Guidelines for Lab Report
Topics: Present tense, Experiment, Grammatical tense, Past tense, Laboratory, Theory / Pages: 4 (913 words) / Published: Jun 18th, 2011

A Guide to Writing an Engineering Laboratory (Lab) Report

Department of Engineering
Faculty of Engineering and Science,
University Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR)

1. Introduction

Laboratory (Lab) reports are the most frequent document written by engineering student. These reports can contribute a significant amount of marks and yet little time or attention is devoted in understanding on how to write them well. The aim of this document is to provide a general guideline on writing a lab report.

A lab report should not be used to merely record the expected and observed results but demonstrate the writer’s comprehension of the concept behind the data. A good lab report should address the following questions:

• “Why?” – Why did I do this particular experiment? • “How?” – How did I actually carry it out? • “What?” – What did I find? What were my results? • “So What?” – What does my result mean? What is the significance of the result? What are my conclusions?

2. Typical sections in a report

2.1 The Title Page

This is the most important section of the report because it provides information about the name of the experiment, author, and date. The title should be straightforward, and contain no more than 15 words.

2.2 The Abstract

This is a brief summary of the report. It gives the reader a quick idea of what you did, the main results, and their significances.

2.3 The Introduction

The introduction sections in a report states the objectives of the experiments and provide the reader with the background to the experiment. In addition, a good introduction also provides the reader with justification for why the work was carried out. And some further information of the theoretical principle involved in the experiments. Students should take note on VERB TENSE. These two points should help you in writing the introduction section.

• By the time you get to the stage of writing a lab report, the experiment is already finished.

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