Students often want to deal with their home tasks quickly. For them, the bigger the home assignment is, the worse. So it isn’t surprising that lab reports fall into the category of the least liked tasks. Understandably, students prefer to work on various homework but lab reports. This is because lab reports are demanding and require completing multiple steps, which usually take plenty of time.
However, writing a lab report doesn’t necessarily need to be tedious and long-lasting. With the right attitude and motivation, composing a laboratory report is pretty doable. We’ve reached out to writing gurus from gpalabs.com, asking for clarifying things for our readers and those who need help with labs. Below is what we’ve found out.
Get familiar with the rules
According to professional writers, students’ most typical mistake with lab report writing is that they neglect the rules. Upon getting an assignment, many don’t pay enough attention to what their instructors ask them to do, what questions they anticipate answering, and, most of all, what sources they expect them to rely on.
As a result of such ignorance, many reports get unsatisfactory marks, unbeknown to their authors. Students keep wondering why their labs, being grammatically and lexically correct, score low.
If you don’t want to repeat their outcomes, make sure you know and understand:
- The primary question of your lab.
- The sources you should include.
- The citation style you must follow.
Once you are aware of those, you can proceed next.
Make sure you follow the proper structure
If you are a student, you have probably composed dozens of academic papers. So you must know the importance of a structure. Whatever you write–be it a case study, research paper, or opinion essay–must contain essential elements. It’s also applicable to lab reports. Although being different from the mentioned papers, a lab report heavily rests upon structure. Without it, your piece is doomed to fail, regardless of its content.
Keep in mind that the structure often depends on where you study, i.e., schools can require meeting a unique structure to make sure students work individually. Practically, institutions don’t do that; they stick to standard structures. So if your college does the same, your report’s structure would have the following components:
- Title page
- Materials and Methods
Come up with an enticing title
People love attention-getting messages. Papers with catchy titles have significantly higher chances to be read by people, even if they are neither interested in nor knowledgeable of the topic.
Ensure you are specific, and your title explains what the experiment involves in a long phase. You don’t want to make it a one-word title. Otherwise, there would be no catch. You also don’t need to include such phrases as “This study/experiment/report shows/demonstrates….” Try to be brief and straight to the point.
Deal with the most manageable sections first
A lab report may often turn out demanding and time-consuming. If you are short on time and need to deal with the task asap, begin with the least challenging sections. Complete the Title, Introduction, Conclusion, Recommendation, and Appendices first and then move to Results, Discussion, and Abstract.
Include no more than five aims
The topic of your lab report may excite you so that you’d like to include as much information as possible to demonstrate that you are competent. With that said, the more actions you attempt to accomplish (determine, discuss, explain, investigate, analyze), the less precise your lab will end up in the long run.
See, every step you might want to complete requires space. If you choose more than three goals, you will just scratch the surface. We suggest deciding on three-to-five goals and developing them exhaustively, making your piece informative and revealing.
Ensure solid methodology
This section might look too nerdy and hard to comprehend, but having a good and reasonable methodology is indispensable, especially if you strive to work in the field upon graduation. The purpose of the methodology is to explain to the reader the processes of your experiment.
For many, the section won’t say much. But for fellow researchers and other informed people, the methodology will determine whether or not to read the entire report.
The methodology can include sample information, procedures, materials, rationale, and other strategies that best suit your topic. Make sure to learn more about methods before doing an experiment and writing a report.
Leave the Results untouched
Many students commit a mistake when intruding into the Results section and trying to interpret it. The Results are specifically designed to provide the audience with raw numbers. Here, you don’t need to add anything but include the results. Save your analysis, explanation, and interpretation for the following section, titled Discussion.
End up effectively and accurately
Usually, a conclusion contains the same information in a slightly rephrased way. It allows the authors to omit repetitions but provide the same information. While you are encouraged to do the same, it would also be excellent to say some words about your experiment’s limitations and future implications. Additionally, you may recommend exploring the field, trying different methods (because they can bring various outcomes), etc. This way, you will end on a high note and stimulate your readers to act.
The Bottom Line
In conclusion, laboratory report writing isn’t as daunting as many may portray it. Indeed, it requires patience and bags of time to compose a good lab report. However, the lack of time or insufficient expertise shouldn’t push you away from the task. Above are practical tips to help you build a meaningful lab report. Try to utilize them when working on the task, and you will manage to handle it successfully.