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What is a Laboratory Report?

A laboratory report is a scientific document that generates and analyses a laboratory experiment to explore a scientific concept. The discussion section of the lab report gives an evaluation of the data collected to support the hypothesis. Finally, the conclusion part shows whether the purpose of the experiment was met or not. The references and appendices parts show the source of information from other writers or experimenters and the table of materials used, respectively.

Why Write a Laboratory Report?

Format of Writing a Laboratory Report

Every person experimenting in the laboratory is supposed to write a laboratory report showing the methodology involved and the tools used. There are various types of laboratory reports depending on the field under study. The report is a systematic document showing the procedural conduction of the experiment and how the results were arrived at to justify a scientific hypothesis. Academic laboratory reports usually account for as much as 25% of the course marks awarded by the end of the syllabus or the course. Therefore, the report should explain how the research was done, what was learned, and what the results mean. Before coming up with a final report, it is advisable to write an abstract/rough draft or merely a lab report abstract as a guide to the final report. The general format of a standard lab report will include;

  • The title pages
  • Abstract of the report
  • Introduction to the report
  • Methods and materials used in the experiment
  • Experimental procedure involved
  • Results 
  • Discussion 
  • Conclusion
  • References
  • Appendices 
  • Further Reading
The above lab report format may require slight modifications depending on the discipline or audience. Some report format may ask or not ask for lab reports abstracts or inclusion of hypothesis for the experiment in the report.Furthermore, a smart laboratory report requires the author to demonstrate comprehensive concepts behind the data collected. The theory behind such an approach is not only recording the results obtained but also identifying how and why the differences came about within the course of recording the data. The author is also required to clearly show how the data collected affected the experiment and how the understanding of the principles designed was not met or was met. In this particular case, the ideas must be organized and expressed coherently. Nevertheless, the scientific method requires developing the hypothesis statement that is to be supported or not supported by the end of the experiment. The standard process of writing a scientific report has the main parts, as stated above. The title page contains the name of the experiment, the partners involved in conducting the experiment, and the date when the experiment was conducted. The title should have a straight forward approach, informative, and should not be lengthy (not more than ten words). The abstract part of the lab report captures the whole body of the report with four essential aspects; the purpose of the experiment, key findings, significance of the experiment, and the major conclusions. The introduction part captures the hypothesis of the experiment. It has a narrow scope of the report than the abstract element. The method part/section shows how the hypothesis was tested, while the results section shows the data which was collected in the investigation. This part has the raw or uninterpreted data that require analysis.

The Lab Report 

Writing an academic lab report requires optimization to prepare and compose a comprehensive report about all that the writer knows about the experiment. If an individual does not know what happened in the laboratory, then it may be challenging to deliver the content to another person. Various steps are crucial to have sufficient knowledge in completing the lab report format. 

  • The desired knowledge to get from the experiment
  • The procedure that should be followed in the lab
  • The reasons for following the experimental procedures
  • The contributions of the knowledge gained; positive or negative
Having these ideas in mind helps in promoting a complete knowledge and understanding of the task. It is also essential that a person consults with other partners to plan for a successful report. The data collected in the experiment should be recorded carefully and correctly. Well recorded data helps in deriving a valid conclusion to the research.

How to Make a Lab Report Successful

Academic report writing needs a substantial introduction, which has four elements; intent, the appropriate scientific literature, hypothesis, and the reasons why the thesis is deemed viable. The intent part of the introduction narrates what the experiment aims to achieve. The premise of the research should contain the dependent and independent variables. The dependent variable is meant to change within the course of the experiment, while the independent variables do not change. In some circumstances, one might come across an advertisement reading ‘who can write my lab report?’ In such a situation, whoever picks such a task should write a strong hypothesis that comprehensively shows what needs to be tested or proofed. For example, a thesis for an experiment could state, ‘increase in temperature of a solvent increases its solubility.’ Therefore, by the end of the research, it should be determined whether this hypothesis is correct or not.

 Methodology and Material Section of Writing the Lab Report

Besides, the method section should justify the expectations of the experimenter. In this section, a detailed procedure describes how the hypothesis was tested and its rationale. In a scientific lab report, it is not only essential to design and carry out the experiment, but also other experimenters should be in a position to verify the findings from the test. More so, the experiment should be duplicatable since other researchers would wish to follow a similar procedure in arriving at the same results. Procedure, Results, Discussion, References and Appendices The experimental procedure gives the chronological order of the experiment. The steps involved in developing the experiment should be clearly stated in paragraph structure while explaining all the steps in the order they took place and not the way they were supposed to happen. Calculations, figures, and tables represent the results section even though the results have to be stated explicitly in verbal form.

Reference and Appendices

Finally, the references and appendices sections play the last part in the process of writing a laboratory report. The reference section shows the source of reading materials used. If there are other reading materials used other than the laboratory manual should be included in this part. The appendices section will typically comprise elements such as raw data, graphs, pictures, calculations, or the tables that have not been included prior to the report. Each separate appendix contains a different item, which should be referred to at once within the course of writing the report.

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