Name __________________________________________________ Date ____________
How to write a lab report and have success in the laboratory setting
A. How to be successful in the laboratory
1. Read and follow all directions carefully.
2. Read all labels carefully.
3. Follow all safety rules
4. Have your lab with you and record your own data as you make observations.
5. Clean up after yourself.
6. Work quietly.
B. Parts of a lab report and how to write those parts.
1. Title: This is the name of the investigation. It usually gives some indication what the lab
will be about.
2. Problem/purpose: This gives the reason for doing the lab.
A problem is a question you will be trying to answer while doing the lab.
A purpose is simply a statement as to why you are doing the lab.
You will do one or the other, not both.
3. Hypothesis: This is a possible answer to the question you posed in the problem.
You may find that your hypothesis is not supported or your findings may be inconclusive.
If you state a purpose rather than a problem, you will not need a hypothesis.
4. Materials: This is a list of the equipment you will need to complete the activity.
5. Procedure: You will explain briefly, in your own words, what you did.
6. Data/results: This is where you record what you observed during the lab. It could be
a description, measurement, chart, graph, drawing or a combination of these elements.
You must record your own data as you do the lab. DO NOT copy from your partner or
think you will get their information later. Your data should be recorded neatly and
accurately. All measurements will be in metric.
7. Discussion/ Analysis: This is where you use your data to explain what was learned,
discovered or what happened. Use scientific reasoning, language, and background to prove your
problem and hypothesis. You should also analyze whether you made any errors and how those
errors may have affected your outcome. This is one of the largest parts of the lab report take
your time to write a well written thought out paragraph or two.
8. Conclusion: This is a statement that declares whether you supported the
hypothesis or not and why or why not.
If there is no hypothesis, simply state here that no conclusion is necessary as there was
Lab reports should be written in the 3rd person. This means not using pronouns. For example DO write,
“The color of the solution changed from blue to green.” DO NOT write, “I noticed a change in the color from
blue to green.”
NOWHERE IN THE REPORT SHOULD YOU INCLUDE YOUR
OPINION ABOUT THE LAB!