two of the leaves were control leaves. Another two leaves were covered with black paper for two days. Two other leaves where covered for three days. An additional two
more leaves where covered for four days.

Four pieces of paper were labeled at the top “control”, “day 2”, “day 3”, and “day 4”. The leaves were found and put on their respective labeled paper. Two cups of water were boiled in a pan and the control leaves where dropped in for two minutes. The leaves were taken out and put in a
cup of rubbing alcohol that was in the pan. The leaves sat there until most of the color was gone. The alcohol and chlorophyll were put in test tubes. The test tubes were labeled with the amount of days they were covered for so they would not get mixed up. This process what repeated with the other leaves also. The test tubes were put in order from most to least amount of pigment from
lightest to darkest.

The leaves were put back on their respective labeled papers. A few drops of iodine were put on
the leaves. The leaves were arranged from darkest to lightest color.

This gets less clear again. Were the leaves plucked from the plant at the beginning of the lab? Left on the plant but marked in some way? Some of this might be easier to communicate with a table showing which leaves where covered on which days, but a verbal description is fine too--whatever makes it clear. You can call them Leaf 1, Leaf 2, etc.

It's unclear how the pictures of the leaves and their descriptions relate to the events in this procedure. Your pictures should be labeled with something generic and referenced in the procedure so that the timing and relevance is clear to the reader. 

The rest is going to be tricky to cut and paste with the pictures and graphs, but the above comment applies to all of those.

Graphs show values up the left-hand side, but your values are not measured in units of any kind. You can rank things, but don't put values in the graphs. 

The Conclusion should refer more specifically to the results.

It has a number of spelling issues such as were/where and witch/which.


Does your lab book provide a rubric? You might be able to find some online or develop your own for things like grammar as well as what to include.

It takes time for students to learn how to know when they've described something in a way that a reader who wasn't there will understand it. 

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