If your curriculum needs you to take part in the activities at a lab, you should know how to develop a lab report. Of course, you need to know how to perform specific tests in the lab. But you are scored by the accuracy of your lab report. Lab report writing may not be very difficult, but you do need to follow a certain format while drafting the report.
Here are the major sections of the lab report.
- Title page:
This section should include the title of the lab test, course numbers, names of all the members in your lab group, and the date on which the lab test was performed. It is a separate page. You can refer to a lab report example to get a better idea of the title page.
This section should briefly state your words, what you are trying to achieve and why you are performing the test. Do not write a question. Instead, provide a synopsis of what you did, why you did it, and the major principles you used for it. Check a lab report template to get some idea.
This section should explain the relevant theory that explains the physical principle of the test. Equations need to be properly numbered, and all variables should be explained in the test. Remember to properly document any derivations that are appropriate for the test while writing a lab report.
- Measurement methods:
This section should explain the measurement techniques, equipment used and the method used in the lab test. While conducting the lab test, make a note of problems with the equipment if appropriate. Your prelab preparation should identify the relevant equations, along with necessary unit conversions and constants, to reduce the time of the experiment. You need to describe the whole method in this section. Take a look at a sample if you do not know how to write a lab report.
- Analysis and results:
In this section, you need to summarise and display the results of the experiment. This section needs to be purely factual. It is recommended to display the results in the form of graphs. Describe the results clearly and concisely. Use tables if it seems appropriate. Cite equations from previous sections if necessary. You also need to properly label the figure axes.
- Discussion and conclusion:
In this section, you need to examine whether the test satisfied the stated purpose and explain what you have observed and learned.
If you have used information from external sources, be sure to cite those references using the right bibliographic style.
The raw data from the test should be included in an Appendix. You can also add sample calculations in an appendix. Data tables that are not important to the discussion in the test of the results but may be helpful to the readers should also be added to an appendix.
So, these were the major sections of the lab report format. Try to follow this particular format every time you write a lab report.
Conclusion: Conducting a lab test may be challenging at times. However, you always need to document your test in a specific format. This article highlights the basic format of a lab report and what one needs to write in a particular lab report.