Struggling with your lab reports? They ruin your grades? Don’t worry, here's a complete guide to help you start and compose lab reports successfully. Impress your teachers and get better grades by these outline examples with tips and tricks.
Lab reports are a necessary part of the courses that require essential lab tests and experiments. They are usually scientific and objective in nature. The lab reports are scientific in their basis and are usually trying to show how a claim or information is proven.
It is a complete record of an experiment. The information provided in a lab report is specific enough that the reader gets a clear picture of the image the writer is trying to prove to them by replicating the experiment in the words.
A lab report has many parts from the title page, abstract, introduction, methodology, and conclusions.
So before you start to write a lab report, we should first understand what a lab report contains?
The lab report consist of the context of the study. It contains the pertinent background and information about the experiment. It should be written in passive past tense and lastly it should contain the methods applied; almost two to three paragraphs upon the experiment was conducted.
Now come to what a lab report does not contain?
The lab report does not give generalized findings about the study, it only provides an overview of the applied techniques to a specific experiment. It does not contain conclusions about the particular study either. A lab report has no room for irrelevant information.
Do you find writing a lab report a daunting tasks? Learn how to write a lab report with these steps.
The lab report is generally written or typed in a blue or black ink. Each section is clearly organized and titled such as introduction, procedures, and conclusions. It is neatly structured in a format where the content is organized carefully and finally, the lab report is written with correct spelling and grammar.
The report consists of a thread of claims and information linking the introduction to the content in the discussion. Organization is the founding stone of any lab report. Information organized in a meaningful manner reflects the purpose and the objectives of the report.
Here’s a format for you to compose your lab reports successfully.
It is not necessary that all lab reports have a title page. But if it is required, it will always be one page. The title page will include:
The tile explains what is being performed and on what is it being performed. The title clears the air about the experiment and its purpose. Title comprises of a minimum 10 words. It describes the central idea of the investigation.
You should always begin your title with articles like ‘The’ and ‘A’.
The abstract is present at the beginning of the report. Although the abstract is located at the beginning of the report, it is written at the end. The abstract delivers a succinct and a complete summary of the report.
The abstract should be 150 words in all. They should introduce the experiment, elaborate upon the main aim of the study, methodology, statistics, discussion and how was the experiment useful for the study. All of these shall be discussed briefly in the abstract.
The introduction is the first paragraph of the lab report. It contains the definition, theory and above all, it contains the purpose of the experiment. This where your hypothesis is stated.
The introduction reflects upon the hypothesis and where it is coming from. The introduction starts with a basic theory. It could carry a natural progression of the claims and arguments that will follow in the coming paragraphs.
Introduction does not mean spilling the details of the study. It also avoids including irrelevant details. Critical analysis of the experiment are not part and parcel to your introduction here.
The introduction should very define the goals of the experiment. They should be supported through the literature review by the researcher. It is pertinent to identify the difference between the goals and the hypothesis.
The next step is to identify and enlist each and everything such as surveys, computer equipment, word list and other materials you need to complete this experiment. The materials should be illustrated with the level of detail and need.
The lab report shall provide steps to complete during the investigation. This is how the experiment is going to be held. Details are central to this step. You are to assume that the reader has no knowledge of how to conduct the experiment.
The words of the researcher should replicate the study of the researcher for the readers. You should write it in a past tense. You should not tell why you chose this method. You just need to write what was done.
The following sub headings are always present with the method section of lab report.
The design defines the experimental design, the independent variable and different levels that the experiment went through. It also defines the operationalization of the dependent variable.
The participants of research or the groups/population on which the study is conducted shall be well defined in the methods section. It is essential to tell the reader about the sample of your studies.
The procedures show the process and the steps you followed while undertaking your experiment. You should describe it in detail for the reader.
Then comes the result section which is usually comprised of the descriptive statistics followed by their inferential statistics. Data is usually in numerical form. It is presented to the audience in a tabular form.
Data in numerical form is the fact and not the interpretation of them. The results are presented accurately and concisely. Do not include any raw data. Make sure you put the figures correctly within the table.
The findings of the numerical values and figures that are interpreted in the discussion section to determine their analysis, are then associated with the hypothesis of your study. The results are then compared to the hypothesis.
The discussion is also inclusive of suggestive ways to improve the study, it leads to impressive findings and conclusions.
The conclusion is the synthesis of the thesis, the key points and the implications and interpretations for the subject. The conclusion is the last paragraph of the report which suggests if the hypothesis was accepted or rejected.
The figures and graphs are related to the content and labeled with a descriptive title. The axes are carefully drafted and measured. The X-axis shows the independent variable while the Y-axis shows the dependent variable.
You need to be very carefully in showing the figures and graphs in the text of your report.
If there has been a number of sources reviewed and taken information from, the works of other writers need to be cited within the text. It requires accurate, documentation and then a list of references at the end of your thesis.
The most popular format for references amongst thesis is the APA Style. Have a look at these APA formats to help you with your references.
Author, A. A. (year). Title of work. Location: Publisher
Author, A. A., Author, B. B., & Author, C. C. (year). Article title. Journal Title, volume number(issue number), page numbers
Here is a lab report example to help you with your lab report.
You should be very clear and concise when it comes to the content of the report.
Support statements with data from your experiment. Do not state anything that is purely opinion or make any statement without evidence
Past tense should be used while writing a lab report. The experimental procedure has already been conducted
Remember to write your report in third person. You should avoid using words like “I” or “we” when you are referring to the experimental process within a study.
E.g. you would not write, “Kenny ate the rice.” Instead, you would say, “The rice was eaten by Kenny”
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