There is one thing students of different majors can agree on: writing lab reports is painful. Considering what good lab reports should look like, it is no surprise that many people don’t like writing them. The problem is, though, lab reports play an important role in students’ final grades, so working on such tasks is unavoidable.
Typically, lab reports focus on an experiment, describing its aims and objectives. Plus, they provide the results, emphasize their importance, and call for discussion. Writing a lab report shows that you understand the experiment and know what is going on, generally speaking.
It might seem like an easy job at first sight. And it is unless you have to write a report on complicated laboratory work. In this instance, writing a lab report is nothing but a formidable task. But no need to worry. Expert writers from a custom lab report writing service have prepared some helpful tips to help you through your academic woes.
Before discussing the problem, you should accumulate the information needed to write a lab report. Primarily, make sure you have everything related to the experiment along with specific literature. Some experiments may often contain steps unfamiliar to you but very crucial to the entire work. You can delve into the pre-lab writing session when you locate sources and have every necessary element in front of you.
Start with a pre-lab writing session
Like with any writing assignment, lab reports have prewriting. Here, the prewriting encompasses two critical steps. Let’s look at them more in-depth:
- Writing an opening: The introduction discusses the field’s problem and a relevant theory in a lab report. The intro’s central idea is to provide the audience with what you aim to do in the entire work. An opening doesn’t have to be extensive. Several sentences will do it.
- Background: Background is essential because it explains why you want to do the experiment, why you think it is relevant, and what other studies have already been done.
- Goal: Briefly enumerate the steps you will take to do the experiment. Also, make sure to add what you anticipate achieving by using particular techniques.
- Significant procedural steps: Since the Goal section must be short, you can add extra information about your actions here.
Operating procedure flowchart
Lab reports can be extensive, so it is imperative to shed some light on the entire work at the beginning of your paper. A flowchart serves as an outline, depicting steps that need to be done. When building the flowchart, use uncomplicated and straightforward language and make your sentences compressed.
Writing a flowchart is beneficial in that it allows you to understand complex steps and help you explain them in your own words.
Because you will mostly have to rewrite the content from the experiment, ensure you cite it accordingly.
Proceed with an in-lab writing session
Writing the first draft requires attention to detail, especially when it comes to data. Your lab report may be imperfect in terms of grammar and punctuation. But under no circumstances can it contain errors in data.
The safest way to ensure the data is neat is to write it down in a separate notebook. It will help you return to it and double-check it quickly.
Aside from writing down data, it would help to keep an eye on the experiment per se, i.e., what is happening in it. If your lab is on chemistry, and adding one reagent to another evolves something, make sure to jot it down. Among other things, pay attention to anything used within the experiment, giving it an apt description.
Finish with a post-lab writing session
Once you write the central part, it is time to wrap up the work. The first thing you should touch upon is data. Recopy your data and organize it correctly.
Another crucial thing to include is formulas. You may include formulas in the body part, providing just final answers. However, it is essential to provide all the calculations to show that you haven’t made up the results but found them using specific formulas.
Finally, your last paragraph of the post-lab writing session must be the conclusion. The conclusion is typical: it summarizes critical steps you took. You may also include some information on difficulties you faced and things that could be improved. Overall, make sure your conclusion comprises info about:
- What you did
- What you found
- What you think about the results
Adjust the lab report to the general format
Every educational institution reserves the right to set its own rules regarding the structure and format. So it would be best if you checked such requirements before writing a lab report. Nonetheless, most schools stick to a widely acceptable lab report structure, which is:
- Title, authors, and affiliation
- Aim of the experiment/hypothesis being tested
A lab report is a document describing the experiment and explaining its results along with its significance. It is crucial to do research, retrieve essential data, and understand it well. If you have to write a lab report, use the mentioned tips. They will speed up your writing session and help you build a comprehensive and coherent piece.