Formal lab report: main parts
When you have your laboratory courses in college, you will definitely be required to write a laboratory report — a document that explains your experiment. This paper is written with two main purposes:
Table of Contents
1) To report clear results of your experiment (work archiving);
2) To allow readers to evaluate your work results;
3) To confirm the reasons for making your experiment and emphasize your work significance.
Let’s define what main parts a formal lab report should have:
- Title page — put on it your own name and names of other participants if your experiment was taken in a group. Specify the experiment’s name and also such information as date, course number and your instructor’s full name.
- Abstract — this is a short part that introduce your work to the readers. Remember that most of the readers will read this part to decide if they need to read the entire paper. In this section you should provide brief information about what you did in your experiment and which results you’ve got.
- Introduction — here you should explain readers why you did this experiment by providing a short background information. In general, the lab report introduction should include:
— your experiment’s goal;
— background information on the subject;
— a short explanation why this work is important;
— a short review about things that you’re going to describe in your report.
- Main part, or main body — this is the longest part of your work that includes next paragraphs:
— Procedures or Methods;
- Tables, figures and graphs — put all results of experiments here. Provide all graphs and tables with labels, so your readers can understand them easily.
- References — here you should cite your sources that were used in your paper.
- Appendix — here you can write a detailed information that is too large to place into the report’s body part. Keep in your mind that a formal appendix should have three parts: beginning, middle part and the ending. Sometimes you may be required to create an informal appendix that needs to have only beginning and a middle part. You can consider all requirements with your instructor, but remember that each appendix should have its own title.
How to write a chemistry lab
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Lab reports are an important part of your studying. If you are required to create a chemistry report, you have to write sown the entire process and all results that were received during the laboratory activity. Remember that you should make your report well-understandable for readers, so any of them could repeat it in the lab. We want to provide you with the main requirements to the parts of a lab report.
- Prepare to the experiment, read all instructions given by your professor. Make sure you got an idea about the process you are going to make in your experiment. If you have got questions, ask your teacher for help.
- Make sure you understand how to write a report. This document should be written by the third person, in clear and complete sentences.
- Think about what you will know during your experiment — make an idea what results you will get. This is only a hypothesis, and in reality you still can receive quite different results.
- Make sure you read and understood all instructions and requirements about writing and formatting a report by your teacher.
- Start writing with your report’s title. Include here all the needed information this section should have.
- Skip the abstract, because even if this is the first part of your report, it should be written at the last moment, when the entire paper is finished.
- Make an introduction, include here information about any previous researches on this subject, your experiment’s purpose, and your hypothesis.
- Write the equation of chemical reaction.
- Write down the experimental part. Don’t forget to note each step you do, and document everything just as you are writing a guide.
- Record all results you got in your experiment.
- Analyze received data, check out if it matches the hypothesis, answer if you have received the results you expected to get.
- Sum up your results and write a conclusion of your report.
- Cite all sources you used for writing your report. If you have got any questions about the citation style, consult your teacher or professor.
- And, finally, create an abstract for your report. In the next section you can read a detailed instruction about writing this part.
How to write an abstract for a
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First of all, let’s define the abstract. This is the first part of your laboratory report that provides readers with the main information about your experiment. When you are creating this part, try to not exceed the amount of 200 words. Keep in your mind that your readers will make a decision about reading the entire work after reading this paragraph, so keep it interesting, brief and clear. Do not bring here any cited sources or tables in this part, but make an overview of your report. Usually the abstract consists of the one paragraph and contains information about:
- what you did in your experiment;
- main results;
- key conclusion.
Lab report template
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When you are writing a lab report, you may find a good template on the Internet to simplify your work. We suggest using our template for creating a successful report.
Title of your work
- Write down a descriptive but brief name of your experiment
- Put a question you want to answer by your experiment
- Include some background information about your work
- Formulate the solution of your problem (in theory)
- List all materials you are going to use in your experiment
- Make a short review what you are going to do in your laboratory experiment.
- Write what you did during your experiment step-by-step, like an instruction. Remember that other readers should be able to repeat your work using this paragraph.
- Include all received data in tables and graphs, if necessary.
- Label all charts, graphs and tables properly, so the readers could understand them easily.
- Don’t hesitate to add separate sheets if you have to put a lot of information.
- Check out if the result matches your hypothesis.
- Analyze why the hypothesis matches/don’t match the received data.
- Write a brief summary of received data.
- Debate the experimental errors that could have appeared during the experiment.
Biology, chemistry, or physics
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