How to Write a Lab Report
Completing a Lab Report: Two Stages
If you start googling ‘how to write a lab report’ right after receiving such an assignment, you are on the right track. Read further and find out how to complete this task with ease and joy!
How to Write Scientific Reports: a Pre-Experimental Stage
There is no difference whether you know how to write scientific reports or are a newbie in devising such papers, the following steps should be taken seriously.
The title. A descriptive title of the experiment or lab you are doing should be succinct. Pay special attention to your teachers’ requirements: if a title page is a must, then write it. It should include information about the title, your name, the name of the instructor, and the day of the experiment.
Identify the problem. Determine the scope of your experiment, the solution you would like to reach, the reasons for conducting especially this experiment, and its purpose. What is more, present the background information, theoretical and historical approaches, and the methods to be implemented in the course of the experiment.
The purpose. One-sentence length purpose is aimed at clarifying the essence of your experiment.
The hypothesis. The focal point of the hypothesis is to present a theoretical solution to the problem you are going to test. Bear in mind that during the experiment you can either prove or refute it. The structure of the hypothesis is the following “If this, then that, due to the fact that”, where “if this” is what you offer or change, “then that” is the ensuing outcome, and “due to the fact that” is your reasoning.
List of materials. Devising a precise list of the used materials will allow anyone to reiterate your experiment and substantiate your conclusions.
The procedure. Explain in detail the steps you have taken and the experiments performed. Highlight any precautions that should be taken into account.
The variables. Make sure to state in your hypothesis the variables you are going to use. The controlled variables are the ones that remain unchanged during the experiment. The independent ones are those, which you are going to change in the process of the experiment, and the dependent ones you do not change yourself yet they are affected by the independent variables.
It is a piece of cake to complete the pre-experimental stage of your assignment yet pay close attention to the requirements given by the professor. If it is stated that your report should be compiled in a paragraph form, then provide a written description of the procedure but not a plain list of instructions. Remember to add all minuscule details needed but avoid irrelevant information and sentences that are simply padding your writing out.
How to Write a Formal Lab Report: a Post-Experimental Stage
The explanation of how to write a formal lab report depends on the outcomes of your experiment. Nonetheless, you are supposed to cover the following stages:
The experiment. According to the materials and procedures, carry out your experiment. Bear in mind that the steps mentioned in the pre-experimental stage should be taken before setting a pen to paper.
The results. By saying “the results”, we do not mean the conclusions you have arrived at, but the raw data, figures, and statistics. Record all the information you have gathered in a logical and coherent manner so that it is easy to read and comprehend. Make use of charts, graphs, Venn diagrams, schemes, lists, or any other notes you need.
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Discussion. In this section, you are strongly encouraged to analyze the results and compare them with the expected ones. Furthermore, you can speculate on the expected outcome if one of the variables was changed during the experiment.
The hypothesis. Have you proved or refuted it? Support your conclusions with the help of the evidence you have obtained.
Errors. Omit to mention any possible human errors yet concentrate on the reasons why the data could be wrong. You are welcome to propose how to increase the preciseness of the experiment for the later attempts.