ASME.org has a sample report you may use to format your report. The link also shows you how to format your figures. Some may be located in text; others may be located in an appendix section at the end of your report.
1. Abstract (10)
2. Nomenclature (5)
3. Introduction (10)
4. Experiment Methodology (10)
5. Data Analysis (10)
6. Discussion of Results (25)
7. Conclusion (10)
8. References (5)
Formatting of the report will also carry weight to your final grade. Remember: Lab Report grades are subjective and don’t always follow a concrete rubric. Do make sure to pay attention to your content as well as your grammar, punctuation, tense, and point of view.
Next page shows a Sample Cover Page to be attached in the front of the report being submitted.
Title of Experiment
Assigned Laboratory Assistant
Abstract: What your abstract should contain:
– Purpose of the lab experiment
– What you did
– What you found
– What your findings mean and why the reader should care
– General engineering significance (general application of the theory applied in the experiment.)
What it shouldn’t contain:
– Numerical values
– any reference
The Abstract should be treated as a stand-alone document, which gives general statements on the experiments purpose, procedure, outcome, and why the reader should care.
100 word max
Nomenclature: What nomenclature section should contain
– List of key terms used throughout the experiment that may not be recognizable by someone reading your report
– Acronyms of future-used terms
– Organize in list form, not narrative
Introduction: What your introduction section should contain:
Background information, end of the intro should flow to procedure.
The introduction should contain all background information necessary to complete the experiment. Examples:
– If you used a caliper during the experiment, discuss the tolerance of the caliper, and possibly reference a figure showing how the caliper was read.
– If you did analysis on a population of data, discuss the purpose of the analytical methods used and any information necessary to perform the analysis.
– If you performed circuit analysis discuss KVL, KCL, Ohm’s Law, and any other pertinent theory or laws.
– All software and hardware used in the experiment needs to be discussed with emphasis on the most troublesome areas of the experiment.
– If you feel the need to explain what a word means when writing other sections of the report, then you should include that information in the intro instead.
Introduction is max 1 page (If you are having trouble fitting all the pertinent information onto one page, put the information that would be the most helpful to someone trying to complete the lab
Experiment Methodology: What your experiment methodology section should contain:
The Experiment Methodology should be a step-by-step account of what you did to complete the entire lab experiment. The Experiment Methodology has no limit on length and needs to be detailed enough to allow the reader to complete the experiment AND get the same results that you did. At the same time, it shouldn’t be so detailed that the reader doesn’t want to read it. For the reports in this class your procedure should only need to be around 1½ pages. Do NOT rewrite the instructions in the lab manual. Write (in paragraph form) what you did in your own words. Make sure to include any issues you came across during the experiment with procedural steps on how you overcame these issues. Remember the entire report should be written in THIRD PERSON PASSIVE. Write the Procedure as what was done, not what someone else should do. You should reference Figures (pictures you took of the experiment setup) and Equations that are pertinent to the procedure of the experiment. For example, if you are giving the procedural steps on constructing a circuit, reference a Figure showing the circuit diagram or picture of the physical circuit. If you reference something in the procedure in needs to be pertinent, not fluff to expand the procedure. Do NOT reference Tables in the Procedure.
Data Analysis: What your data analysis section should contain:
– Data Analysis must show the steps you took to arrive to your final results.
– Make sure you cover the analysis done to get to the end result.
– There is a difference between experiment methodology, and data analysis.
Discussion of Results: What your discussion of results section must include:
The Discussion of Results section of the report carries the highest weight out of all the sections. In this section you need to include:
– Representative Numerical Values from the theoretical and experimental data sets
– Need to reference every Table from the Appendix
– Error analysis with discussion on the cause of these errors
– Discussion of how the results (data points and analytical results) coincide with the expected experiment outcome
– Discussion of the assertions made from your data and analysis
– Only reference on first acknowledgement
Conclusion: What your conclusion section must include:
The conclusion is the summary of the entire report and should include general statements on the following:
– The purpose of the lab experiment
– Your data and analysis including error
– The outcome of the experiment
– A specific engineering significance (specific application of the skills and techniques learned in the experiment)
– Max 5 sentences
– There should be no numerical values or references in the conclusion