Key content

If your degree coursework has laboratory subjects then creating lab file forms an integral part of the same. Lab reports play a significant role in laboratory coursework and hence your grades. The purpose of a lab file is to identify the aim of your experiment, explain the procedure you followed, describe the observations, and conclude with the learnings and outcome. A scientific lab file is a combination of your theoretical knowledge and practical knowledge.

lab report writing

Lab writing: The importance of a good lab file

A well-written lab file not only records the expected and observed results but also identifies and provides the reasoning behind the observations and deviations. A lab file helps your instructor judge your understanding and comprehension of the concepts and principles on which the experiment is based on. 

A lab file has to be accurate and follow certain set formats. Lab files can differ in length and contents based on the subject or experiment in question but the basic format followed in writing lab files is more or less similar. Before starting with the lab writing, plan the timelines for various sections of the report so that you can give the required time and attention to each part of the lab file.

Lab report format: Key sections

The following sections are an integral part of scientific writing 


1. Title Page

The title page states the title of the experiment, the name of the people who conducted the experiment, the name of the lab instructor, and the date the experiment was performed. The first thing your reader will see is the title of the experiment. The title of the scientific report should be precise and clear such that your reader can understand the main point of the experiment. You can make use of keywords in the title while completing your work.

2. Abstract

An Abstract is an optional part of scientific writing and is usually not required for short experiments. An abstract gives an overview of the experiment and gives a brief of the purpose, key findings, and conclusion of the experiment. While writing the lab file make sure that the abstract is of a single paragraph of about 100-150 words. The abstract should ideally be written at the end in experiment writing so that you can summarise the experiment content precisely.

3. Introduction

The purpose of the introduction in experiment writing is to state the hypothesis, aim, and objectives of the experiment. The theories, previous research, and formulas relevant to the particular experiment are also discussed in this section. This may also include the description of any specialized equipment used while experimenting. The purpose of the experiment is to be clearly mentioned in the introduction section of the lab file.

4. Method

Describing the steps that you followed while experimenting is an essential part of experimental lab writing. You should provide the procedure as detailed step-by-step instructions so that anyone who reads your experiment can duplicate the same. You can also add diagrams and flowcharts to make it easier for the reader to understand the process. Diagrams make comprehending the visual setup easier. The diagram of the experimental setup should be clearly labeled.

In the section of lab writing you should also include the materials and equipment that were used in the experiment. Also include any specific precautions one has to take while experimenting, any difficulties faced, and how they were resolved.

5. Results 

The findings of the experiment are presented in this section of the scientific report. The results are usually presented in a tabular format as well as using graphs. The graphs and tables should be clearly labeled and properly referred to in the text of the lab file. If any calculations were involved in arriving at the result you can add the same here. If the calculations are too detailed you can add them to the appendix of the report. Use online Calculators or math problem solvers to do the calculations accurately.


6. Discussion & Analysis

Interpretation of the results obtained is done in this section of the scientific report. You can identify and analyze any trends observed in the experimental data. Comparison between the expected and actual data and the possible explanation for the differences if any are also to be added here. Any unexpected results or sources of error can also be explained in this portion of the lab account.

You can also give suggestions on how the experiment could be further improved to get more accurate results.

7. Conclusion 

This section of lab file writing is intended to deliver the take-home message and sums up the outcomes and learnings of the experiment. Do not introduce any new ideas or findings in the conclusion. Briefly mention the purpose of the experiment again, followed by the main findings which answer the research questions. Any limitations faced while carrying out the experiment or interpreting the results should be mentioned here.

8. References

Your lab account may include in-text citations as a part of the introduction where you have mentioned previous research and theories. In-text citations can also be a part of your discussion or conclusion section if you compare your findings with already published data. Full citations corresponding to the in-text citations should be mentioned as a separate list after the concussion section. You can follow the referencing style given in your lab manual or ask your instructor about which style to be followed.

9. Appendices

You might have some information such as detailed calculations, tables, graphs, etc. that cannot be accommodated in the main lab file. In such cases, you can prepare appendices that are properly titled and given a number or letter. These appendices should be referred to by the number or letter in the relevant portion of the main lab files.

Lab file writing with TutorBin

If you are looking for a platform to help you with experiment writing, try out TutorBin. With a network of subject matter experts, you will not only get access to the best lab files but also a chance to learn from such experts to create them on your own in the future.

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