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How To Write A Good Lab Report For College

13 Feb 2019Lab Report Writing Guides

Learning science takes more than reading a good book. Experiments, observations, and concluding are crucial in science education. That is why all students should learn how to write a lab report like a pro.

Experiments and observation help students verify conclusions reached by others. College students should see things and validate scientific knowledge. They can support their laboratory observation with what is written in books.

But to share your observations and findings with others, you should know how to complete a lab report the right way. This type of academic writing is based on facts and scientific observation, with little or no focus on narrations. A scientific method should be followed in composing an excellent report.

best tips on lab report writing

Five Steps On How To Write a Good College Lab Report

Whether you are studying chemistry, biology, microbiology or physics, writing high-quality lab reports is a crucial part of your academic studies. Aspiring scientists and students need a good laboratory report when they’re inventing something, prove facts, or elaborate on findings. That is why every science student should learn how to write a formal lab report that meets adequate academic criteria.

This is not just another piece of academic writing you want to hand in hoping for good grades. It’s a chance to demonstrate an understanding of a particular topic by drawing conclusions. Here is how to write a good lab report:

1. Devote time to pre-lab report writing

It’s crucial to explain why you’re writing this report. What’s the goal of your academic assignment and what are you trying to prove? Moreover, you should elaborate on all procedures followed in running your experiment and the techniques used to prove your conclusion.

2. Use a Flowchart

This is a roadmap that keeps readers focused while reading your assignment. They can always refer back to the flowchart if they’re confused while reading.

3. Accurate Data Taking

Taking notes is the most crucial part of learning how to write a college lab report. Take notes of everything going on in the lab. Use a pen, so you don’t accidentally erase something by mistake. You might erase something thinking that it’s wrong, only to find out that you were right in the first place.

Use all your senses; eyes, ears, and nose and record everything. Make sure that you write detailed descriptions of all machines used, materials, their concentration, and temperatures.

4. Explain in Details

Now that you’re out of the lab, it’s time for college lab report writing. This means going back to your data and writing everything neatly. Some professors expect tables and graphs because they provide useful information. Mention all calculations and formulas used. This helps readers follow your report and see how you reached your results. Students should also mention units.

5. Write the Conclusion

The conclusion is a crucial part of the lab report format. It’s a summary of what you did, research findings, and results obtained. A conclusion reminds readers of the details of your experiment. Even if something didn’t go as expected, mention it and explain how you plan on improving it in the future.

How To Write The Main Sections For Lab Report?

A formal lab report has several important parts. To complete your assignment in excellent quality, pay attention to each part and work on it properly.

  • Title Page

Some lab reports don’t require a title page. But if your professor asks for one, mention the title of your experiment, names of students, the instructor’s name, and the date of submission.

  • Abstract

This is a summary of the purpose of your lab report. It should explain the key findings and major conclusions. Mention the methodology or theory which the experiment is based. By reading the abstract, interested readers will have an idea of what they will read.

It should be brief, and still contain all relevant information, including the numerical values of results. It should also include a summarized description of all procedures.

  • Lab Report Introduction

The introduction of any academic assignment is the writer’s chance to grab the attention of readers. Your lab report introduction is a summary of the major steps in the experiment while mentioning some background information. Mention your hypothesis or what you believe before running an experiment to prove it. Your introduction should tell readers what is the problem or issue and explain how your experiment can expand knowledge to solve this issue.

  • Method

Your method section is an integral part of a formal lab report. Methods should always be written in the past tense and not in a narrative way. Lab report writing is based on facts and should follow a scientific approach. Mention the methodology or theories and variables that will affect results. Methods adapted from other sources should be referenced.

  • Materials For Laboratory Report

Here students list everything used in the experiment. This gives readers the chance to duplicate the experiment if they wish to. Use complete sentences and don’t list materials like a recipe.

  • Procedure Section

Here, don’t confuse readers by writing too many words. Keep it simple and list actions in the order they happened. Use the active voice and bullet points or lists so readers can repeat the experiment later on if they wish. While writing your experiment procedure, you should avoid being too brief; otherwise, you might give up clarity.

  • Discussion Section

Explaining relationships is vital in writing a lab report. How does your experiment relate to other work in the same field? This is what you need to include in your lab report discussion to provide useful information to readers. You have probably received some questions in your lab manual. In the discussion section, integrate these answers into a logical discussion rather than answering them one by one.

  • References

This is a list of all scientific papers that you’ve used to run your experiment. References should be written on a separate page at the end of your assignment. Readers can refer to these references if they need to read more. This is also a good way to avoid being accused of plagiarism.

How To Format A College Lab Report Correctly

When you are writing a lab report, follow the right formatting style. Professors expect you to submit your task before the due date, so there will be a chance to revise and edit.

Lab reports are either written in APA or MLA styles. Both are widely accepted, but they differ in the way to list the cited sources. MLA follows the author-page format while APA follows the author-page format for in-text citations. Some students prefer to hire a reputable lab report writing service to finish their tasks on time.

Use 1-inch margins and use a Times New Roman 12 point font to compose your lab report. Page numbers should be on the upper right-hand corner, starting from the first page. Refer to your lab manual and set of instructions before writing your assignment and make sure that you’re following the right lab reports outline.

Writing excellent lab reports is not easy. But we made sure to provide you with a clear explanation of every step to submit an excellent task. Follow the steps and tips we’ve mentioned in our article and your lab reports will impress everyone. Check PaperOwl blog for more tips on all types of academic writing. Our expert writers are always ready to help you.​​​​​​​

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