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Writing a Laboratory Report

How to Write a Laboratory Report?


What is a Laboratory Report?

Laboratory reports, better known as Lab reports are research based reports that describe and analyze laboratory experiments. Laboratory experiments are conducted to prove or disprove scientific concepts and the primary aim is to obtain experimental and scientific data. Lab reports provide details on the scientific experiments conducted and thus enable students to formulate a hypothesis and present the results of experimental findings.

What is the purpose of a Lab Report?

The purpose of the lab report is to present the results of scientific experiments in a structured and written format. Scientific experiments are conducted to discover new phenomena or to increase our scientific understanding of existing concepts. Lab reports are a type of research report and the tool for presenting the most updated scientific data, findings and information in a precise and structured manner.

How to write a Laboratory Report?

Write a Laboratory Report

The culmination of a scientific experiment in a laboratory is an objective and factual lab report. After you conduct a scientific experiment and have adequate data, you must write a Lab report to present your research findings. Lab reports are thus specific research reports written for lab-based scientific experiments. While writing a Lab report, you must follow the basic structure and include all the essential sections.

A Lab report includes an abstract, introduction, methods, results or findings, discussion, and conclusion. The abstract is the summary of the experiment. The introduction gives a background or context for the scientific research, provides a justification for the study and presents an overview on how the scientific research will be conducted. A Lab report does not consist of an extended literature review, but just a short scientific background to justify the experiment. The methods or procedure section of the report clearly defines the dependent and independent variables, identifies the properties or parameters of the system. The measuring apparatus is described and the measurement details are provided. System and computational errors are identified. The results section presents the findings of the experiment using data, graphs and tables. Discussion of the experimental findings is usually objective, factual and unbiased. The discussion section is usually followed by a conclusion on the findings and in the conclusion section you must show how your data or results link back to the hypothesis. Recommendations are usually provided to improve future experimental studies. Your lab report must be very focused and very scientific, so try to present the data and findings objectively by avoiding redundant phrases and concepts. If you need someone to assess your experimental findings or help you with the presentation of data, there are professionals who can advise on how to write a Lab report.

What are the different types of Laboratory Reports?

There are different types of lab reports and lab reports can be based on independent science projects, group scientific experiments and guided research. Independent scientific studies are often scientific research conducted by individual researchers and the findings are often presented in the form of formal lab reports. Findings from group scientific experiments are also presented as Lab reports. Guided Lab reports are based on scientific experiments that are conducted under the guidance of a supervisor. Lab reports can also be differentiated on the basis of format and structure and there are called formal and structured lab reports.

Concluding Remarks

The lab report is a very objective document. It is usually very structured and precise and needs to be written with organized data, results and research findings. You must use tables, graphs and images to organize and explain your results. Structure, format, organization are very important elements of a lab report. Seek professional advice when there are obvious difficulties and consult your supervisors. Just remember these points and good luck with your research.