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How to Write a Lab Report

December 26, 2019

Studying in college and university requires a creative and creative approach. Especially if you have chosen an engineering specialty, you will receive a considerable number of assignments from your teachers who will help determine how good a student you are. One such task is writing a laboratory report.

Overview

Depending on the school, writing laboratory reports can take a quarter of the time. Moreover, each professor may have different requirements. The main thing you should learn is to document the findings and describe their meanings. So you will show that you understand the concept that underlies the material studied. It is not enough just to experiment. It is important to show on what principles it was developed, what differences arose, and why. Students should express their thoughts well in written form.

We are here to provide you with some useful advice on how to write a comprehensive lab report with a crystal structure.

Lab Report Structure

Most educational institutions have the same requirements for the structure of the laboratory report. It usually consists of:

  1. Title Page;
  2. Title;
  3. Abstract;
  4. Introduction;
  5. Materials;
  6. Method;
  7. Data;
  8. Results;
  9. Discussion or Analysis;
  10. Conclusion;
  11. Figures and Graphs;
  12. References;
  13. Appendices.

We offer more details on each of these points.

Title Page

The main page is the cover of your report, where you indicate the essential information. You need to write the name of the experiment, mention the laboratory, the names of your partners, the date the work was completed.

Title

Make sure the name is short but meaningful. The title should indicate the focus of your work. You can write a title at the very end when you’re done with all the sections. So it will be easier to cover the entire laboratory report as a whole.

Abstract

This introductory section is significant. Here you need to summarize 4 critical points:

  1. Purpose of your experiment;
  2. Significance of the report;
  3. Key findings;
  4. Main conclusions.

Also, in the process of writing the annotation, you need to use several references to theory and methodology. After reading the annotation, the reader will understand whether one should study the report further. Therefore, if you want to interest, use this opportunity.

Introduction / Purpose

The introduction has a general principle with annotation but has a narrower focus. Now you need to provide the reader with the purpose of your experiment, as well as some background information. To get started, explain the topic of your report, the objective of the investigation, use the data that is necessary to understand it. Make sure that you are not just retelling your teacher’s guide, but showing how you know the problem. In some cases, the introductory material is too voluminous. Then you need to add a couple of subheadings. These may be Prerequisites, Theoretical Principles, etc.

Materials

For the experiment, you needed certain materials and equipment. Make an entire list right away, because you will need to use it in your laboratory report. So the reader will understand what exactly helped you achieve the desired results.

Method

The next important step is to describe the sequence of actions. Imagine that you are not just talking about your experiment, but writing a detailed step by step instructions for another person. Provide enough information so that another student can conduct your test and get the same results. Please dilute the text with drawings and diagrams for a better understanding of the process.

Data

During the experiment, you will record all the numerical data. Make a table and use it in your report. Indicate that this is merely factual information, but do not interpret it yet.

Results

This section is intended to inform the reader of the results of the experiment. To make them convincing, use numbers, tables, and calculations. You will also need a verbal description. If you use any graphic images, make sure that they are clear and understandable. For each chart, you should add 1-2 sentences for the reader that will attract attention.

You do not have to give all the calculations as detailed as possible. You can do this in the Application section, as well as any raw data. The main thing is that you show the features and trends of your research.

Discussion or Analysis

Discussion or Analysis is the most crucial part of your report. It is the section where you can express your subjective opinion, show your attitude to the story. In the process of writing this section, try to answer a few questions:

  • What do the results say?
  • What did you find out when writing the report?
  • What significance do these results have for science?
  • What questions were closed after receiving the results?
  • What are the new challenges?

You need to explain your experiment, show its importance, analyze the work done. If you had any experimental error, it’s time to tell about it and to explain it’s background and consequences. Why was this mistake made, and how could you avoid it?

Conclusion

In this section, you no longer need to use any new information. The time has come to conclude, summarize the results for the general hypothesis. Before starting the experiment, you had a specific problem; now, it is crucial to show whether it was solved, how, and why. The results section should also leave space for subsequent experiments. Show that your topic is important and deserves further study.

Figures and Graphs

It is a special section where you can provide all the graphs and drawings used in writing the report. Be sure to label them reasonably and refer to them in your work. Then the reader can open the section at any time and see the illustration. It is very convenient and helps to structure the laboratory report.

References

In the process of conducting the experiment and writing the report, you used various sources. The teacher recommended some of them, others you found yourself. In any case, you need to adhere to the rules of citation, as well as provide the reader with a final list of all sources, annotated bibliography. Use all books, articles, online resources you’ve read or used.

Appendices

This section may also be called the Application. It is necessary so that you can provide your reader with your drafts, tables, calculations, raw data. That is any information that was not included in the report. This data might not have a direct effect on the experiment, but it will be of interest to your reader. Make sure you refer to them in your paper. For ease of reading, break all the materials into logical blocks.

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