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Writing in the sciences...: Lab Reports

What is a Lab Report?

A lab report is an account of an experiment and what was discovered during the experiment. 

The 3 main purposes of a lab report are:

  • communicate exactly what occurred in an experiment by presenting data
  • discuss the results
  • provide conclusions

Lab Reports are written so that: someone else could read the report and understand exactly what you did; repeat the experiment and get the same results; or read the introduction and decide whether to take the time to read the full report.

A standard Lab Report should contain:

  • Title Page
  • Aim
  • Introduction
  • Materials or Equipment
  • Experimental Procedure
  • Results
  • Discussion
  • Conclusion
  • References
  • Appendices

Note: This is a basic outline so always check with your lecturer as to what they require.

 DNA strands blue on black background

Key elements of a Lab Report

Professor Tina Overton  (University of Hull,  Chemistry Department) outlines the main aspects of a Laboratory Report.