When we interviewed an expert on writing a lab report, the expert laughed and said writing a lab report is easy. Although, we admit that if you haven’t written one before, you could be intimidating. The gospel truth is, you can’t avoid lab reports as a student of science. How are you going to catalog your experiments without writing a lab report? That is it. You can’t do without writing a lab report.
A lab report is a kind of report. In a lab report, you write to analyze and describe the steps you took in a scientific experiment. The purpose of a lab report is to show a person who was not there how you arrived at your results. Also, your lab report must detail how to replicate the experiment without you explaining it physically. A lab report improves how you think scientifically. In addition, it teaches you the following;
- How you can perform a scientific research
- Create hypothesis on an event or events
- Research materials relevant to your hypothesis
- Research for data and data application
- Ability to test your hypothesis
- Ability to analyze and communicate, etc.
So, as you can see above, writing lab reports is crucial to your science courses. Furthermore, lab reports form fundamental parts of your grade. It shows how much you understand scientific processes and research.
In this post, we would give you useful tips on lab report writing. The general tip is that you must be focused. As cliché as it may sound, it is a vital tip. Also, you must pay adequate attention to the requirements and guidelines of your lab report. Writing each lab report is unique. Some instructors favor logging steps in a lab note. Also, the format and style could be different. To be sure, you only need to ask. Below are the specific tips on writing a lab report
The Title Page
Essentially, your lab report must have a title. It is the title that would inform your instructor of the experiment you are conducting. Consider the title as a preview. Your instructor would not need to bury themselves in your work before knowing what you are trying to do.
Your title page contains other information apart from the title. It is where you provide details of those who participated in the lab report. In addition, it includes the date you experimented. Depending on your instructor and their specific requirements, a title page could contain more. For instance, it could contain the purpose of the experiment, etc. It all depends on the conditions.
The abstract is like a summary of the experiment. It provides a brief insight into the experiment. Also, it presents its findings and conclusions. For a lab report, your abstract must vividly capture the following information;
- The reason for conducting the experiment
- The problem needing a solution
- The research methodology
- The outcome of the research
- Interpretation of the results or outcome
- If the outcome provides a solution to the problem of research
Notwithstanding the above, an abstract must be short. It must capture the relevant aspects of the above. It should not be unnecessarily wordy. As it is short, it must also be clear. Clear in the sense that a person who was not there would understand why you conducted the research. A great abstract should tell them all they need to know without reading your report.
The introduction is more or less your motivation for conducting the research. It must give a chronology of the situation of the problem. Also, it must tell the reader how the problem inspired you to conduct your research.
The methodology shows the procedure you used to conduct your research. Also, it must show what you did when you followed the established process. A methodology contains the following details;
- The way you set up your equipment and apparatus. For clarity, expert lab report writers usually include a diagram. The diagram helps make it clearer when they discuss how they set up.
- A detailed list of the materials you used
- A breakdown of the steps you used to gather data
- The difficulties you faced during the experiment. In addition, it includes how you conquered these difficulties or if you worked around them.
- It must also state if your procedure could have contributed a systematic error to your data and outcome. It must explain this adequately
Results and Analysis
Here, you show the information you have gathered during your experiment. Crucial measurements must be showed. You should present your data in graphs, tables, and figures. Also, tag and label your tables properly. This would help your reader understand what you are trying to tell them.
Also, your data would be analyzed in a different heading or depending on the guidelines. Also, analyze the errors and the ambiguities of the experiment.
Here, you will discuss the results you have gotten and interpret them. Also, if the results are different from what you should have gotten, you will explain them. Furthermore, you will link the results and the research’s purpose and state how the results can be improved.
Restate your findings and summarize what you have learned from the experiment.