Writing a lab report after carrying out some experiments can prove difficult for some students. Writing a good report can make a huge difference in the grading system of most professors and lecturers. A student can work very hard on the experiments given by their professors and even achieve the correct or perfect results but have a very hard time turning their results into a perfect lab report for grading. Hence, all their hard work could easily go waste with the students getting low grades despite having perfect results. However, some students may fail to attain the required results in the experiment but made have better grades due to the fact that they had better knowledge and skills when preparing their lab reports.
A lab report will be important since it will provide the process of the experiment, the raw materials required for the experiment, the information that can be reproduced or extended, an in-depth analysis of data, an extensive conclusion, and the recommendations that can be drawn from the results of the experiment. In the process of preparing a lab report, it is very critical for the student to be articulate, clear, and simple.
In the report, the results should be communicated in such a way that any person who is interested in the report can easily understand the outcome of the experiment. The report should also show a clear process of how the findings of the experiment were arrived at. The results of the experiment should be presented as a completely independent record that will not require any input added on by you.
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The most important part of preparing a lab report is understanding the structure that the lab report will follow. There are several structures that a lab report will follow. The structure to be followed will mostly be based on the instructions given by the professor or lecturer of the specific lecture. However, there is a basic structure for preparing a lab report that is commonly accepted. The scientific field and course requirements may cause a change in the format but the most important thing in a lab report is that it can communicate the reason for its preparation, the methods to be followed, and the findings achieved by the experiment.
A simple and most accepted format of a lab report should consist of the following: a title, abstract, introduction, method, results, discussion, conclusion, references, and appendices. However, the overall lab report structure is flexible meaning some of the parts of the report can easily be omitted while other sections can be merged into one while will solely depend on the instructions provided for the task.
The best way to write the abstract is in the past tense since it will be a recap of all the things that have happened during the experiment. Thus, the abstract should be written after the report has been prepared and concluded. This will be advantageous since it will be a summary of what you have written in the report.
The introduction will also consist of literature that exists on the specific area of study and how your study will either support, expand, or fill existing gaps in the field. Also, it will include the purpose and expectations of the study. Its length is not specified but it should fulfill its purpose.
It is also written in past tense and provides the design of the experiment, materials, subjects, and procedures used in the collection and analyzing data in the report.
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