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December 16, 2019, 01:30:55 pm

Author Topic: Physics/ Chemistry depth study  (Read 468 times)

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Physics/ Chemistry depth study
« on: July 17, 2019, 08:38:39 pm »

I have to complete a physics depth study report, model and experiment on mechanical resonance and for chemistry about reactive chemistry. I already have my ideas set out but what I'm struggling with is how to structure and compose everything in a report style. So I guess my question is whether anyone has any helpful resources on structuring and writing out a depth study? My teachers don't have any resources that can guide me in writing the report. It would be really helpful if anyone has any advice and tips on the depth study for physics and chemistry.

Thank You in advance.  :)


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Re: Physics/ Chemistry depth study
« Reply #1 on: July 17, 2019, 11:04:57 pm »
Yo, perhaps I'll try and help a bit!

I assume you are in year 11 since you're doing reactive chemistry. I approached every depth study as if it was a professional scientific investigation. That means I followed the general guideline followed by most research reports. Below is what I would include in my depth study:

This is very obvious, you are just summarising what you hope to investigate/ achieve in my depth study.
For example, it might go along like this: To determine the value of acceleration due to gravity using pendulum motion. It should be simple and concise.

Background Information
The point of this section is to prep the reader with the knowledge necessary to understand your report as well as convince them the worth of the depth study. For example, I imagine you would have already finished the first module already, so let's say you are doing a depth study on how much time it takes for solutions to separate using distillation ie. measuring the time taken for distillation to completely separate a solution. You would want to, before going into your results, explain what distillation actually is, the apparatus normally used for distillation and why it can successfully separate solutions. See what I mean? You are prepping the reader with information they need to know so that they can understand the results your investigation produced. Now, you might want to do this investigation as it is important to determine the times in which solutions separate so that chemists can be aware of it. That is one outcome of your experiment, and you should state it in your background info to convince the reader that this depth study is worth it and impactful to society. This step is kind of optional, but putting this in will give your teacher the larger context and see you recognising the value of investigations as a scientist. You should first refer to your textbook and use it as the primary source for this type of information, and then do online research to see how others explain it.
As well as that, you should also include previous more professional investigations done on the topic you are investigating for your depth study. Go on google scholar and type up the research topic you are tackling, noting down and summarising what they achieved in their experiments. This will ultimately back you up, and you can sort of match up your results to theirs in the discussion to see how you went. This is optional, but worth it.

This is where you predict what the results of the experiment will be. For example, using the example aim I have stated, my hypothesis might go something like this:
The value for acceleration due to gravity will be 9.8m/s with an error of 5% when using pendulum motion.
Yours might be simpler, but the basis of the hypothesis is that you are predicting what will happen. That said, your hypothesis might be completely opposite to what you would have found out from your results. That is fine, and in fact kind of good since you can talk about why you went wrong.

This is where you just describe your method, or what steps you will take in order to achieve the aim of your depth study. Numbering each step each fine but most professional reports describe their method in paragraph form. While writing this, make sure to use past tense and no personal pronouns. Try and include a diagram of your setup as well if you are doing a practical experiment as well. At the end of the section, make sure to state the following (preferably in table form):
(1) Independent Variable: What you are changing.
(2) Dependent Variable: What you are measuring.
(3) Control Variable: What you keep the same.
It's a bit hard to wrap your head around this idea, but basically you need to change something in an experiment (independent variable). This change will result in something else to change, and it is this change that you are trying to measure (dependent variable). In order to do this, you must keep some stuff the same as well (control variables).
For example, let's say that you want to experiment on the height of a ball when it bounces on different surfaces. The independent variable (what you are changing) is the surface and the dependent variable(what you are measuring) is the height of the ball. Now, you will make sure control variables (what you keep the same) such as the mass of the ball, the type of ball (tennis, cricket etc.) will be kept the same, because changing this will ultimately alter your results.

Risk Assessment
This is where you go over the risks of the experiment and how you will properly minimise them. Just use a table format for this section. For example, on one column might be 'risk', the next column being 'description of risk' and the final column being 'How to manage risk'.

This is basically the section where you flex on the data you have obtained :). If you have raw tabled data, you might want to translate it into a graph, although this will depend on what investigation you do. If you have some calculations to do, put it in this section! This is where you just lay out what you have measured. Just explain what the data is and move on. Don't try and explain what it is (you will do that in the discussion section).

This is where you account and explain your results. This is also the place where you ultimately explain why your results happened this way, using some of the background information to properly explain it. For example, the accepted value of gravity is 9.8, but I got a value waaaay lower than that. The reason for that is because of external variables and errors such as faulty equipment, human error and so on. It is also in this section that you address the validity, accuracy and reliability of your experiment. I suggest having paragraphs dedicated to each one, which I explain below:
(1) Validity- You explain whether you have properly achieved the aim of the experiment. So using my gravity example, I have in a sense achieved the aim of the experiment, which was to find the value of gravity using pendulum motion. However, the result I got wasn't exactly the accepted value of gravity due to human error so I technically haven't achieved my aim. Therefore, my validity is decent since I have followed my methodology, kept control variables the same and so on, but has decreased due to errors committed in the experiment. If that does not make sense, let me know so I can explain further.
(2) Accuracy- How accurate your results are. Pretty self explanatory, you are just explaining how accurate your results are, and why they are/ aren't. Using my physics example once more, my result is not too accurate as I have used inaccurate equipment. In this paragraph, you might want to do an error percentage if your investigation has an accepted value, which is basically %error= [(accepted-measured)/ accepted] *100 (although it might benefit if you do this in your results section). In this section, you should also go through and list all the errors associated with your experiment/ what could have affected your results.
(3) Reliability- How reliable your experiments are. This means that future people can see your results and replicate them exactly in the future. Not always the case, but yeah. In this paragraph, you want to describe if your results are reliable. It is mostly judged on how close your results are together once they have been repeated three or more times. If it is super close- great, your results are reliable! If not, then maybe you had an unexpected error occur or something like that. This is where you pawn over where whether your results are the real thing or not.
These three ideas are key in science, and sort of relate to each other in a way. The important thing is that you must explicitly mention these three terms and explore them in your report in order to earn high marks.

This is where you restate the aim of your experiment, summarise the results you have obtained through your experiment and refer back to whether your hypothesis was correct or not. You could also describe future research projects associated with your depth study/ what ideas would you explore in the future with this depth study. It is basically further areas for research. This part is optional.

And there you go! Hopefully a comprehensive guide on what to write for a depth study report! Use this structure as a guideline, and base your whole report on the marking guideline your teacher has given you. The majority of the report should align with the marking guideline, because by making sure to cover each part of the marking guideline you are ensuring yourself marks. I have attached an exemplar report of a physics depth study I have conducted in early year 12, so hopefully that should be useful to you. It covers everything, which is the thing you should be looking for. Also, I would highly advise that you base your depth study on previous HSC investigations. This pendulum investigation I based on part experiments where I was able to find adequate resources, so I highly encourage you to just look online at HSC practical reports and base your depth study on an investigation that interests you.

As always, if you have any questions, let me know down below!

HSC 2019: English Advanced || Mathematics || Mathematics Extension 1 || Physics || Chemistry || Science Extension || Ancient History ||

The Yr12 journey- a diary I "hope" to update... || Halfway through Year 12... lessons I've learned so far. || Check out my youtube channel!


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Re: Physics/ Chemistry depth study
« Reply #2 on: July 18, 2019, 12:29:09 pm »
Thank You so much r1ckworthy

I haven't been given practically any useful information about anything from my teachers so your post has really helped structure my report. For my depth study report I also need to submit a bibliography of references to which I need to discuss the reliability and validity of each source. How would I be able to approach this?


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Re: Physics/ Chemistry depth study
« Reply #3 on: July 18, 2019, 07:21:05 pm »
For my depth study report I also need to submit a bibliography of references to which I need to discuss the reliability and validity of each source. How would I be able to approach this?

Have not done the subject, but we needed to do something similar for a humanities report, so I may be able to offer some guidance. We were asked to write fifty words about each source in our bibliography discussing the reliability and validity of them. Mainly in hums, we talked about bias and how old the source was.

In science, you could probably discuss bias (who funded the study) and also look at the conditions they did their research or experients in. If they are information-based pages, look for the qualifications of who wrote them and how long ago they were written. Also, consider the bias of the author.
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Re: Physics/ Chemistry depth study
« Reply #4 on: July 18, 2019, 09:43:57 pm »
Hey! Glad you have found this useful!

Laura_ is spot on about the basics of an annotated bibliography, which is basically every single source you have used for your depth study+ your comment. However, it is a bit more specific than a regular report since you have to talk about validity and reliability. Here is what they mean:

Validity: Basically the same as I have written, it's just on whether you have successfully achieved your aim or not. So for example, let's say for my physics investigation with the gravity thing that I use a source that explains the physics behind pendulum motion and not relating it to gravity. Now the source would not be called invalid, since it does kind of help me to achieve my aim, but isn't exactly a source that gave me everything I needed to know for my depth study. I would therefore label it as moderately valid. See what I mean? You just have to ask yourself if the source follows what your aim states. Let me know if you need more help on this.

Reliability: This is just asking you whether the source can actually be trusted or not. You should ask the following questions when considering the reliability of a source (from my teacher, not me!):
• the author of the article’s credentials (i.e. the author is qualified in this area). For example, was the author a teacher, a scientist in that field etc?
• whether the purpose of the article is not resulting in bias
• whether the site or publication is reputable, i.e. .gov.edu, biology textbook
• whether the data was gathered using an appropriate method and measuring devices
• whether it is current (check date).

To sum it up, your information is reliable if it is current, written by an expert in the area you are investigating, without bias and is in a reputable publication.
Hopefully this makes a lot more sense now!

Also, you should also consider the way you reference your sources as well. Check with your teacher if they expect a properly formatted bibliography using a certain academic style EG. Harvard style. There could be some marks for this as well. Let me know if so, and I'll explain it.
HSC 2019: English Advanced || Mathematics || Mathematics Extension 1 || Physics || Chemistry || Science Extension || Ancient History ||

The Yr12 journey- a diary I "hope" to update... || Halfway through Year 12... lessons I've learned so far. || Check out my youtube channel!