When you are in a science course, you will definitely need to write dozens of lab reports. In fact, laboratory work makes up a significant share of science education and learning. Some teachers may ask you to produce a separate report every time you carry out a laboratory experiment. Others may want you to include your reports in a separate lab notebook. Whatever you need to do, you will have to be very considerate and follow the existing procedures for lab report writing.
To begin with, the essence of lab report writing is in explaining the process and results of a laboratory experiment you yourself have conducted. Generally, you will have to use some lab report template and simply fill it with all necessary information and data.
Your lab report will not necessarily have a title page. However, if your professor wants you to include one, then you will have to design the title page according to the following template:
- Title of your laboratory experiment;
- Your name;
- Your teacher's name;
- Date (you can print the date of submitting the report or the date when you carried out the experiment).
In your title, you will need to inform your readers of the title and purpose of your laboratory experiment. Be brief and concise. Your title should not exceed ten or twelve words. For example, you could write 'Changes in Vitamin D levels in the human skin under the influence of sunlight.' Avoid using articles at the beginning of your title.
You will need to write one paragraph for the introduction. In your introductory passage, you will specify and explain the purpose, objectives, and questions or hypotheses that guided your experiment. At times, you may need to provide some additional information to put your lab report in a context. For example, you may want to cite some research findings and justify the importance of your research. This way your readers will see how your experiment fits in the analysis of broader topic areas.
Describe every material or equipment you used to carry out the experiment.
Outline the key steps you followed to carry out your experiment. Make sure that you describe the procedure using enough details. Just imagine that one of your readers will want to repeat the study and check the results of your analysis. You may want to include some graphic data to illustrate your points.
Use tables to present numerical data. This way you will make it easier for your readers to understand your point. Do not include any information that does not relate to the experiment. Do not explain anything. You will do it in the next section of the report.
Now describe and analyze the results. Refer to tables and numerical data and use words to explain what you have accomplished in your experiment.
Your discussion section is where you bring together the numerical data from your Data section and the words and explanations from the Results section. Now you will explain to your readers if you have been able to prove your hypothesis and, if not, what could explain the results.
Write a one-paragraph conclusion to summarize the main points of the experiment. Restate the hypothesis, tell the reader if it was supported, and explain why.
Figures & Graphs
Add graphs and figures as appendices. Label them and arrange them sequentially, according to their priority and logic.
List of References
Design a comprehensive list of references according to the formatting and style requested by your professor. Refer to all resources you have used when writing the body of your laboratory report. Avoid plagiarism by crediting other authors for their contribution to your academic success.