Lab Report Format
The following are the parts of a formal lab report in the order that they should be written.
Title: Can be a separate cover page or at top (include name and period)
Abstract: Paragraph that includes the purpose, hypothesis (if applicable) and brief description of the results.
Why are we doing this lab? What are we trying to learn more about? Or, Problem:
What are you trying to solve?
What do you think will happen? Give 1 or more educated guesses and a prediction of why you think this based on prior knowledge.
Background: A discussion of the topic, what is known and the research that has been done on the topic. Include applications of the topic as well!
What did you use to do this lab? A list is usually sufficient, or if the instructor ok’s, just cite lab (title, author).
Write a step by step procedure of what you did, or if appropriate cite lab (title, author). Include little explanations for steps that are not clear about why they are being done. A
Picture(s) of the set-up is a good way to clarify the procedure.
Any measurements or observations that you make should be written here. Tables are a good way of representing data.
Pictures (either hand drawn or digital/camera) are appropriate.
Graphs and/or calculations are included here (Always good to show math for at least one example or data point). A textbox below graph briefly explains what graph is about.
These need to be written in sentence and paragraph form. Include a paragraph for each topic with at least three things for each.
I want you to write about five things:
1. Restate Purpose and what are the results (include actual data(numbers/measurements) and observations!)
2. How does your data agree with your hypothesis or what is currently known ?…explain.
3. What could possibly have gone wrong (experimental errors)?(List at least 2) Measurement problems, things not working the way you expected.
4. What would you have done differently? What would you use if you could? Would you try anything else?
5. What did you learn? Anything that you learned is fine, but you must explain them. How does this lab relate to what you are studying?
Bibliography: Cite sources in MLA ( http://www.bibme.org/ )
Helpful web site to create a bibliography!
Appendix: Place to include figures, graphs, pictures, further data tables and information…cite page number in lab.
Most full lab write-ups should be typed; single-
spaced, 12 pt. font.