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Lab Report: Structure and Purpose

Lab report

Tips on Writing a Great Lab Report

Lab reports are a popular assignment in science subjects, and often they contribute to your grade. However, students often lose marks when they confuse a lab report from a scientific one. A scientific lab report is more in-depth hence has more chapters than a standard one.

The sections to include also depend on the academic level. A high-school lab report is easier to write and contains a few components compared to a postgraduate lab report. In most cases, a lab report for college and university will emulate scientific or scholarly reports.

Regardless of your academic level in all cases, when a teacher assigns a lab report, they expect it to be organized and free of errors. It should also be clear and interesting.

Besides, a quality report can boost your credibility as a scholar, which enhances your chances of being known as an excellent student. Lab reports follow the standard essay structure but may include additional sections to help the reader understand the objectives of the report. With that in mind, check out the purpose and format of a well-written lab report.

Purpose

A lab report’s function is to showcase a student’s comprehension of scientific concepts and understanding based on an experiment and the results obtained. It is also more than making an observation and noting down the results. A fascinating report will communicate the findings and explain their significance.

By following the required format, a student is able to showcase organized writing and clear thinking skills.

An instructor may also assign a lab report to gauge students’ writing skills and whether or not they understand the citation rules. As a result, your ideas have to be expressed coherently and logically.

Structure

The typical components likely to be found in a lab report include:

  1. Title page

It should start on a new page and state the name of the author and report. Include the names of all your lab partners and the date the report was completed. Keep the title informative and accurate.

  • Abstract

Gives a summary of the sections of the whole document. It should not exceed one page. But it needs to have the main key points to persuade the teacher that the rest of the report is worth reading.

  • The Introductory page

State the thesis statement and objectives of the experiment. Start with a hook or a topic sentence and add supporting sentences to reinforce the message you are communicating.

  • Methods, equipment, and material

Write this section in a list form. Make sure all methods that led to the results are clearly stated.

Procedure

Describe the steps used to conduct the experiment in chronological order. Even if you used a manual, summarize the key points. But make sure the steps outlined make sense and can be replicated.

  • Results

Present the data in a summary form using tables or graphs.

  • Discussion

Explain the results obtained and whether it agrees with the objectives or expectations. After the discussion section, add a concluding paragraph that gives the implication of the results. Lastly, add a bibliography on a new page.

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