How to write a Lab Report

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Lab reports are an important part of laboratory courses and often make up a large portion of your grade. Follow the instructions of your instructor on how to create a lab report. A lab report must be included in the lab notebook of some instructors. Others will require a separate lab report. This is a sample format for a lab report that you can use if you’re not sure what to write, or you are thinking ‘I want someone to write my lab report for me’.

Lab Report Essentials

Title Page

Some lab reports don’t have title pages. But if you want one from your instructor, it would be a single-page page that says:

  • The experiment’s title.
  • Your name and any names of lab partners.
  • Your name as an instructor.
  • The date of the lab’s completion or submission of the report.

Title

The title describes what you did. It should be concise (aim for 10 words or less) that explains the main point of your experiment or investigation. One example title would be “Effects Ultraviolet Light on Borax Growth Rate” Use a keyword instead of an article to start your title.

Introduction or Purpose

Usually, the introduction is a paragraph that explains what the lab does. The hypothesis must be stated in one sentence. The introduction might contain background information. In this case, it should summarize the purpose of the experiment and state the findings. Finally, list the conclusions. Even if you don’t have to write an entire introduction, you must state the purpose of your experiment or the reason you did it. This is where you should state your hypothesis.

Materials

You will need to list all the necessary information for your experiment.

Methods

Describe what steps were taken during the investigation. This is your procedure. Make sure you are clear enough that others can easily read and copy your experiment. As if you were giving instructions to someone else, write it. A figure may help you to visualize your experimental setup.

Data

You will usually see the numerical data from your procedure as a table. Data refers to what you did during the experiment. These are the facts and not an interpretation of their meaning.

Results

Describe the meaning of the data using words. Sometimes the Results section may be combined with Discussion.

Discussion or Analysis

The Data section has numbers. The analysis section contains any calculations made from those numbers. This section allows you to interpret the data and determine if a hypothesis was accepted. Here you can discuss any mistakes made in the course of your investigation. This is where you might describe how the study could be improved.

Conclusions

The conclusion should usually be a single paragraph that summarizes the events of the experiment. This includes whether your hypothesis has been accepted or rejected and what it means.

Figures and graphs

Both figures and graphs must be labeled with descriptive titles. Make sure you label all axes in a graph. The X-axis shows the independent variable and the Y axis the dependent variable. Make sure you refer to figures and graphs within your report. The first figure is Figure 1. Figure 2.

Refer to

You should list any references that were based on other people’s work.

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