Analysis of results

When writing a full practical report this section is one of the most important. Other scientists can see how good your results were and how you think they could be improved.

To analyse your results you usually need to display your results in the form of a graph and discus what you think the pattern they form means.

Click here for more information on how to plot graphs and how to choose what type of graph you need to use.

Using Scatter Graphs to get an idea of the range of readings

Rather that just plotting the average results you can plot a scatter graph.

Put each set of results (and the average set) on the same graph in a different colour. Put a key onto the graph too.

The advantage of a scatter graph is that it allows you to analyse the precision of the results you have obtained. You can see at a glance how widely spaced the points are - how big a range of readings your have obtained. This allows you to comment on your procedure and discuss why you got such (im)precise readings.

You can comment on how clearly the points indicate a straight line or curve... and where, if anywhere, there are anomolies or more readings would be useful.

Any calculations you need to do should be done in this section.

The general trend of your results could be a straight line. Therefore you need to comment on the two physical properties you have plotted being proportional to each other. If the line goes through the origin they are directly proportional.

Use 'mathematical speak' if you can - compare your line to Y=mx + c, use words like gradient and intercept, positive/negative correlation etc.

... and finally relate you results to the theoretical knowledge you referred to in the introduction. Say something like: 'the straight line was as presicted from theory, as **** gets stronger the ***** increases because the particles.... or whatever!'