format of lab report

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Format of lab report report topic ideas

Format of lab report

The effect of fertilizer on the growth of rose bushes. Rose bushes with large amount of fertilizer grow better than rose bushes with small amount of fertilizer. Plants and fertilizer. A This title is short and to the point, with just the right amount of detail. The abstract is a short summary of the main ideas found in the lab report.

It should include 1 the purpose of the study or the question being addressed by the study, 2 the procedures used in the study, 3 the major results of the study, and 4 any conclusions drawn by the author s. The abstract should generally be between and words in length.

Over the past few decades, land-use and climate change have led to substantial range contractions and species extinctions. Even more dramatic changes to global land cover are projected for this century. This study used the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment scenarios to evaluate the exposure of all 8, land bird species to projected land-cover changes due to climate and land-use change.

For this first baseline assessment, the authors assumed stationary geographic ranges that may overestimate actual losses in geographic range. Although expected climate change effects at high latitudes are significant, species most at risk are predominately narrow-ranged and endemic to the tropics, where projected range contractions are driven by anthropogenic land conversions.

Most of these species are currently not recognized as imperiled. The causes, magnitudes, and geographic patterns of potential range loss vary across socioeconomic scenarios, but all scenarios even the most environmentally benign ones result in large declines of many species. Whereas climate change will severely affect biodiversity, in near future, land-use change in tropical countries may lead to yet greater species loss. A vastly expanded reserve network in the tropics, coupled with more ambitious goals to reduce climate change, will be needed to minimize global extinctions.

Therefore, a well-organized laboratory report is much more effective and influential than one without a structure. There is no short list of instructions for writing a good laboratory report. You may have only one chance to influence your reader. While ineffective writing can turn off the readers, a well-written laboratory report can have impacts on your reputation, chance of employment or promotion.

You may also draw the attention of the scientific community to your work and retain them as your readers. A laboratory report usually have several sections identified by titles. If you are using a computer to type your work, section headings should be in boldface. The title can usually draw attention of the reader to your work. It should clearly represent the work presented. State the purpose of the experiment in general terms. Review the existing information or the theory. Reader will look for some reminder of the basic information relating to this particular area.

We can also include a summary of earlier work with proper references. Supply a paragraph or two about how the basic information , such as an equation representing the behavior of a model theory , can be used to make measurements. Indicate what parameter or properties of the system you are measuring. Usually you change a parameter of the system such as changing the temperature, independent variable , and measure its effect such as the length of a metal rod, dependent variable. Specify such measurement details as the type of standard or instrument used to make the measurement for example, meter stick or vernier caliper, etc.

Give the instrument uncertainties. You may also give, if necessary, an apparatus diagram.

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Choosing a title is one of the most difficult tasks. When formatting lab report, keep in mind your title must be no more than 12 words long, yet it should accurately describe the contents of your paper. An abstract is a very short summary of your report, but it is one of the most important parts of the paper.

It enables your reader to understand whether he or she is going to read the whole paper or not. It must be words long, and it must present all the major points of your report. An introduction tells what will follow in your lab report and provides the primary goals of the experiment.

Here you need to describe the specific questions you have chosen to study. A good introduction also provides some background information to the readers. The materials and methods section is usually the easiest part to write.

All you need to do here is to write what you did and provide a materials list. It must be detailed enough, so those who are interested in your experiment could follow your steps. Just make sure to write everything in past tense with no personal pronouns. In the results section, you should provide your readers with calculations, different tables, charts, images, graphs, etc. It is one of the most important parts of lab report formatting as in this section you need to show you more than understanding the experiment.

You have to explain, analyze, and compare your results. When you are writing a lab report discussion section , start by making a statement whether or not your results support the expected findings stated in the beginning. Then compare your findings to the studies of others. A conclusion can be very short. Just write what you have learned while doing this experiment and add a final statement. In this part, you need to provide your readers with a list of references that were cited in your report.

It will include your lab manual, different handouts, textbooks, and other resources. The most common mistake students make is not including data. All data must be included in the results section. Once data is collected, it must be organized and summarized. There are many ways to format and present data from laboratory work. It is usually presented as:. Using it will help you analyze and interpret your results. Your data must be presented in a way that is most useful for interpreting the results.

Follow our guidelines on how to format a lab report to submit a perfect paper. Also, to make your introduction informative and strong, identify the difference between the goals and the hypothesis. It is essential to identify the materials and equipment that will be needed for the experiment. Provide a description of the equipment used and their diagrams as well. Make sure to keep a sensible balance as not every small thing can be described.

The method section will reflect the exact method or procedure in which the experiment took place. Make sure that the methods are sufficiently presented so that the others can replicate the experiment. A trick is to assume that the readers do not know how to conduct the experiment. And you have to explain the procedure from scratch.

Your research methodology should act as a lab manual. It should enable the readers to replicate the experiment as conveniently as possible. To make sure that your method section is understandable, the following subheadings should be present in the lab report:. The result of an experiment is the most salient feature of the lab report. In the experimental results section, the findings obtained from the experiment are presented for the readers.

To compose this section effectively, describe the findings or results, and then move on to the analysis of the assumptions. The readers will understand the results better if the tables and graphs are provided in this section. Moreover, precisely report the test used and the reasons behind it. Also, present the obtained values and the necessary information highlighting the key results and the statistical significance. Data obtained is usually in numerical form and needs to be presented to the audience in a tabular format.

Avoid including any raw data, and make sure you put the figures correctly within the table. The discussion section connects and relates the results that were anticipated and added in the introduction section. This chapter includes an explanation of the following points:. In this part of the lab report, present limitations or shortcomings of the methods faced in your experiment and suggest suitable solutions or remedies for them. Moreover, the discussion is also inclusive of suggestive ways to improve the study.

It leads to impressive findings and conclusions. The conclusion is the last paragraph of the report, suggesting if the hypothesis was accepted or rejected. It is where you comment on the outcomes of the experiment or your study. In some cases, the discussion and conclusion sections are written together. It is advised to understand the guidelines provided by the instructor and work accordingly. When written separately, the conclusion section should include the synthesis of the thesis, the key points, and the implications and interpretations of the subject.

The figures and graphs are related to the content and labelled with a descriptive title. The axes are carefully written and measured. The X-axis shows the independent variable, while the Y-axis shows the dependent variable. The tables, graphs, and figures can be written with the result as well as in a separate section. Make sure to accurately present them to make the whole study understandable for the readers.

If you have reviewed and studied a number of sources, provide a reference list for it at the end of your lab report. It is to ensure the credibility of you and your study. Cite each and every source of the work in this section. Depending on the referencing format, present the name of the author, title of the work, and the publishing details. Writing a lab report is simple if you know the basic writing techniques.

It is essential to make sure that the lab report should be readable and understandable by the people from the other fields as well. So use simple language and clear representation of ideas. To make you understand how a perfect lab report should look like, we have gathered and presented some examples below.

Follow these examples to write your report. Following these examples will give you an idea about the structure and formation of your lab report. The importance of format and structure can not be denied in the writing world. Especially when you are writing something for your academics, it needs to be correctly structured and outlined.

If you have no clue how an academic assignment is formatted, take professional help not to risk your grades. If you face difficulties in writing a lab report or any other form of academic assignment, take help from the expert writers. You can also place your order at the lowest price and get a written assignment before the set deadline.

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If you studied a particular species in your experiment, make sure you include that in the title. If the study was a field study done in a specific location, that should also be mentioned. The title should have enough details that any person could read it and know just what the study was about. But you don't need too many details, since you'll be talking about them in the paper itself. For example, a study on the numbers of bird species found in Phoenix parks might be called "Species of birds in Phoenix city parks.

Imagine you did an experiment in which you grew five different groups of rose bushes, and each group received a different amount of fertilizer. Which of the following would be the best title for this lab report? The effect of fertilizer on the growth of rose bushes. Rose bushes with large amount of fertilizer grow better than rose bushes with small amount of fertilizer.

Plants and fertilizer. A This title is short and to the point, with just the right amount of detail. The abstract is a short summary of the main ideas found in the lab report. It should include 1 the purpose of the study or the question being addressed by the study, 2 the procedures used in the study, 3 the major results of the study, and 4 any conclusions drawn by the author s. The abstract should generally be between and words in length.

Over the past few decades, land-use and climate change have led to substantial range contractions and species extinctions. Even more dramatic changes to global land cover are projected for this century. For most experiments an error analysis is important, and errors should be included in tables and on graphs. Also, it is always best to draw figures yourself if you can. If you do use figures from another source, indicate in the citation whether you have modified it in any way.

When showing calculations, it is usual to show the general equation, and one worked example. Where a calculation is repeated many times, the additional detail is usually included in an appendix. Check the requirements given in your unit information or lab manual, or ask your tutor if you are unsure where to place calculations.

In some schools, like Biology, calculations that are too detailed to go into the main body of the report can be added in an appendix. The purpose of such appendices is to present the data gathered and demonstrate the level of accuracy obtained. A chromatogram was produced for the unknown compound U, and each of the known compounds, A-E.

Rf values for each substance are listed in Table 1. As well as presenting the main findings of your experiment, it is important that you indicate how accurate your results are. This is usually done through determining the level of uncertainty. The sources of error that you need to consider will vary between experiments, but you will usually need to factor in both random and systematic errors.

Your error analysis should identify the main causes of uncertainty in your measurements, note any assumptions, and show how you have calculated any error bars. Check with your demonstrator, tutor or lecturer if you are unsure about how to determine uncertainties or whether error bars are required for your experiment. Your discussion section should demonstrate how well you understand what happened in the experiment.

You should:. The discussion example below is from a first-year Biology unit. The aim of this experiment was to identify decomposition rates of leaf breakdown to establish rates of energy transfer. It was expected that the leaves would show a far higher rate of decomposition in the shore zone, where there are more chances for sediments to rub against them.

However the two zones show no significant difference in leaf breakdown, although these results are non-conclusive due to the limitations of this experiment. The two zones of leaf decomposition were physically too close, and over the incubation period reeds were observed growing close to the limnetic zone. This may have negatively affected the accuracy of the results by reducing the differences in habitat at these sites, as seen in other experiments Jones et al.

The results also had large standard deviations, possibly due to these physical constraints or human error in weighing leaves. Further studies with more diverse zones and precise procedures should be undertaken in order to explore leaf decomposition and rates of energy transfer more effectively.

Drag each description of each component of the Discussion section to its example. Notice the order in which the components make up a coherent Discussion section. The conclusion section should provide a take-home message summing up what has been learned from the experiment:. In brief lab reports, the conclusion is presented at the end of the discussion, and does not have its own heading.

Note that a conclusion should never introduce any new ideas or findings, only give a concise summary of those which have already been presented in the report. Click again to hide the comment. It is quite possible that you may have in-text citations in your lab reports. Typically these will be included in the introduction to establish evidence of background for current theories or topics. Your discussion section will often include in-text citations, to show how your findings relate to those in the published literature, or to provide evidence-based suggestions or explanations for what you observed.

When in-text citations are incorporated into your lab report, you must always have the full citations included in a separate reference list. The reference list is a separate section that comes after your conclusion and before any appendices.

Check your lab manual or unit information to determine which referencing style is preferred. Carefully follow that referencing style for your in-text references and reference list. You can find examples and information about common referencing styles in the Citing and referencing Library guide. The following is an example of a reference list based on the in-text citations used in the Introduction and Conclusion sections in this tutorial.

Environmental Ecology Journal 75 , Energy Efficiency Reports. Report no. Many of your Science units will require you to write formal laboratory reports. Review the components of the Science laboratory report. Select the report section that relates to the statement. Skip to content Skip to navigation. Approaches to assignments in your faculty Art, Design and Architecture Architecture assignment 1 Architecture assignment 2 Art History and Theory essay Art History essay Industrial design assignment Visual analysis Arts Reflective writing in Arts Literary Studies essays Principles for writing a Literary Studies Essay Steps for writing a Literary Studies essay Sample Literary Studies essay History essay Writing philosophy essays Writing an annotated bibliography Writing an essay Stand-alone literature review Oral presentation Poster presentation Business and Economics Sample Business and Economics reflective essay Questions Evaluate a reflective essay Sample Business and Economics essay The reference list Writing an annotated bibliography Stand-alone literature review Note taking and summary notes flow-chart.

What is academic integrity? How can I study with integrity? Test your understanding Find out more Case note assignment Understanding case notes and marker expectations Identifying the elements of a case note Finding materials Analysing materials Better writing Summary Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences Health Sciences case report Reflective writing and critical incidents Writing the comparative report Writing in Psychological Medicine 1.

Case history 2. Mental state examination 3. Physical examination 4. Summary and diagnosis 5. Formulation 6. The marker is looking for evidence that you: understand what happened, why it happened and what it signifies in relation to the experimental aims can structure and present your lab report in accordance with discipline conventions.

Disclaimer: Please note that many units require students to record notes and observations in logbooks in the laboratory. Lab report structure Lab reports can vary in length and format. Title precisely identifies the focus of the lab. In general the abstract should answer six questions: Why was the experiment conducted? What results were obtained? What do these results mean? How do they answer the overall question or improve our understanding of the problem?

An abstract is usually only one paragraph words max. Tip An abstract should be written last even though it appears as the first section in your report , as it summarises information from all the other sections of the report. The Introduction should: provide the context and motivation for the experiment briefly explain relevant theory in sufficient detail introduce any relevant laws, equations or theorems clearly state the aim or research question that the experiment is designed to address.

A typical procedure usually includes: How apparatus and equipment were set up e. Experimental set-up and materials Your description of the experimental set-up should be sufficient to allow someone else to replicate the experiment themselves. Lab handout example Week 5 Laboratory instructions Procedure Use a clean pipette to measure 25ml of HCl aq into the conical flask. Rinse a burette with standardised NaOH aq.

Fill the burette to the 0. Remember to take the reading from the centre of the meniscus, and from eye level. Record the actual reading in Table 1. Place a sheet of white paper under the burette. This is to make it easier to observe the colour change during the reaction. Place the conical flask onto the white paper Lab report example Procedure The equipment was arranged as shown in Fig.

Figure 2. Experimental set-up for titration taken from Carroll Lecturer's comment When writing up the procedure, you must report what was actually done and what actually happened, and omit any extra information such as helpful hints included in the instructions.

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If you studied a particular species in your experiment, make sure you include that in the title. If the study was a field study done in a specific location, that should also be mentioned. The title should have enough details that any person could read it and know just what the study was about. But you don't need too many details, since you'll be talking about them in the paper itself.

For example, a study on the numbers of bird species found in Phoenix parks might be called "Species of birds in Phoenix city parks. Imagine you did an experiment in which you grew five different groups of rose bushes, and each group received a different amount of fertilizer. Which of the following would be the best title for this lab report? The effect of fertilizer on the growth of rose bushes. Rose bushes with large amount of fertilizer grow better than rose bushes with small amount of fertilizer.

Plants and fertilizer. A This title is short and to the point, with just the right amount of detail. The abstract is a short summary of the main ideas found in the lab report. It should include 1 the purpose of the study or the question being addressed by the study, 2 the procedures used in the study, 3 the major results of the study, and 4 any conclusions drawn by the author s. The abstract should generally be between and words in length. Over the past few decades, land-use and climate change have led to substantial range contractions and species extinctions.

Even more dramatic changes to global land cover are projected for this century. Listing your equipment ensures that you use the same piece of equipment throughout a test. Check with your instructor to determine whether or not this information should be included and where.

You may need to provide a separate "Equipment" heading or include this information within the "Procedures. H ere is where you document everything you did during a test or experiment. In a way, this section is like a recipe because you present the exact steps you followed.

In fact, someone should be able to read your procedures section and imitate the test or experiment exactly. I n this section, you report the test's outcome s. Here, tell your readers what the test measured with exact data. You might also include calculations or equations. This section may or may not include data interpretations. Some readers expect interpretations, or conclusions, to be a separate heading. Check with your instructor for what to include in your results.

I n the conclusions, you comment on the outcomes of a test. Here, you might also speculate about the implications of the results or even about the methods used to obtain the results. Some readers may not expect conclusions. For example, engineers reading a report may interpret, or make conclusions, about the results themselves. Typically, as a student, however, you may need to interpret, or make recommendations about, the results for your readers.

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The goal of this module is to acquaint you with one specific type of technical writing: the lab report. Most science courses require you to write at least one lab report during the semester. By the end of this module, you will have a more thorough understanding of the style of writing required by lab reports, the parts of a typical lab report, how to use graphs and tables to illustrate your data, and how to properly cite the sources you used in your research. Search this Guide Search. Lab Report Writing.

Learning Objectives Demonstrate an understanding of the proper writing style for a lab report Distinguish between the type of information needed in each section of a lab report Generate proper graphs and tables to illustrate the data used in a lab report. An abstract should be written last even though it appears as the first section in your report , as it summarises information from all the other sections of the report.

The method section is where you describe what you actually did. It includes the procedure that was followed. This should be a report of what you actually did, not just what was planned. A typical procedure usually includes:. If any aspects of the experimental procedure were likely to contribute systematic error to the data and results, point this out in sufficient detail in this section. Your description of the experimental set-up should be sufficient to allow someone else to replicate the experiment themselves.

When you carry out an experiment, you usually follow a set of instructions such as these, which may include extra information to guide you through the steps. A burette was clamped to a retort stand and filled with standardised NaOH aq and the initial measurement was recorded.

The conical flask was placed below the burette, on top of a piece of white paper. Five drops of universal indicator solution were added to the flask When writing up the procedure, you must report what was actually done and what actually happened, and omit any extra information such as helpful hints included in the instructions. Your goal for this section should be to include enough detail for someone else to replicate what you did and achieve a similar outcome.

You should also explain any modifications to the original process introduced during the experiment. While most science units require that you report in the passive voice , some require the active voice. In the example below, the first person is used e. This is accepted in some disciplines, but not others. Check your unit information or talk to your unit coordinator. Read samples of student reports below and identify which examples are written in passive voice, and which use active voice.

In this section, you present the main data collected during your experiment. Each key measurement needs to be reported appropriately. Data are often presented in graphs, figures or tables. This section often also includes analysis of the raw data, such as calculations. In some disciplines the analysis is presented under its own heading, in others it is included in the results section.

An analysis of the errors or uncertainties in the experiment is also usually included in this section. Most numerical data are presented using tables or graphs. These need to be labelled appropriately to clearly indicate what is shown.

Note that in Fig. For most experiments an error analysis is important, and errors should be included in tables and on graphs. Also, it is always best to draw figures yourself if you can. If you do use figures from another source, indicate in the citation whether you have modified it in any way. When showing calculations, it is usual to show the general equation, and one worked example.

Where a calculation is repeated many times, the additional detail is usually included in an appendix. Check the requirements given in your unit information or lab manual, or ask your tutor if you are unsure where to place calculations. In some schools, like Biology, calculations that are too detailed to go into the main body of the report can be added in an appendix.

The purpose of such appendices is to present the data gathered and demonstrate the level of accuracy obtained. A chromatogram was produced for the unknown compound U, and each of the known compounds, A-E. Rf values for each substance are listed in Table 1.

As well as presenting the main findings of your experiment, it is important that you indicate how accurate your results are. This is usually done through determining the level of uncertainty. The sources of error that you need to consider will vary between experiments, but you will usually need to factor in both random and systematic errors. Your error analysis should identify the main causes of uncertainty in your measurements, note any assumptions, and show how you have calculated any error bars.

Check with your demonstrator, tutor or lecturer if you are unsure about how to determine uncertainties or whether error bars are required for your experiment. Your discussion section should demonstrate how well you understand what happened in the experiment.

You should:. The discussion example below is from a first-year Biology unit. The aim of this experiment was to identify decomposition rates of leaf breakdown to establish rates of energy transfer. It was expected that the leaves would show a far higher rate of decomposition in the shore zone, where there are more chances for sediments to rub against them.

However the two zones show no significant difference in leaf breakdown, although these results are non-conclusive due to the limitations of this experiment. The two zones of leaf decomposition were physically too close, and over the incubation period reeds were observed growing close to the limnetic zone.

This may have negatively affected the accuracy of the results by reducing the differences in habitat at these sites, as seen in other experiments Jones et al. The results also had large standard deviations, possibly due to these physical constraints or human error in weighing leaves. Further studies with more diverse zones and precise procedures should be undertaken in order to explore leaf decomposition and rates of energy transfer more effectively. Drag each description of each component of the Discussion section to its example.

Notice the order in which the components make up a coherent Discussion section. The conclusion section should provide a take-home message summing up what has been learned from the experiment:. In brief lab reports, the conclusion is presented at the end of the discussion, and does not have its own heading. Note that a conclusion should never introduce any new ideas or findings, only give a concise summary of those which have already been presented in the report.

Click again to hide the comment. It is quite possible that you may have in-text citations in your lab reports. Typically these will be included in the introduction to establish evidence of background for current theories or topics. Your discussion section will often include in-text citations, to show how your findings relate to those in the published literature, or to provide evidence-based suggestions or explanations for what you observed.

When in-text citations are incorporated into your lab report, you must always have the full citations included in a separate reference list. The reference list is a separate section that comes after your conclusion and before any appendices. Check your lab manual or unit information to determine which referencing style is preferred.

Carefully follow that referencing style for your in-text references and reference list. You can find examples and information about common referencing styles in the Citing and referencing Library guide. The following is an example of a reference list based on the in-text citations used in the Introduction and Conclusion sections in this tutorial. Environmental Ecology Journal 75 , Energy Efficiency Reports. Report no. Many of your Science units will require you to write formal laboratory reports.

Review the components of the Science laboratory report. Select the report section that relates to the statement. Skip to content Skip to navigation. Approaches to assignments in your faculty Art, Design and Architecture Architecture assignment 1 Architecture assignment 2 Art History and Theory essay Art History essay Industrial design assignment Visual analysis Arts Reflective writing in Arts Literary Studies essays Principles for writing a Literary Studies Essay Steps for writing a Literary Studies essay Sample Literary Studies essay History essay Writing philosophy essays Writing an annotated bibliography Writing an essay Stand-alone literature review Oral presentation Poster presentation Business and Economics Sample Business and Economics reflective essay Questions Evaluate a reflective essay Sample Business and Economics essay The reference list Writing an annotated bibliography Stand-alone literature review Note taking and summary notes flow-chart.

What is academic integrity? How can I study with integrity? Test your understanding Find out more Case note assignment Understanding case notes and marker expectations Identifying the elements of a case note Finding materials Analysing materials Better writing Summary Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences Health Sciences case report Reflective writing and critical incidents Writing the comparative report Writing in Psychological Medicine 1.

Case history 2. Mental state examination 3.