The ability to report technical information in a clear and concise manner matters mostly to demonstrate practical skills that a trained person can develop. The technical information drawn from experimental methods, results and conclusions can be gathered and transcribed into a Lab Report. Through this report you can explain what you did in the experiment, state what you learned and what the results meant. You can use the following format to achieve a comprehensive lab report.
This should be the first or the cover page of your report. This should contain the following:
- Title of the Experiment
- Your name and the names of your Lab partner/s
- Your instructor’s name
- The date the lab was performed or the date the report was submitted
Note that the title says what you did. It should be brief and give the main point of the experiment or investigation. The title should contain keywords rather an article like ‘The’ or ‘A’.
Usually the introduction is one paragraph that explains the objectives or purpose of the lab experiment and why you performed the experiment. A sound definition of what was learned about the process should be stated here. In one sentence state the hypothesis. You can include background information which briefly summarizes how the experiment was performed, state the findings of the experiment and list the conclusions of the investigation.
List everything that was used to complete the experiment.
Describe the steps completed or performed in your investigation under the methods. This is where you state the conducted experimental procedure. This should be written in a sentence form and should not be listed. Include figures or diagrams of the experimental set-up.
The materials and methods should be detailed and complete so that anyone who is unfamiliar with the process can duplicate the experiment.
Numerical data obtained from the procedure is usually presented as a table and may include a graph. Recorded data shows when the experiment was conducted, measured values and should not contain any interpretation. This is an effective method for communicating experimental results.
If figures and graphs will be used, make sure that everything is well labeled with descriptive titles. Be sure to refer to the figures and graphs in the text of the report.
Discussion or Analysis
The Data section contains numbers; the Analysis section contains calculations based on those numbers. This section is where you interpret the data and determine whether or not a hypothesis was accepted or if the experiment met the objectives. This is where discussion on any mistakes made while conducting the investigation can be stated. Suggestions or recommendations for improvement of future experiments can also be found here.
Most conclusions are single paragraph that summarizes what happened in the experiment and state whether the hypothesis is accepted or rejected and what it means.
If the research or experiment was based on someone else’s work or if citations of facts require documentation, a reference section should be created.
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