9 Steps on How to Write a Lab Report
Knowing how to write a lab report will not only have an impact on your lab report quality but also affect your grades. Not many students are fully aware of what should be done when and how to come up with a good lab report. Some lectures give lab report outlines while others do not. But in case you want to do it alone, there are vital steps and areas you should include in your lab report to make it upbeat. Below are crucial details and areas to watch while writing a lab report.
How to Write a Lab Report
Below is the lab report format to help you come up with an informative, well-structured lab report that will assure you of good grades.
1. Title page
Before getting on to more in-depth detail regarding how to write a lab report, the title page should be well thought of. First, you need to identify yourself; write your full name, admission number, course and any other identification detail you have. Remember, this should be on the first and separate page. Include dates and the lab room identification where the experiment took place. Lastly, write a descriptive, accurate and concise lab report title.
An excellent introduction must be used to inform readers what your report is all about. But there is a procedure on how to do it. It should be in personal words and ensure you give a clear synopsis. Write down what you were trying to clarify or find using the experiment, your procedures, the main principles you followed, and finally the findings. Typically, it is like a short paraphrasing of your report and should never be written in the first person.
3. Materials and equipment
In spite of the lab report format, your report should be informative. Your report readers should know everything you did, used and found. On this third step, every material, chemical, ingredient, reagents or anything you used should be listed. Secondly, the material specification should be highlighted and listed. Every detail should be noted down in such a way that total strangers can use your lab report to get the very materials and equipment you used.
This is like your lab report's core. It is the part you are required to use understandable language, and be specific. Every step you followed should be listed down in chronological order. Every detail of the method used should be written down. Chemical quantities and concentration aspect must be written down. It should be written in a way that someone who was not part of your experiment is able to duplicate your experiment and get the same results as you. Diagrams of the experimental set up should also be drawn, and specific figures get recorded.
On analysis, raw data is presented as it was found. The figures should be recorded down as they appeared without addition or subtraction. Always ensure this raw data is entirely factual. Data should be recorded as it was seen for analysis purposes.
This is the reporting part. If you were wondering how to write a lab report, this is the most vital part. Using your own words, you will explain the test's outcome. You are to tell what the figures, happenings, and anything that you noted down in the analysis part means. Sometimes it becomes necessary to use chemical equations and calculations. Lastly, this part can include interpretations and conclusions. But in case your outline states otherwise, follow it.
At this point, you are expected to judge your lab test or experiment. Were the experiment objectives met? Did you notice any unexpected results which were not highlighted in the theory section? What are the implications of your testing or experiment? These are the questions you need to answer in your conclusion. At this juncture, all you should do is sum up all that happened on your testing.
8. Figures and graphs
As you learn how to write a lab report, it is not possible to forget about figures and graphs. These are essential parts to help give your report a sense of specification. This means that accurate data must be recorded. When drawing a graph, remember the independent variables are placed on the X-axis and dependent variables on the Y-axis. Lastly, you should be sure about what you use on the figures and graphs part.
In case your research experiment or testing relied on someone else's work, for example, lab manuals, make sure you cite them and their documentation in the reference part. Referencing of thoughts and documentation done by other people is a vital education discipline.
Writing a lab report is never a complicated task. What you need to have is the knowledge on what to do. And if you carried out the experiment or saw it happening, you will be able to write a quality lab report. Lastly, lab report documentations help other people carry out their tests better and to perfection. By following the above guideline, you will manage to write a good lab report.