If you are studying sciences, then it is important to understand some of the basics of writing a lab report. Lab reports are essential as a way of documenting experiments. Usually, a lab report allows you to write down what you have understood from experiments, discussions and some of the conclusions that you have arrived at.
Scientists have agreed that a research report should have these sections: introduction, methods and materials, results and discussion (IMRAD). Therefore, in case you will be required to write a lab report, here are some tips that you should keep in mind:
The introduction of a lab report should be compelling and clear and therefore, it needs to be correctly done. It should consist of the purpose of the paper, relevant literature, hypothesis and justification for the hypotheses. The purpose of the paper is also known as the objective.
Most students confuse the purpose of the report with the hypothesis. The purpose of the report is broader than the hypothesis and is concerned with what the researcher intends to gain from the study. Therefore, always ensure that you get your hypothesis and purpose right before beginning any experiment. You hypothesis should be justified, showing the relevance and feasibility of the study. You should also provide a literature review that explains the relevance of the study.
- Methods and Materials
In this section, you will need to provide, clearly and precisely, the methods and materials that you will use and the rationale of the procedure that you will employ in your experiment. Scientifically, other researchers should be able to replicate your results using your methods. In short, your results should be reproducible to be valid. In the content of this section, you should consider the amount of details to include and the rationale of the methods used. You should also be keen to state the control experiment. Additionally, pay special attention to the subsections, using the narrative structure, past tense and employ passive voice in your lab report.
Paradoxically, the results section is the shortest but the most important part of the lab report. The results section contains the most critical information about whether the experiment supports the hypothesis or not. Examine the data that you have collected in relation to the hypothesis that you seek to explore before writing the results section. However, include only the data that you feel is the most relevant. Remember to write only indisputable facts.
The results section consists of text, tables and figures. The text is just a short paragraph to describe the results and avoid repetitive wording or going into much details. You should use tables in an exclusively necessary situation such as when presenting a comparison. Therefore, before including a table, you should determine its relevance. You can also use figures such as illustrations, photographs, maps, graphs, flow charts and section charts. One of most common figures in scientific experiments is the line graph and therefore, it critical to understand how to include it in your lab report.
- Discussion section
The discussion section does not have any specific format that should be applied in all reports. It will depend on the results that you have obtained from your experiment. Therefore, you can follow any format as long as your explain whether the data in the results support the experiments. Discussion should also acknowledge the limitations of the study. You can also establish some relationship between your study and other previous studies and the theoretical or practical impact of the study.
Putting together all this information can be time consuming and complicated. If you are planning to draft your own lab report, you will need time to put the document together. However, seeking the services of experienced writers could simplify this process for you. You can outsource the compilation of the report to get it within your deadline. Here at Quality Custom Writings, we understand this. With us, you are sorted!