How to Write a Lab Report
What is a Lab Report
Some students in college, especially those taking sciences, have lab sessions as part of their coursework. In fact, it contributes a marginal fraction to their grades in each module. It follows then that writing a remarkable lab report might help you to accomplish your academic objectives.
However, preparing this paper can be challenging if you are unsure of your understanding. In most cases, your instructor will have walked you through the general format and requirements. You must then use the outline provided to write your lab reports.
Before you start working on this task, it is essential to understand what it entails. A lab report is a summary of the main ideas of your experiment. Hence, you must expound on the test you carried out, the observations, and the inferences you made. In some cases, you might also be required to outline the implications of the experiment.
Elements of a Lab Report
Lab reports might certainly differ from one institution to the other. As such, it is always best to stick to the format that has been provided by your instructor. Alternatively, you can reach out to the department for a guidebook. Whatever the case may be, you must always ensure that you stick to the specific instructions and requirements.
However, most lab reports will contain the following sections.
The title should capture the main idea behind your experiment. Most instructors will recommend that you formulate titles as concisely as possible. Having more than ten words for the topic might be considered too lengthy.
In this section, you are required to outline the objectives of the experiment. It follows then that this is a small part that can easily fit into a single paragraph. It should contain the test's hypothesis, relevant background information, and a summary of how you conducted the test.
Just as important, you must highlight the results you made from the experiment. Furthermore, you should also include the inferences you established from the findings of the tests.
This section is relatively straightforward. It entails listing all the necessary components that you used in the test.
In this part, you break down the processes you applied for the experiment. You must then use clear and concise language that conveys the details of the procedures you used. It is intended to be explicit in such a way that your test can be easily duplicated.
Typically, you will have a table to fill in the figures and observations you make from the experiment. This section simply entails writing down these facts.
Results and Discussion
Depending on your instructor, this section might come as one or divided into two separate parts. It entails making sense of the data that you collected during the experiment. Hence, it requires you to apply your analytical skills.
Usually, this is a final paragraph that summarizes the entire experiment while establishing the hypothesis's status.
Like other forms of academic writing, your lab report must also include a reference list for all the sources used.