How to write a lab report?
Every school curriculum includes various subjects which require different methods of assessment. During the learning process, you will be given a chance to write not only numerous essays but also scientific lab report. It can be called a practical write-up, which is the part of laboratory studies in disciplines like chemistry, biology, etc. Your grade greatly depends on this write-up – present the contributions of this science experiment explaining how you conduct your study, materials and literature used, methods employed plus what the actual results are. You may be asked to write your lab report in a special lab notebook or just as a separate paper. Experiment write-up demands a logical, straightforward outline of a certain experimental inquiry where the critical analysis of your work is provided. To conduct any experiment, you should have a clear hypothesis to test in practice. Raw data has to be stated before experiment will take place – compare them with your results later.
A typical laboratory report has strict rules of format, providing information and structural sections where this data should be grouped. The order of instructions for writing is as follows:
- The title of your work. With or without a title page, the exact descriptive purpose of your work has to be indicated in your title without any additional subjective information. It has to be up to ten words length and describe the principal point of investigation.
- Objectives of the paper. Introduce and define what you want to achieve in this experiment. Except for this experiment purpose, a hypothesis, which has to be proven or objected, should be provided. Your hypothesis isn’t supposed to be correct from the very beginning – your task is to check it. You can provide extra background information to explain the context of your work.
- The introductory part. This part can be connected with the research objectives. Introduce your subject plus illustrate why it is of primary importance to conduct an experiment on this particular subject. It can be short or long – depends on your report type.
- Used materials and methods of the research. This section should include a list of all chemicals, equipment, resources used in this experiment. The enumeration has to be precise and detailed. Plus, you have to indicate what methods were used during your research and how you managed to employ them so other people can duplicate the experiment.
- Precisely describe the steps to complete your inquiry – state all variable components of your work that can change due to a certain situation or influence.
- Outcomes. This part deals with numerical information obtained from your experiment. Present the gathered material in a logical manner. As a rule, it’s demonstrated in a tables, graphs, and figures – you should include only mere facts about your experimental findings. You are supposed to collect data according to qualitative or quantitative principles. Mostly you will use quantitative one as it shows measurable data.
- Conclusions. This part must state whether your hypothesis was correct or mistakes occurred. Your personal explanation of the outcomes should be provided revealing information about the purpose of your work. Make it concise plus meaningful.
- Discussion. This part is suitable to discuss whether your results are as expected, if not then why, any errors and problems. You can assume and analyze what influenced such outcomes or what caused deviations in the normal measurements.
- List of references.