Recording your results in a table
tables should always be used to present the results of your experiments.
be a column for
set of readings taken (never omit these!)
set of calculated values from the experimental data (these may be
derived for you to calculate values or plot a graph)
at the top of a column of numbers (this is preferable to on the
left of a series of results).
- give the
physical quantity measured in words (eg. current, potential difference,
length, time) . Abbeviations (I,
V, l, t) can be used only if it is clear what they stand for in
the text - it is best to include both! Do not use 'amount of' or
'quantity of'' - use 'volume' or 'mass'
- include the
unit the physical property is measured in. This should preferably
be the S.I. unit (as this is the one that will be required in calculations).e.g.
- have an indication
of the error involved in taking the reading (if applicable). This
can be given as a + value or percentage and indicates the
uncertainty you have in taking the measurement - the reading is
usually taken to about the nearest of a half a sale marking.
border lines drawn around them.
only numerals (your units are at the top already.... it would be
a mistake to put them in again!)
numbers to the correct number of significant figures. This should
indicate the accuracy to which you can read the instruments you
have used. (e.g. 0.20 m indicates a reading taken to the nearest
cm whereas 0.2 cm indicates you can only read to the nearest 10
cm and 0.200 m to the nearest mm). Therefore a column representing
a set of readings taken with the same instrument should all have
the same number of significant figures.
border lines drawn around them
results can lead to errors. You should be very careful to check your
final draft carefully
errors that lose you marks:
the wrong font: remember the symbol allows you to put in greek letters
such as , , and .
numbers in to the wrong number of significant figures (especially
if worked out on a spreadsheet without thought to formatting the
numbers in the column.
out the columns with readings taken - only including columns needed
to calculate the conclusion value or plot a graph is a major error
- you must include the columns of results you took during the experiment!
calculated derived values because you have put in the wrong formula
- always check at least two values in a 'fill down' column with
drawing a border - making it a list of numbers not a table of results.
L O Jones