A lab report is a document written to explain a scientific concept under investigation in a laboratory. It describes and critically analyzes all parts of the experiment to the reader.
To write a perfect lab report, you must be concise in the technical information you find. This is a crucial skill. In sciences, learners are asked to write structured reports about the experiment and investigations they conducted in their practice and as their course work requires. This report aims to precisely communicate the aim of the experiment, method, findings, and conclusion.
If you find yourself in the position of a lab report writer and you’re not sure how to go about it, the following tips can help you:
Follow lab report writing structure
Lab reports are very structured. They’re structured in a way that can be divided into different sections of the experiment. Some particular experiments may have slight changes, or you may have to write according to the structure laid down by your professor.
Following the formal structure already has you halfway to a perfect lab report. Remember that it’s a scientific document, so the writing must be directed. The structure of a lab report includes an introduction, methodology, result discussions, and references.
You can’t afford to be too wordy when writing your lab report. Ensure that you’re precise, concise, and straight to the point you’re communicating to the report reader. A lab report isn’t an essay, so you should avoid giving unnecessary details. If required, you can add the details to an appendix.
Avoid writing in the First-Person pronoun
You must never write your lab report in the first person pronoun. You must avoid using words like ‘I,’ ‘my,’ or ‘we.’ This is a mistake that people make when they’re new to lab report writing, so you must watch against it. The more you write these kinds of reports, the lesser they appear in them.
However, being a beginner in lab report writing, you must endeavor to read your full report and pick out these personal pronouns.
Avoid using numerals
Ensure you write everything in your lab report in words. Don’t use numerals for any part of it. This ensures that the reader doesn’t misread any part of the report, especially if it’s a handwritten report and your handwriting isn’t clear enough.
Add a zero behind numbers less than one.
This is the ideal thing to do, but it’s now part of the crucial tips for writing a lab report because many people write decimal points without the zero, e.g., .5, .89. In writing your lab report, it’s important to precede the decimal point with a zero. For example, 0.5, 0.89.
Use past tense
Most essays are written in the present tense, so you may struggle not to write your lab report in the present tense. However, you must remember that it’s not just an essay; it’s a report. You’re reporting an occurrence, so it can only be in the past tense. You can only make an exception when you’re referring to an already existing report or a theory. Otherwise, you should write everything in the past tense.
Write in your words
As a beginner, you’ll get a manual detailing the steps you should follow to conduct your experiment. So, you must write your report in your words about everything you did. Avoid copying what you have in your experiment manual. You may need to borrow something from your manual, but make sure you cite and reference your manual and the page based on the writing style you were instructed to use.
Avoid negative language
Many people new to report writing tend to use negative language. However, you don’t need to use negative language since you only report what happened. You may be tempted to use negative language, like no or not, when you expect something to happen, and it doesn’t happen. But it’s better to observe what’s happening and report that.
Abbreviations are not the standard, so you must avoid them in your lab report writing. Some abbreviations, such as Kg for Kilogram, are standard and can be used. Otherwise, avoid using all abbreviations. You must do the same for grammar too. Ensure your words are written in full and are grammatically correct.
Lab report writing differs from essay writing, so the rules applied are different too. You must understand and follow the rules for writing a lab report. This article discusses some of these rules and tips to help you write a perfect lab report.