Nowadays, many students should write different types of written assignments, including lab reports. If you are fond of nature or hard science, be prepared for writing a lab report even more frequently. However, newcomers face a lot of difficulties since sometimes professors do not give any instruction on a lab report format or do not give a lab report example. Therefore, we highly encourage you to read this short guide on how to write a lab report and find out some tips that will help you to achieve excellent results.
We should clarify that a lab report is an academic paper where you present your theoretical findings based on a particular practical experiment or a couple of different tests. Usually, a lab report has a standard lab report format and structure as any other types of academic papers, however, including some peculiarities in particular parts.
Lab report example: title page
Sometimes you do not have to use any title pages in your lab report. However, if you have such a requirement, please follow these tips on how to keep to a proper lab report format of the title page:
- Write the experiment name
- Put your supervisor's and assistant's full names
- Specify technical lab base
- Clarify the date of performing and your name
Usually, students do not pay attention to their lab report title name. They often believe that it is not very important or do not have enough time to create an attractive title. Ensure that your title is concise and short, not more than ten words. It should be maximally related to the key idea of the whole experiment. Also, try to get rid of articles and punctuation in the name. Follow the rules of capitalization of a world academic paper standard.
Lab report structure
Normally, a lab paper has a typical structure and consists of three parts: introduction, main body, and conclusions. However, each of these section has some additional information due to the format of a lab report.
The first paragraph of a lab report is your introduction. It should include brief and concise information about your lab report purpose. First of all, it is necessary to mention your working thesis or hypothesis. Also, it would be a benefit if you remind and describe some of the latest related to your issue pieces of research and their results. So, the introduction aims to show your purposes and research topicality that can be both scientific and social. Besides, it can present some preview of your findings.
In the first paragraph, it is also possible to mention about the engaged materials, methods, and data. For example, you may enumerate the materials used during your research, but you cannot do the same with methods. We highly encourage you to write in depth about your methodology. It means that it is better to describe and explain in which particular way you will use each mentioned method. It shows your deep understanding of the methodology and makes your paper more reliable. The last thing, which you may need, is to present some numerical data. Nature and hard science are full of different static data, which you can use in your experiment. Usually, the best way is to present them as a table at the beginning of the lab report.
The next part of your lab report includes a few sections. Results and discussion can be mixed in one paragraph. Some students prefer to present their results separately; others combine them with discussions and analyses. It means that you can compare your expectations and received results immediately in your lab report and point out your mistakes or inaccuracies to improve further lab reports dedicated to this topic. Instead, general conclusions present your thesis and verify or refute it.
Lab reports welcome additional graphs and figures. Usually, a lot of lab reports are dedicated to the scientific and often complicated topic, and are full of numbers, chemical or physic terms. Thus, it is much easier to become familiar with different information through diagrams, graphs, appendix, and visual sources.
Follow your professor's specific requirements for reference and lab report format style. Remember about universal rules:
-Put in the reference list only used sources
-Use a separate page just for the title, abstract, references, and appendices
-Double spacing, Times New Roman, 12 font-size, page numbers at the right top corner of each page
Wish you only successful experiments!