Lab Report Guide


This is a short guide on organizing and writing a lab report. Below are the 6 basic sections you should include when are you writing a lab report.

 

  1. Objective
  2. Procedures
  3. Discussion
  4. Conclusion
  5. References
  6. Appendix

 

This post will cover in more detail on what should be included in each of these 6 sections.

 

Objective

This section should state what the purpose of the project or assignment is. It also should be brief and convey to the reader what the project is trying to achieve.

 

Procedures

This should explain the steps you took while working on your project. This section should be thorough enough that if the reader were to perform the exact project again, they could based on your procedures section.

 

Discussion

This where you should talk about the results of your project or experiment. This will exclude pictures, graphs, tables, etc. This will also state any abnormalities you run into and any results that don’t answer your hypothesis set forth in your objective statement.

 

Conclusion

This will sum up what you learned from your experiment. Typically if you are doing this for a class, there will be some key point your TA or professor wants you to get out of the lab session, talk about it here. Additionally, talk about any extraneous results and how the project could have been improved with more time and resources.

 

References

This section will include all the sources you refer to in your report. These should be cited properly in the correct format.

 

Appendix

The section that will contain any additional material that was produced during the lab session. This includes data sheets, signatures, reference material, etc.

 

The only disclaimer to this guide is that organizing and writing a lab report is not a one size fits all process. Different disciplines, academic departments, or professors may have specific guidelines they want you to follow when writing your lab report. This guide is good start to what you should definitely include. Just be aware that there may be other sections or additions that apply specifically to your situation.

 

– Thomas Whitaker 12/10/2015

 

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