If you’re in a STEM field, you will be asked to prepare a lab report at some point or another. This can seem like a huge deal at first but handled properly, a lab report is easy to tackle.
The main purpose of a lab report is to solidify your understanding of the experiment conducted, as well as the scientific method in general. Therefore, as long as you pay attention and work diligently, it’s nothing to be scared of.
If your course requires you to write any sort of lab report, chances are there’ll be more to come in your future. Thus, it’s imperative to get the basics of writing a good lab report down as soon as possible.
Luckily, you’re in the right place to do just that! Our guide will go over everything your report should contain and help make the writing process a whole lot easier.
With science progressing and diversifying so much, not only will lab work vary wildly between fields, but even between courses. This means your assignment may have to account for different things, depending on your course’s and professor’s requirements.
However, a lab report does follow an established structure, and any deviations from this are small and often of negligible importance.
We’ll go over all the sections that are a must-have on your report and what you’re expected to write in them.
The title page is pretty self-explanatory – it contains the title and, therefore, the topic and focus of your experimental work. This will be any reader’s first impression of your work. It’s a lab report, so there’s no need for it to be flashy, but a title page should be good.
What does this entail?
Well, for starters, make sure to follow your course’s instructions and format this part correctly.
Usually, you’ll want to include a title, the author’s name – in this case, your name – and the name of the institution affiliations – this means Univesity name, course, and instructor.
Keep in mind, all the while, font, margins, spacing, and other aesthetic details that need to go into creating a quality title page. This section can include additional notes, but unless your course or instructor specifically requires it, it’s nothing to worry about.
They say if you can’t explain something simply, you don’t understand it well enough. Well, an abstract is a good place to test your understanding of the experiment you’ve conducted.
This section is a summary of your work, from your research goals to results and conclusions. Essentially, the entire report is condensed into 150-300 words.
It’s helpful to skip over the abstract and save it for last. This way, you’ll know exactly what the rest of your text will contain, you’ll have more time to go over and understand the topic, and you can better summarize the whole process.
You probably don’t need to be told what an introduction is – it’s one of the main building blocks of any writing assignment.
The introductory section should establish the research topic, contextualize it for the reader, and clearly present the question posed and, hopefully, answered by your research.
This is the place where you’ll get to discuss the materials and procedures used during experimentation. The Method section is a recap of the bulk of your lab work. Write in past tense and walk the reader throughout the experiment.
Start by listing off and detailing the materials and equipment you’ve used. Then, chronologically go over all your experimental procedures, and the data yielded. To make writing the method section easier on yourself, make sure to take neat and detailed notes while you’re conducting your lab work.
All that experimenting wasn’t for nothing – it’s time to get to our results. This is where you’ll present all the data you’ve collected to readers, as well as analyze it. Not only should you include the results, but also what they signify.
If your experimental work has gone wrong, you may want to include what the expected results were and how and why you reached faulty ones. After all, a lab report, especially at an undergraduate level, is mostly to show your understanding of the experimental process.
The conclusion is also a staple of any writing. The introduction posed a question and your conclusion should, after doing the research work, achieving, and analyzing your results, answer it.
This is a detailed experiment summary of the hypothesis, expected results, gathered data, and actual data analysis. You should overview the implications of the results and point out any limitations of your experiment.
Writing a lab report isn’t all that different from writing any other assignment. You do your research, structure a text, proofread, and you’re all done! Your research is already been done in the laboratory, and now that you know how to properly structure pretty much any report, there’s nothing left to get in the way.
Work thoroughly, carefully, and pay attention, and writing the report should come naturally! And if all else fails, you can always seek help and get a custom essay online.