How to Compose a Lab Report
Writing a lab report is seen in different disciplines and every student is bound to encounter this piece of writing eventually. Every lab report should include the overall summary of the issue, what research procedures are involved, who the participants of experiment are, what the results are and if they match with the predicted outcomes. In other words, lab report writing is all about researching and interpreting the results.
Check the major stages in lab report writing that will help you address the assigned topic to the full.
- Check your instructions to identify the possible structure of a lab report and its major sections. Usually lab report writing includes an abstract or executive summary, introduction, experiment, results, and discussion of results. Sometimes professor ask to make concluding remarks as well.
- Create an introductory paragraph first. You should briefly describe the research question and identify objectives of the experiment. Moreover, you should make up your own hypothesis and predict possible results of your experiment. If a complex research procedure will be discussed in the next sections, you should define the key terms as well.
- Work on the experimental part. You should enumerate all methods and materials that you utilized to carry out experiment. There is no need to explain every single word. However, your discussion should be detailed enough for the reader to see the scope of work. Remember that if your reader can reproduce the same experiment based on your explanation of methods used, then you succeeded in the evaluation of experimental section.
- List the obtained results. Your readers strive to know what you have achieved and what the outcomes of your experiment are.
- Discuss the results. You should compare the obtained results with the hypothesis and explain possible inconsistencies or gaps. Evaluate the significance of results and explain if you came across any errors. Try to predict possible alterations in the research procedure that will help to eliminate possible flaws.
- Though it is the first part, you should work on an abstract when you have already written all other sections. It is easier to compose a good abstract if you have already systematized all other sections and can extract the key details out of each part. Your abstract should state the experiment and its key methods as well as identify objectives of the study. Do not present your results because the reader will not be interested to read the paper further.
- Do not forget to create a reference list with the sources you used while writing a lab report. Format the whole paper according to the assigned citation style (APA, MLA, Harvard, Chicago, etc.).
Hints for Effective Lab Report Writing
- There is a need to create a catchy title of your lab report. It should reflect the topic and help readers realize what kind of experiment you will conduct.
- If you want to check if you managed to address professor’s instruction, you should think if someone will be able to replicate the experiment based on your analysis and discussion or will find it challenging.
- Do not try to adjust paper structure in your own way. Lab report writing is usually clear and concise. Do not get rid or add any other sections.
- Your professor will not necessarily read the whole report. Sometimes professors read an abstract only to see if it is interesting enough to explore the paper further.
- Always write in a scientific manner and use appropriate terminology in a lab report. Do not use personal pronouns, emphatic claims, and long sentence structures.