Struggling to write your lab report? Here is some helpful information to get you started! If you are still struggling, remember that you can come see a Writing Center Coach at the SSTC for additional help and resources.
PREPARED BY THE STUDENT SUCCESS AND TUTORING CENTER
WHAT IS A LAB REPORT?
What is a lab report?
a complete and detailed record of
The information provided in a lab
report should be specific enough
that the reader would be able to
replicate the experiment.
STRUCTURE: PARTS OF THE LAB REPORT
Cover Page: Title and Author(s)
Statement of Objective
Materials and Methods
Appendices (not always needed)
COVER PAGE: TITLE AND AUTHOR(S)
Center the title on the page about
2 inches from the top of the page.
Center the student’s name, class,
and date completed below the
Type the student’s last name and
page number in header, flush with
What it contains:
Context of study
Written in Past Passive tense
Should be one to two
paragraphs long depending
upon the experiment
What it does not contain:
Conclusions about the study
STATEMENT OF OBJECTIVE
Objective of the experiment
Answers two questions:
Why is this experiment being performed?
What information can I learn?
The student’s educated prediction
about the outcome of the
Must be clearly stated and specific
It’s okay for your hypothesis to be
MATERIALS AND METHODS
Contains materials and equipment used along with any explanation(s) of
equipment, if necessary.
Contains the step-by-step process followed to conduct the experiment.
Written in paragraph form, NOT a bulleted list.
Always written in third person (do not use “I”).
Be as detailed as possible.
The purpose of this section is to allow another person to follow the instructions
and replicate the experiment.
Summarize the results in paragraph
Create tables or charts of the data
collected, if applicable.
If using tables or charts be sure to
label them clearly.
DO NOT interpret the data. This
section should only contain the raw
Category 1 Category 2 Category 3 Category 4
Series 1 Series 2 Series 3
1st Qtr 2nd Qtr 3rd Qtr 4th Qtr
Interpretation of data collected
Did the experiment prove or disprove the hypothesis?
If hypothesis was wrong, why and how was it wrong?
Did any errors occur during the procedure?
How might these errors be avoided in the future?
Discussion of the implication of results
See your professor to determine if outside sources are necessary and what
format to cite them in.
Your lab manual counts as a source.
All sources used should be recorded on a separate page at the end of the
This page is titled either References (APA) or Works Cited (MLA).
References should be organized alphabetically by authors’ last names.
Need citation help? See a Writing Center Coach or check out the SSTC’s Online Resource Cente
THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND!
Remember to keep your writing in Past Passive tense.
Everything is presented as if by a passive-third party observer.
Ex. You would not say “Timmy ate the bagel.” Rather, you would say “The bagel was
There is an example of a lab report in your lab manual. You can always
refer to that if necessary.
Have a question? Remember you can always check with your
Do you need to have an Abstract?
Do you need to have Appendices?
Successful Lab Reports
Purdue OWL https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/726/06/
Hamilton College http://www.hamilton.edu/writing/writing-resources/lab-reports-for-biology
Duke University http://twp.duke.edu/uploads/assets/lab_reports.pdf