1. Determine the structure of your lab report. Lab reports consist of five sections: an abstract, an introduction, an experimental section, results, and a discussion. 2. Write the introduction first. Its main goal is to introduce the experiment to the reader and explain its objectives and its significance. Formulate the hypothesis and the prediction of the experiment in a concise, clear manner and define terminology. You can also provide readers with the background needed for them to understand the experiment. 3. Write the results. Provide readers with data that was obtained during experiments and analyze it. 4. Proceed to the discussion section. Here you must interpret the results, state whether your findings were consistent with the hypothesis, discuss their significance, and acknowledge possible sources of errors. You can also introduce possible alternative explanations for your findings and point out any flaws in the study. 5. Write the experimental section. In it, you must list methods and materials that were used during the experiment.
It doesn’t necessarily need to be detailed; however, it must contain enough information to allow another person to replicate the experiment. Significant observations made during laboratory work should also be included in this section. 6. Write the abstract. Though it is the first part of a lab report, it is more convenient to write the abstract when you have all the important information systematized. The abstract is not detailed. It is a concise summary of the entire work, which serves to briefly introduce the results of the experiment and intrigue the reader. 7. List the citations you used. Usually, MLA or APA bibliography formats are used. Make a title page. Laboratory reports are written for experiments and conducted by students. Therefore, the topic of a lab report depends on the discipline and on the nature of the experiment that has been conducted. 1. The title of your lab report should be brief and concise but still remain an accurate reflection of its content. The title is the first aspect of your lab report readers see, so it must help readers understand whether your report is relevant to their scientific interests or not.
2. An easy way to check the quality of your lab report is to ask yourself whether someone could successfully replicate the experiment you’ve conducted using only the information from your report. 3. Lab reports should follow a standard format so that readers can easily find the information they need immediately without searching for it in the whole report. 4. Readers don’t necessarily read the lab report in order. They read the abstract first to see what the report is about. If they find it intriguing, or if it corresponds with their scientific interests, readers will apparently skip to the conclusions. And in the case of the conclusions being intriguing, or especially unexpected, readers will most likely read the rest of the report. 5. Lab reports must be written in a strict scientific style. This means, first of all, you should limit the use of personal pronouns, emotional words, and inexact terms. Also, it is necessary to be concise, since long sentences and excessive word quantities may confuse the reader.
Therefore, use one word instead of two where possible and try to break long sentences into smaller ones. Do keep in mind that writing a lab report is an individual assignment. Give credits when appropriate, but remember that despite whether or not you have a lab partner, the work you do and the report you write must be your own. Do write in complete sentences and avoid using contractions. Mind your grammar and punctuation. Using passive voice will make the text of the report look more impersonal and objective. Do avoid using meaningless phrases. Your language must be concise and to the point. Do enumerate all equations, except simple ones. Also, do number and title all tables, graphs, and figures. Do place each graph on a single sheet of paper. Do use tables to show correlations that are present in the data or in those cases when you need to place large amounts of data in the text. Do keep the abstract of your lab report short and avoid including references in it. Lab reports are written in 120 to 250 words. Additionally, assignment instructions often specify requirements for a word limit.