How to Write a Lab Report; comprehensive Guide
Definition of a lab report
A lob report is basically a written for the purpose of description and also analyzing any laboratory experiment which explains the scientific concept of any experiment. These kind of reports are generally made to enable to person with the following tasks:
- Conducting a scientific research
- Formulating a hypotheses regarding a specific stimulus, event and behavior
- Reviewing some relevant literature for justifying the selected point
- Providing accurate and required references so that another person can replicate or get sources from the study
- Applying accurate statistical tests for the hypothesis
- Exploring theoretical explanation
- Evaluating research objectives along with methodology
- Communicating concisely as well as precisely
However, with the lab reports it can be seen that there needs to be more than one explanation which will be helpful for the findings. Hence, it is necessary that the person should involve as many explanations as possible for the sake of relevant interpretation.
There may be some of the situation where the finding may not be supported by the hypothesis, still those findings are equally valuable as they explains the contextual constraints of the study. There may be some of the circumstances which may not be under control and those gets defined into limitations.
Why need a lab report?
The main job of a lab report is to provide a scientific introduction and do the experiment that has been reported. When scientists do their research work then their main objective is always to establish a proper introduction which is summarizing their previous research reports. The min job of lab report is not only to provide proper knowledge but also to provide overall purpose of establishing the lab report.
It is important to follow a better step wise manner for the research lab report in order to help the reader understand how their experiment has performed and with what elements it is made up of. This result will begin with the succinct statement and here it will provide the summary of the overall findings. The result will also involve some sort of graphs, tables, and drawings. Some verbal representations are also done for the sake of better explanation.
However, the verbal description only contains the findings in a series manner for the purpose of summarizing only the important points. There will be a discussion section in which it is stated that the result is supported by their expected finding or not.
Lab report format with example
It is important that the proper format of lab report is followed every time for providing all the collected information in a proper manner. The lab report structure should be in a following manner:
- Results and analysis
Here is an example of a lab report format where the report will be related to ‘the period of a simple pendulum’ in the following:
Title: here the title needs to be proper which will provide the reader with an information of what this lab report is about. Here the report is about The Period of a Simple Pendulum.
Abstract: here this will provide the brief description of the experiment including the finding and conclusion of this topic. This should be brief and not detailed information.
Introduction: here contexts and the ultimate motivation for doing this experiment will be stated. Related theories, related laws.
Method: in this section the detail of what actually has been done to the experiment will be described.
Results and analysis: detail of the finding
Conclusion: summary of what is learnt
References: sources used
Appendices: supported tables, graphs and pictures
Some lab report writing tips
There are some specific rules and tips for a better lab report writing and they are provided in the following points:
- In the lab report, the writing should not be in first person. Writing in a first person is also not considered as academic writing.
- Acronym must be used frequently in a science lab report for the purpose of describing the chemical names. Correct acronym must be used as they are very helpful to understand and also the content looks much cleaner.
- Using required and relevant literature review would be better for the paper as it is much helpful for them to understand form where the idea and the sources have been taken. For further research and study those literature reviews will be much useful.
- The result and discussion section of the paper will be enough for the reader to understand about the details of the experiment solely. Hence, it is important that clear language and proper logic is used while writing the result and discussion of the lab report.
- Methods section must also be very clear and understandable.
- Duplicate data and figures must not be used in the lab report anywhere in the content.
Checklist for lab report writing
Here is a proper checklist for the ones who are preparing a lab report and it is provided in the following:
Step 1: writing the introduction
- Discussing scientific concepts which are applied
- Including background information of previous research
- Stating the lab’s purpose, objective, and hypothesis
Step 2: writing materials and methods
- Describing the material and equipment used
- Summarizing every procedure performed
Step 3: developing tables and graphs and writing about result
- Creating tables and graphs
- Incorporating them in the report with the help of quantitative and qualitative data
Step 4: researching broader literature and comparing result
- Finding and reading current article which is related to the lab report
Step 5: writing discussion
- Interpreting the result and linking them with the literature
Step 6: writing conclusion
- Identifying logical problems along with the methodology or result
- Discussing the highlighted points
- Commenting over the potential research for future
Step 7: writing abstract and the reference section
- Writing abstract
- Formatting the citation and reference as per the style guidance
Step 8: final form, revising and editing
- Revising and doing editing where it is required
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