Procedure (Method)

The procedure has several parts to it:

A fully labelled diagram of the experimental equipment.

  • This should be so detailed that a person could carry out the experiment just from the diagram!
  • It needs to use recognized scientific symbols and diagram sections.... you may also add sketch diagrams to illustrate how readings are taken.
  • It must be fully labelled with specifications of the equipment (e.g. '250 ml beaker' rather than just 'beaker'). Measuring instuments must have their range as well as increments marked on them (e.g. rather than 'thermometer' you would put a mercury filled thermometer with a range of -10oC to 110oC in 0.5 oC increments)
  • Any readings to be taken should be clearly marked on the diagram with carefully drawn arrow diagrams if needed.
  • A full side of A4 should be given to this!

A full list of equipment - including minor parts

  • This should be done on a separate sheet of paper as a list to be given to a technician.
  • Full specifications of the equipment (e.g. '250 ml beaker' rather than just 'beaker') must be requested. Measuring instuments must have their range as well as increments marked on them (e.g. rather than 'thermometer' you would put a mercury filled thermometer with a range of -10oC to 110oC in 0.5 oC increments).
  • Odds and ends such as: 4 connecting wires, 2 croc clips, sellotape etc. must be itemised.

A risk assessment

  • List all of the possible hazards you have identified and how you intend to avoid them.

A set of instructions

  • These should be in past impersonal tense.... 'The apparatus was set up as shown in the diagram. The beaker was filled with 100 ml water..... etc.'. This is far better than a list of instructions with bullet points - but you may want to start off with such a list and then translate it into the correct form of English for scientific writing.
  • The order must be logical!
  • Don't forget to say that the experiment was repeated, how many times it was repeated etc.
  • Remember to say that results were recorded - in a table of whatever, averaged, and that a graph was plotted.