How to Write a Laboratory Report

Writing lab reports requires presenting relevant practical and technical information clearly and concisely. This information details results and conclusions that are drawn from experiments and the methods used. The lab report should also include relevant discussions about the findings. These reports should be thorough, complete, and well-organized and consist of at least five sections as follows: 1) Cover Page, 2) Introduction, 3) Methods and Materials, 4) Results and Findings, and also 4) Discussions and Conclusions.

The Cover Page
The cover page of the lab report should contain a title given for the experiment. It should also include your full name, the instructor’s name (or whatever person or entity to which the report will be presented), and either the experiment date or the date the report is written.

The Introduction
The introduction of your lab report should include a thorough overview of the experiment and its purpose. The subject of the report is defined in the introduction as well as the scientific purpose of the research. This includes details about why the research is being performed and any existing knowledge about the research. The introduction gives a background about the report and should also include a hypothesis and experimental design. In addition, the introduction should include a definition of any discoveries occurring during the experiment.

Methods and Materials
This section outlines the research methodology used and gives detailed information about materials used in the experimentation process. Also, this section tells how the materials were used and gives the location and date of when the experiment was done. The procedures of the experiment are explained in this section, as well as any equipment used.

Results and Findings
This section details the raw data of the research and includes any measurable data that was captured during the course of the experiment. This is shown in tables, charts, figures, or graphs with descriptive titles and clearly defined data entries. This section is basically a summary of the data compiled from the experiments and focuses on implications. Results and findings focus on trends and similarities and differences occurring in research results.

Discussions and Conclusions
This section is a compilation of data interpretations that tie back into any theories or prior knowledge or research about the study. This can also include speculation and suggestions for experimentation improvements and recommendations for future research. This is also where the original hypothesis is either accepted or rejected and an explanation to why is also included. This section includes a summary of whether or not the experiment met its objectives and what happened during the course of the experiment. Additionally, the conclusion should summarize relevant facts revealed from the experiment results.

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