For best grades, writing lab reports is one of the significant part that is essential for all laboratory courses.
Writing lab reports is very essential. It helps one to explain what was done during the experiment or an investigation, the steps or procedure that followed when conducting the experiment, the various lessons learned from the experiment and the meaning and importance of the results obtained from conducting the experiment. This means that a lab report should always follow a certain format that will make it look more appealing.
Sometimes, instructors may suggest a certain format that is to be used when writing lab reports but in other instances one has to choose which format to use when. In cases where the format is not specified, the students may decide to use the following format to draft and write their lab reports. The format used should have some basic and essential segments. These essentials include;
- Title page
In this case not all lab report has the title page. This means that the title page is not necessary but in some instances the instructor may demand that you write the title page. If so the title page ought to be a single page that has the following details; the title of the experiment you are carrying out, your name and any other name of the partners that you carried the experiment together, the name of the instructor and the date when the lab experiment was carried out.
The title should clearly state what was done. It should be concise and brief and give a vivid explanation of the main points of the investigation. Always try to ensure that you begin your title using key words only.
Always ensure that the introduction is one paragraph. It should explain vividly the purpose or the objectives of the lab. State the hypothesis and to some extent give the background information of the experiment. Try to give a summery how was the experiment was done, narrate the findings of the experiment and finally list down the conclusion of the investigation. Always state reasons or the purpose why you did the experiment in the introduction paragraph.
Ensure that you list every material that is required to conduct the experiment
When writing a lab report always ensures that you describe the various steps followed during the investigation. This section should state the procedure followed when carrying out the experiment. Write lengthy details in this section that could make anyone to duplicate your experiment. Write this section as if you were trying to some direction to someone to carry out the experiment too. It is advisable and much important you provide a figure or a diagram for the setup experiment.
During the process all the numerical data that is obtained from the procedure should be represented in a table. The data should encompass what was recorded when the experiment was being carried out. It should only be facts and not any interpretations of their meanings.
Always try as much as possible to give a vivid explanation of what the results mean. Accompany this section with the discussions of the results obtained when conducting the experiment.
- Discussions or analysis
The data section contains numbers. In the analysis sections calculations made based on the numbers should be displayed. In this section one should be able to make clear interpretations of data for the determination whether the hypothesis that was made is true or false. At this sections, one is allowed to discuss any mistake that might have happened while in the process of conducting the investigation. Lastly write they ways that you feel are better that might be used to improve the experiment.
The conclusion should be one paragraph. It should sum up all the things that happened during the experiment. Discuss whether your hypothesis was accepted or rejected and the meaning related to the choice.
- Figures and Graphs
A very descriptive title should be given to the graphs and figures used. For example start by labelling the axis on the graph without forgetting to include the units of measurements. Always ensure that the independent variables are written on the X-axis and the dependent variable on the Y-axis. In addition, ensure that you refer your graphs and figures in the text of the report. For example, the first figure is Fig 1, the second figure is Fig 2 and the same process should continue throughout.
The research conducted is based on someone’s work or most of the facts are cited from other people’s work should be given proper documentation. The references should be listed appropriately as required by the instructor.