Writing a lab report requires from the student to always recall the objective of the paper. Lab reports are about clarifying the conducted research and its discoveries to the reader as the report is useless unless you can’t communicate its results to others. Also, it is crucial to prove the obtained knowledge of the subject in question as lab reports are a serious part of any laboratory courses.

To successfully write the paper use the outlines your lecturer gives you. Some lecturers instruct to add the lab report in a lab notebook while others can ask a separate report.

The lab report should be focused on defining what you did and learned while carrying out your study, and how to interpret the obtained results. Let’s review the format of a lab report you can use. First of all, a report should have a title. If your paper has a style of a scientific article, it should have an abstract.

Report Title Page

If your lecturer asks for a title page in your report it should contain the following:

  • The title of the experiment that was carried out.
  • The student’s name and his lab partners (if they were).
  • The lecturer’s name.
  • The date the experiment was carried out or the submission date of the work.

Report Title

The report title states what was done during the experiment. It should be brief and plain (less than 10 words) and should indicate the exact content of your work. Here the report title does not aim to catch the reader’s fancy. It should be unambiguous and contain the keywords from your experiment’s field.

Abstract

The abstract section should reveal to the reader the idea of the experiment and let him decide whether it is essential for him to read the whole work. A good abstract is a pithy (about 200 words but not less than 100) outline of the work purpose, the presented data, and the outcomes that were made after carrying out the experiment and accordingly analyzing the received data.

This section should encompass a proclamation of the investigated problem, the reasons why the study was carried out, history and theoretical background, what results were expected and a brief statement regarding the general method of approach to the studied problem.

Introduction

Generally, the introduction part defines the subject of the report and simplifies the objectives of the performed study and give the reader sufficient insight of your work. To write a satisfactory introduction your study has to contain the answers the following questions:

  • What was the reason to carry out this research?
  • What knowledge already exists considering the investigated subject?
  • What is the exact objective of the research?

Materials and Methods

The part of the report regarding the materials should list everything that is needed to conclude the experiment. And the part regarding methods used during the experiment is supposed to contain the summary of the steps completed during the research.

Be attentive and detailed writing this section because anyone could read this section and replicate your experiment. Therefore, it is best to write it in the form of directions so anyone else could do this lab. Your aim here is to give enough details of the research.

However, it is still crucial to specify what equipment was used. It can be done by writing a short paragraph accompanied by a drawing of the equipment.

Data

This section is supposed to present all the numerical data obtained from your experiment in the form of a table. This data shows the recorded information of the performed experiment. But you should avoid any clarification of what they mean presenting only the facts.

Results

The purpose of this section is just to sum up the data obtained from your experiments. Although you shouldn’t discuss their meaning here. It is just about the outlining all the significant qualitative and quantitative observations. It is essential to tabulate and interpret any data shown in this section. But at the same time, you shouldn’t duplicate in figures or graphs the data that was pointed out in tables.

All tables and figures should have definitive titles and be numbered in your paper separately. Also, it is crucial to add a legend that would outline the abbreviations used in the paper. And when you refer to any table or figure you should specify them by their number.

Discussion or Analysis

This section is about emphasizing the analysis of the data, disclosing them to existing knowledge. Here you may cover the suggestions for the enhancement of techniques by explaining the logic according to which you could reject or accept the original hypotheses. It would also be good to suggest the future studies that might resolve the doubt in the obtained results.

Conclusions

This section summarizes the events that occurred during the experiment by outlining whether your premise was rejected or accepted, and what in your opinion this results could mean. This part of the report directly discusses and explains the data.

References

The last section of this kind of paper should list the references to someone else’s works if your research was based on these works and if you cited the facts that require documentation. Therefore, any time you refer to a previously published idea you must specify a citation.

 

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