Example Lab Report and structure
The lab report
The laboratory report is an important form of writing for scientists as it provides a record of experiments completed. Depending on the type of task or investigation you carry out, the sections of the written piece may vary, but a lab report or project report will usually have a title page, abstract, introduction and methods, results, discussion sections, a conclusion and references test section. Section
Title page + ID details
| * displays your name and student ID number * the title gives a precise description of what is in the report (this may be supplied by the lecturer).
| * placed at the beginning of the report * provides a summary of the entire paper (about 5% of the whole text) including: * the problem and its importance * what was done (the experiment) * how it was done (the method) * what resulted (the most important results) * what this research contributes to the field (significance)NB: The abstract does not include figures or tables.
| * gives the background or scope of study * includes background information so that the reader 1. understands the question behind the research 2. how it relates to other work in the field, and 3. why it is worth investigating.
| * describes the methods and procedures used * clearly explains the methodology so that it could be replicated (repeated) by another researcher.
| * presents the results of the experiment * uses an equation editor with correct mathematical symbols if the results involve numbers and equations * includes clearly labelled figures, tables and graphs where appropriate.
| * analyses and interprets the results, showing how these relate to the scope of study * states conclusions about how the results confirm, verify, or support the hypothesis, or refute, negate, or contradict it.NB: The word "prove" is not used except in very specific contexts (eg in mathematics).
| * summarises the conclusions of the study.
| * lists all references cited in the text.
Virginia Tech (1)
Virginia Tech (2)
Virginia Tech (3)Lab Report Links:
Laboratory reports are written for several reasons. One reason is to communicate the laboratory work to management. In such situations, management often bases company decisions on the results of the report. Another reason to write laboratory reports is to archive the work so that the work will not have to be done in the future. This web page presents a commonly used organization for laboratory reports:Abstract,Introduction,Procedures,Results and Discussion,Conclusions, andAppendices. You should not assume, though, that this organization will serve all your laboratory reports. In other words, one organization does not "fit" all experiments. Rather, you should pay attention to the organization requested by your instructor who has chosen an organization that best serves your experiments.
AbstractThe abstract presents a synopsis of the experiment. The following guidelines for preparing an abstract arise from the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA). Note that although your instructor may define the term "abstract" differently, these guidelines still give you a sense of the stylistic issues, such as whether to include numerical data, that distinguish abstracts:The abstract should be written concisely in normal rather than highly abbreviated English. The author should assume that the reader has some knowledge of the subject but has not read the paper. Thus, the abstract should be intelligible and complete in itself; particularly it should not cite figures, tables, or sections of the paper. The...
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