Writing lab reports: so easy to deal with!

Laboratory reports are persuasive papers that describe your experience in the scientific field. Any verbal presentation doesn’t stay forever. It can be remembered only for a certain period of time that is usually rather short.

On the other side, written reports can be beneficial both for the author and other parties for a very long time. They can stay as examples for the others, help in many further researches. That’s why it’s really important to write a lab report properly. Who knows how well will it be written and how beneficial it can be for the others!

If you don’t know how to write a lab report, the present guidelines will be of great help for you. They will lead you through all the stages of laboratory report writing. You can make the notes in order not to forget something special or important that may be useful in your particular case. Also, we will advise you why custom lab report is a good choice.

How to make a lab report: step-by-step instruction

When you need to do a lab report, there are a lot of issues not to forget about, such as:

  • understanding what lab report is;
  • proper format;
  • issues on title, abstract and introduction;
  • relevant materials and methods;
  • thorough description of outcomes and results;
  • academic references and citations;
  • general style for scientific papers.

Let’s go over all of those issues in details.

What are lab reports about?

The aim of laboratory reports and scientific papers is to:

  • persuade the others by accepting or rejecting the hypotheses with obtained data and presented interpretations;
  • detail all procedures and outcomes in order for them to be helpful for further researches;
  • become a significant piece of scientific knowledge until the other arguments appear that would possibly refute the previous research;
  • serve a record to archive for future generations in order to be able to compare it later with modern reports of those days.

Proper format

The common lab reports include:

  • title;
  • abstract;
  • introduction;
  • materials and methods;
  • results;
  • discussion;
  • references.

Though, you may need to clarify with your professor if something else is required. On the first stage of preparation for your writing, make sure that you understand all the requirements for your lab report: format, style, etc.

Title

It should:
  • be straightforward;
  • be less than 10 words long;
  • reflect the content of the paper.

Nice advice is also to use such keywords in the title that the search engines are able to recognize. Like that your report would be easier to find later and it will serve for the other researches.

Abstract

It should:

  • be a concise paragraph of about 100-200 words;
  • summarize the aim of the report, important data and principal conclusions for the readers.

Introduction

Introduction of your lab report should describe the following:

  1. main subject or why you perform your study;
  2. information about the similar studies or what is known about the subject from the other sources;
  3. specific purposes / objectives as well as outline the hypotheses for investigation.

Materials and methods

You need to:

  • list all material used with proper descriptions: how they are used, where and when the work took place (which is especially important for the field studies);
  • include both general theory and specific instruments that were used;

Also, make sure that the information that you present in this part of report is not overwhelming the readers. If you include someone else’s studies simply cite them in order for them to be easily found if needed.

How to write results in a lab report

What you need to do for this section is to:

  • think which details are important and concentrate on them, letting trivial information aside;
  • not to discuss implications of experiments’ results, simply summarize them;
  • present data in the form of tables, graphs and figures, but not to repeat the information (not to put the same data in table and graph, for example);
  • not to forget the put the titles for all figures, graphs and tables;
  • explain all the abbreviations, symbols that were included and special methods that were used;
  • number the tables, figures and graphs separately and mention the information about them inside the text as well.

Discussion

In this section it is important to do the following:

  • do not repeat what you wrote in the Results section, here you need to interpret the data;
  • make a report in such a way that the results correspond to the theory and / or existing knowledge;
  • explain why you accept or reject the hypotheses that you previously introduced;
  • speculate when you feel it’s needed, but mention in the text that it is your assumptions;
  • speak about your propositions what can be further developed or improved in your investigation;
  • clarify when you doubt about something and in which areas further research is needed.

Cited literature

  • It is important to cite the literature that you really used;
  • Put all the sources in alphabetical order;
  • Check with your professor which format is recommended for citations.

Recommendations for the style of the lab report

We came to the last section of tips on how to write an experiment report. These are general recommendations that you may apply if something else is not required:

  • Make your report as logical and precise as possible;
  • Pay attention to the sequences and pronouns;
  • Don’t speak from the first person (avoid using “I” and “we”);
  • It is generally recommended to use the past tense for such reports;
  • Pay attention to singular and plural of some words: for example, data (plural) and datum (singular);
  • Use italics for scientific names if it is required;
  • Always write in letters all the numbers less than 10 and also the ones which you put at the beginning of the sentences; write the numbers as numerals only if they are greater than 10 or if they are connected to the measurements (for example, 12 mm or 50 g);
  • Use abbreviations (such as cm or kg);

Also give your report to some knowledgeable person for a feedback or proofread it carefully by yourself before the submission and edit if needed.

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