Uploaded by christt

Worksheet 1 How to write a method

Worksheet 1 – How to write a Scientific Method
The ‘Method’ section of a scientific report tells a story that describes what was done in an experiment in the
order in which you did it.
ORDER: Imagine cooking the eggs BEFORE you put it into your pancake batter –
your pancakes would end up being lumpy. The ORDER is quite important if
someone else is going to follow your instructions and achieve the same results.
WHAT WAS DONE: It is also not enough to say that you need to add flour, salt, sugar, milk, egg and
butter to the pancake batter before cooking it, you also need to explain WHAT you need to do with
these to make a successful batter.
PAST TENSE: In a scientific report though, you are not giving instructions on how to do the experiment
(like a recipe), rather you are describing what you actually did – this is why we use PAST TENSE.
THIRD PERSON: We also use passive voice in THIRD PERSON, to focus on the actual science of the
experiment (be objective) rather than focus on the people who conducted the experiment. It also gives
the impression that anyone should be able to repeat the experiment and get similar results without the
original scientists being present. This means that you will not use ‘we’ or ‘I’ instead, you will use ‘a’ or
‘an’ or ‘it’ or ‘the’.
Active Voice
Passive Voice
They bought a car.
A car was bought.
We were singing songs.
Songs were being sung.
I was pouring tea into a cup
Tea was being poured into a cup.
For example,
If the instructions were as follows: Take a test tube and fill it with 5mL of distilled water;
writing this in third person and past tense would be as follows: A test tube was filled with 5mL of distilled water.
Exercise 1
Convert the following sentences into third person passive voice in past tense:
1) We heated the solution to 100°C.
2) I put 3 drops of universal indicator into the beaker of acid.
3) John weighed 4g of salt on the electronic scales and dissolved this in 200mL of distilled water.
Exercise 2
Write the following paragraph in third person and in past tense:
Take a test tube and fill half of it with 0.2M hydrochloric acid. Then put a magnesium ribbon into the acid. Take
an empty test tube (using a test tube holder) and hold it upside down over the mouth of the first test tube. Ask
your lab partner to light a taper. Remove the second test tube and tilt it upwards slightly and get your partner to
put the burning taper near the mouth of the test tube. You should hear a ‘pop’ or ‘squeak’ as a sign that hydrogen
gas is produced.
Step 1:
Exercise 3
Look at the diagram below and try to work out the order that the equipment would have been set up and then
write the scientific method. (Assume 8mL of ethanol and 150mL of water were used)
Order of equipment set up:
Scientific Method:
Step 1: