Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Writing Laboratory Reports | How to Write Laboratory Reports

Writing Laboratory Reports | How to Write Laboratory Reports
Laboratory reports play a very significant role in determining the grade of a student and are an essential part of all laboratory courses. As a student of science and engineering, you will be required to conduct a number of experiments in the laboratory to test a theory, verify the modifications you have in mind or to examine the validity of your research findings. The experiments will demand from you the ability to choose the right equipment, to arrange various instruments appropriately, to observe and record  process, reactions and readings faithfully and accurately, and to arrive at right conclusions. A laboratory report is a description of these various findings, steps, and conclusions placed together in an organized way. It explains in detail how you conducted the experiment, what you did in the experiment, what the result of the experiment was and what you learned from the experiment. As a matter of fact, no scientific experiment can be considered valid unless it is presented logically and intelligibly to other scientists. As a result, writing laboratory reports is regarded as an important part of scientific experimentation and investigation.

In most cases educational institutions and research organizations devise proformas for writing laboratory reports to suit their individual requirements. Generally these reports include the following elements:

1. Title Page
Though all lab reports do not contain title pages, you can add one as a title page to your report if your instructor wants it. Your title page should include:

·         The title of the experiment.
·         Your name and the names of your lab partners (if any).
·         The name of your instructor.
·         The date of the experiment performed or the date of the report submitted.

2. Title/Heading
The title of your laboratory report should say what you performed. It should be brief (not more than ten words) and state only the main point of your experiment or investigation. If possible, start your title using a keyword instead of an article like 'The' or 'A'.

3. Introduction
The introduction of a laboratory report is very important. It usually contains one paragraph that states the purpose of the experiment, and the hypothesis. Here you should state briefly how you conducted the experiment. The background information, findings, and conclusions of the experiment or investigation are also included in this section.

4. Apparatus used
In this section you should list all materials you needed and used to complete your experiment or investigation.

5. Methods
Describe the methods you followed during your experiment or investigation in this section. Try to provide thorough description of your experiment so that anyone can easily understand the procedure of your experiment and duplicate it.

6. Data
Present the numerical data found from your procedure as a table in this section. Make sure that you are not missing any data you recorded when you conducted the experiment.

7. Results
State in words what the data indicates in this section. If you want you can combine this section with the discussion section.

8. Analysis
This section contains the calculations you made on the basis of the numbers presented in the data section. In this section you can also explain the data and discuss the mistakes you might have made during the experiment.

9. Conclusions
The conclusion is usually a single paragraph that concludes what happened in the experiment. This section also contains whether your hypothesis was accepted or rejected.

10. Figures & Graphs
Labeling with a descriptive title is a must for graphs and figures. You should label the axes on a graph, and make sure that you have included the units of measurement. Remember that the independent variable is on the X-axis. On the other hand, the dependent variable is on the Y-axis. Make sure that you are referring to figures and graphs in the text of your report.

11. References
You must list the references in your report if you think that you conducted your experiment on the basis of someone else's work or if you referred to the facts that need documentation.

1 comment:

  1. Writing Your Annual Report in Five Easy Steps:
    1.Define Your Accomplishments.
    2.Interview Your Supporters.
    3.Boil Down Your Financials.
    4.Compile Your Lists.
    5.Put it All Together.


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