A first-class lab report
Once in a while, every student has to face laboratory works: both at high school and college. They often become a disaster, because unlike essays with a subjective approach, such assignments need to contain concrete data and numbers.
Such tasks are the most frequent assignments among scientific papers and often make up 30% of the whole course. That is why it is important to understand how to complete them perfectly. However, every tutor may have specific requirements and you need to note down all of them in advance.
Luckily, the goal of such a task remains the same, not depending on your institution: it is a paper, which contains details of your findings and explains their importance. A good report shows your understanding of the main concepts, not just records the obtained results.
You should also explain how all the differences appeared and how they influence your experiment. In addition, you need to be well-organized and thoughtful to present all of your findings clearly.
Our guidelines provide background information on how to write laboratory works not depending on your academic level and type of the assignment. Knowing them you can adjust the common pattern to your own needs.
If you don’t know whether you can complete such a report on your own, we are always ready to help! Just contact our experts and forget about any problems with your laboratory works.
Unlike a regular essay, which may have quite a free structure, a laboratory report should follow a widely accepted pattern. Such an assignment should contain the following elements:
- Introductory section;
- Materials and methods;
- List of references.
If you want to know how to complete every paragraph in the best possible way, just go on reading and get familiar with the latest guidelines from the best experts in the field!
Abstract of the experiment
Unlike narrative assignments, a lab report should begin with a so-called abstract. It is a separate brief summary of your work’s content. It should contain the goal and purpose of experiment, used techniques and instruments, to explain the obtained results and provide a brief conclusion.
The whole point of this section is to limit your report to a single paragraph to let the audience understand what you are going to discuss. Your abstract is very important, as the audience decides whether your work is worth being read judging on the first section.
Not including abstract to the paper is one of the most common mistakes students complete, when working on the assignment. However, you shouldn’t start with it, as you won’t have necessary information. It is better to work on the abstract, when you already have results of the study and conclusions.
After the abstract goes the introductory section. It is quite similar to the first part but should focus on the context of your experience and contain information, needed for the audience to understand the topic you are going to discuss. Don’t forget to discuss all the tools you have used throughout the experiment and make your writing style simple to understand.
Most of the teachers require students to include background data on the key terms, used in the work, as well as to explain theoretical aspects. If you reference such information, don’t forget to include these references to a separate list. Remember, credible data is the basis of a laboratory work.
Materials and methods
The method section is one of the most important sections of the whole work. It should contain such information as background data, all the calculations and observations, as well as graphs, charts and other visual elements.
In this part you need to explain what tools were used to achieve necessary results and provide notes, which you made in the process.
If you want your report to be well structured and easy to read, you should definitely complete a section, which contains a summary of the obtained data. The best way to complete this section is to write a brief paragraph, which contains results of the experiment, presented in a form of tables and graphs.
They will help to make your key findings visually appealing. In such a way even readers, who don’t know the topic, will easily understand your experiment and obtained results. Don’t forget to provide appropriate titles and descriptions for the tables and graphs you insert to the text.
Once you are done with raw data and obtained results, it is a right time to discuss your experiment. However, you shouldn’t simply make a report of the results. On contrary, this section should contain significance of your work and interpretation of the obtained data.
You can also compare your results with those, which you found in the literature. Explain how your results may be used in the future.
Here are some of the questions you may answer:
- Are there several ways to interpret obtained results?
- Are there more advanced techniques, which will help to improve the experiment?
- What other things you can do to influence the result?
Remember, this section should put numbers into words and give a picture of how these results may be used in a particular field.
List of references
A lab report, as well as any other scientific work, should be based on facts, not on a personal opinion. That is why all the data should be properly cited and referenced in the end of your work. However, there are many formatting styles, which have lots of peculiarities and requirements.
Before starting your work on this section it is better to ask your teacher for specific guidelines on a required formatting style.