Sample Procedures


Dear sixth, seventh and eighth graders:


            The purpose of this page is to provide you with an example of a poorly written procedure and show you how to improve it.  The following is an example of poorly written procedure:

1.   Get all the stuff you need.

2.   Add soil to each plant.

3.   Add water to all the plants.

4.   Measure the height of the plants.


            These procedures would CLEARER and EASIER TO FOLLOW if you write them in the following manner:

1.   Gather all the necessary materials for your experiment.

2.   Label four different pots A, B, C and D.

3.   Using a triple beam balance, measure 250 grams (g) of potting soil and add it to

       pot A.  Add the same amount of soil to pots B, C, and D.

4.   Plant a seedů

5.   Using a graduated cylinder, measure 50 milliliters (mL) of water and add it to

       pot A.  Add the same amount of water to plants B, C, and D.

6.   Repeat step #5 every other day for a month or the duration of the experiment.

7.   Place each plant on a windowsill where they receive plenty of sunlight every day.

8.   Record the height of each plant everyday and record it on your data table.

9.   Repeat steps 2-8 for two more trials.

10. Average the final heights of the plants.

11. Graph and analyze your results.


            The second set of procedures is not complete yet, but it is definitely easier to follow than the previous one.  Notice how the tool needed for the measurement and the unit is also provided in the procedure.  Please use the second set of procedures as a model for writing yours.  I hope they are helpful.




Science Teacher