One of the most important things to do when doing a lab or an experiment is to write a lab report. When writing a lab report, it prepares you for the future. That is gaining various skills for the scientific world, these included scientific thinking, scientific communication, and scientific methods. Also, a lab report is used in a way to persuade readers to accept or reject their hypotheses by presenting the data and their interpretation. The lab report can also be recorded for future references for future generations Here I will present you with a general format on how a lab report should be, some other information can be added depending on the lecturer or the subject.
This consists of the name of the experiment that is being done at the moment. And also the date it starts and finishes.
This is a general statement, no more than two lines on why the experiment was being carried out
The abstract is mainly done last. The abstract gives a summary to the reader to see if the whole lab report is worth reading. Therefore, the abstract gives a brief summary stating the method of preparation, the purpose of the experiment, results, and conclusions
This is a background of the experiment which gives the reader enough information to understand the report.When doing the report make sure it aligns with the aim of the experiment.
Flow Chart (optional)
In some lab courses, lectures like you to do a flowchart before coming to lab. The flow chart is an outline of the procedure.
Here is an example of a flowchart:-
This is a general way of writing an experimental procedure for a lab since there are many variations of writing a lab depending on the subject. The experimental procedure is writing in the past tense and also it is described in a chronological order. This is to allow the reader, to understand how the experiment was carried out exactly. The lecture might add or subtract information from the experiment, so it advisable to don’t copy the exact procedure from the lab.
This section consists of the observations that occur in the lab. It also consists of the balance chemical equations, graphs, calculations based on your results and analysis of errors.
When writing up this section up it is required to put the results in a table format, the reason being it is easy to read when analyzing the results and also easy to understand. When doing graphs remember to label the graphs clearly, points is clearly seen( point should plot as a cross or circle) and also have a proper title. Make sure that the independent variable is plotted on the horizontal (x-axis) axis. While the dependent variable is plotted on the vertical axis( y-axis). Make sure that the axis is label with the name of the quantity that is being plotted and the correct units. The scales should be chosen appropriately, so the points spread across the graph paper.
Discussion and Conclusion
This section mainly deals with the interpretation and analyst of your results. And referring it back to your aim of the experiment. To see if it was rejected or accepted.
This section deal with any work that you may use in writing your report which should be properly cited. Any journals, books, data, even if the original text is paraphrased the information have to be cited.The lecturer would tell you which reference style them prefer but science mainly use Chicago style. To see how to reference correctly, please click here .