Writing a lab report is a challenging task, and you should take it seriously. We’ve gathered some tips on how to write each part of the lab report just the way your professor wants to see it.
The Lab Report’s Structure in Detail
- Title page. Write what the lab report is all about but don’t do it in the form of a question. Based on the individual requirements title page may also include your full name, year of education, class, your professor’s name and the full name of your educational institution. However, the formatting of the title page varied from one college or university to another, so you should pay attention to the instructions given by your professor.
- Abstract. Just remember it should take this place. However, it will be the last part of the lab report you write. In the abstract you should summarize the research part of the report, that is why it is written at the end. Make it brief, but comprehensive and descriptive enough. There should be no “water” in the abstract. Normally a lab report abstract includes the summary of the research, the participants, the method used, the major findings, and the potential contribution of the findings. Sometimes limitations are mentioned too.
- Introduction. It is the exact place where you should put your thesis statement or hypothesis, and explain its background. Introduce the topic, give more details on theoretical background, state the actuality of the research and its potential contribution to the knowledge regarding the particular subject. Don’t try to include everything you can find as a background, be very selective. In most cases, aims of the research are also included in the introduction. Aims should not just repeat your hypothesis.
- Methodology or method. Explain the method of the research in the past tense, not as something you are just going to do. In the lab report, you are not supposed to justify the particular method used, you should just describe what you did. Your description of the method should be enough for someone to replicate, to repeat, to reconstruct your experiment. Anything beyond this is excessive and not necessary. Mostly you need to describe the following parts: design, participants, materials, and procedure. Describing the design name dependent and independent variables and their characteristics. Give an exhaustive list of the material used: lists, cards, online surveys, computer equipment, etc.
- Results. We are sure you understand what results are, but there is one thing we want to warn you about. You should state the results without assessing them. Interpretation of the results should be included in the discussion part.
- Discussion. While the results of the lab report are mostly 100% written using the scientific jargon, separate letters, and numbers, the discussion part should be written with the use of common English, which can be understood by almost anyone. First of all, state if the results of the research support your hypothesis or reject it. Make a comparison with the results of the background studies you’ve mentioned in the introduction. It will be useful for readers to know whether the results of your study are similar or different. Make sure to list the limitations and their effect on the results. Limitations also define how confident readers can be in the results of the research. Don’t try to make it look better than it is. If you have stumbled upon many limitations, describe the ways which could improve your study. Give ideas on how the results of your study can be implicated. It will benefit your discussion part greatly if you can identify the ways to continue your research for gaining more comprehensive results. Perspective thinking is always engaging and impressive.
- References. We bet there is nothing new we can tell you about the references or work cited page. Just make sure every in-text citation is duplicated here, and every reference stated here has its “twin” among the in-text citations. Do a final check-up after you are done with proofreading.
One of the challenges of the lab report writing is that you should both give scientific information and describe it in simple, plain English. Read your paper loud so you can find places which are hard to understand. Make sure you don’t indulge to wordiness, dangling modifiers and other academic writing sins. If you still experience difficulty in writing your report from scratch, don’t hesitate to ask for expert help from a professional lab report writing service available online. Good luck!