Numerous students face such a situation when they need to write a lab report. However, it is not always as easy as they might think. Sometimes, it requires much more effort and knowledge than an average student has. At the same time, it doesn’t mean that it is something so difficult and horrible that you better don’t even try to receive a good grade. Everything the lab report writer needs to do is to spend some time to prepare and follow some simple steps.
If you already spent some time just sitting and thinking about how to write my lab report, you should relax and just start working on it. First of all, you need to understand your topic. It is perfect if you know all the material but it would be already enough to understand the main points. Find out what is the problem you are trying to solve or what is the issue you are working on. These key points would also be the main ideas which you should use at the beginning of the report.
In the introduction you should:
- Determine the subject of the study: Why was this study conducted?
- Describe the basic information and relevant research: What research has already been done in this field, what is already known about this topic?
- Describe the purpose and/or object: What are the hypotheses and the scheme of the experiments being conducted?
The next step is to determine the theoretical basis that would be necessary for the report. While studying it, you need to draw a certain kind of conclusion, which you need to use as a hypothesis. It is a statement or a claim, which you believe describes the results that you will receive when you finish your report. It can describe one or several points and it is also can be wrong. Of course, it doesn’t mean that you can write everything you wish there. The hypothesis should be based on certain theoretical statements or facts and be the logical continuation of them.
Materials and Methods
The following step is to use the material that you collect for the lab report. You need to describe everything that is necessary for the understanding of the topic, issue, or problem. Moreover, it is essential to include all the step and actions you did during the experiment. The idea of this procedure is the possibility for someone to repeat the same experiment in the same circumstances in order to proof or check your results.
You need to note that it is important not only to describe the procedure itself but also to mention the materials you used for it. Every detail is really important and should be mentioned in the report. All the measurements that you took should also be presented. It would be a good idea if you will use a table or a graph to demonstrate your findings
The main points to mention in your lab report:
- List of materials used, how and where they were used and how and where the work was carried out (especially important for field experiments);
- Describe the specifics of the environment in which the experiments were conducted and the basic theory of data analysis;
- Provide the reader with enough details so that he/she can understand the essence, but is not overwhelmed by its amount. If the process is accurately described in a laboratory journal or other report, simply mention this source and note that details can be found there.
It is essential to understand that the observations should be clearly described and in a logical sequence. The data should be also summarized and classified so that it is easy to read and understand. It will create an impression of a professionally conducted research. Moreover, it will be easier for the reader to find the necessary information without reading the whole report. In that way, it is extremely important to follow a certain structure.
The final part of the report should present the findings you have made during the research. It should describe the conclusions you have made as well as the generalized information about them. These are the conclusions about the experiment itself, about its results, and about the hypothesis, you have made at the very beginning of the report.
In order to make this section right, you need to follow several simple rules:
- Focus your attention on the main directions and false moments, and not on simple and usual details;
- Summarize the data of experiments without discussing their consequences, conclusions;
- Systemize data using tables, graphs, charts, etc. Do not repeat the data in the table in graphs and charts;
- Title all figures and tables; use common characters, abbreviations, and expressions;
- Try to be logical and precise, avoid ambiguities, especially pronouns and consistency;
- Keep your narration impersonal; avoid first-person narration;
- Number the figures and tables and refer to them from the text using these numbers.
The Final Steps
The last page of your report is the bibliography. It contains everything that you used in order to create a theoretical part of the lab:
- Include in the list only those sources to which you referred in your work and not the entire bibliography on this topic;
- Arrange the list in alphabetical order by the name of the author;
- Stick to the recommended citation style.
Finally, it is necessary to proofread your paper. First of all, pay your attention to the issues that are connected to the information presented in the report. Check if everything is correct and whether you have mentioned all the necessary information. Then, proof the grammar. It is a simple but really essential step as your grade can be lower because of the mistakes. Determine whether you can do anything in order to improve the quality of the presented material and of the report itself.