Scientists have to keep their work in order and hence need a well-outlined document that keeps track of findings in their research. This is called a lab report. It is prepared immediately after an experiment is done.
Here are 5 steps to write a good lab report
Step #1: Explain the purpose of your experiment
This section indicates the question you want to investigate. You can also write the reason behind the experiment. The origin of the question could be from observation or something you read. This should help in finding a hypothesis about what the outcome of the experiment might be.
Step #2: Indicate a hypothesis
This is basically a prediction of your expectations for the end result of your experiment. This part should not be left out from your lab report even when the end result is different from your earlier prediction. The advantage is that it helps you come up with a new question that can be used for another experiment. This now brings you to bringing out a description of the entire experiment.
Step #3: Experiment description
The information given here explains how you conducted your experiment. The process appears here. Steps taken to carry out the experiment are written in this section. The steps should be written in the precise order the experiment was done. Instructions should be clear enough for others to be able to conduct the experiment as well as you did it.
Materials used for the experiment are also included. The materials should be specified in terms of mass, length, width, or any other measurement needed. The brand name of the materials should also be included.
Step #4: Result findings
This section only contains facts on your experiment. You include records of measurements from the experiment. Photographs or charts can be used to explain results directly. While most pictorial methods can be used to bring out results, bar graphs are the most commonly used.
Step #5: The Conclusion
This is the last section of your lab report. In this section, you compare your hypothesis to the results of your experiment. Was your hypothesis right? Use the facts from your experiment to explain your findings. You may include the reasons why your results turned out the way they did. The results may have been affected by the process used in the experiment.
The lab report should now be ready for filing. The report can now be redone by another person hoping to obtain the same results.
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