This type of laboratory format is more analytical than the traditional lab, and will require that you understand the methodology and concepts to a greater degree. The narrative format for laboratory reporting lets you tell the story of the lab by writing an essay. The narrative should incorporate all of the important elements of a traditional lab report but utilize a style that is continuous and flowing. This storytelling style answers the following questions:
What was I looking for / What did I do?
Describe the research question you were trying to answer or the prediction or hypothesis you were testing.
How did I look for it / Why were the particular parts done?
Tell what you did to answer the research question or test a prediction or hypothesis. Include a description of the method and materials you used. Mention safety issues and precautions.
What did I find?
Describe any observations you made, tabulate and discuss any data you collected, and show any calculations you made.
What does this mean?
Formulate a conclusion based on your data and calculations. Discuss the accuracy of your predictions or the support for your hypothesis. Also, discussion of results, conclusions, applications, sources of error, and further questions are addressed here.
Your report should answer these questions in narrative form, interrupted by data tables and calculations as necessary. Think of the report as the body of a letter you might write to a fellow student or teacher who was not there but must recreate the experiment. Let the questions shape the narrative but do not restate the questions within the report.
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