Writing lab reports is an important component of any lab course and influences your grade
significantly. While this is not a dissertation or course, a lab report can still give you much
headache. Here we provided a short scheme that you can use to write it.=
Any report consists of the following parts:
1. A title page states the title, names of your instructor, you and your lab partners, as well as the
date of the experiment.
2. The title summarizes the point of your experiment, i.e., what you were researching. For
instance, a title for egg osmosis lab report would be something like ‘Effects of osmosis through
the eggshell in water environment as opposed to the syrup solution.’
3. Purpose explains what you were aiming to achieve with your experiment. This is the part
where you state your hypothesis. For instance, in case of the yeast lab report the purpose might
be ‘To find out if the amount of yeast can affect the amount of carbon dioxide produced.’
4. Materials used where you specify everything you used to perform your experiment.
5. Methods where you explain how you did the experiment. Try to give sufficient detail for
anyone to be able to perform the same experiment. It is always a good idea to use some charts or
tables to summarize the data obtained.
6. Results where you describe the data obtained.
7. Lab report discussion where you interpret the results and analyze if your hypothesis is
proved, as well as elaborate on possible mistakes made in the process.
8. Conclusions. As in any other paper, here you sum up what has been done and whether your
hypothesis proved right.
9. References. This is a very important part of any paper where you use someone else’s work.
There are some slight differences, though, in case of the Bio lab report. The general
scheme is similar, except the abstract section. What is the abstract? A chapter that goes before
the introduction and describes what experiment was performed, what results were obtained and
what conclusion was made on this basis. The general points to be addressed in the abstract are as
1. The reason to perform the experiment and the problem dealt with. Science is all about
answering questions – why did you decide to answer this one?
2. What did you do in the process, i.e., what methods and techniques were employed? No
excessive details yet clear enough to understand.
3. What results did you get? Again, do not dive into details, you are to describe only the crucial
findings that helped answer the original question.
4. So what? (i.e., what do results obtained in the process mean and how do they correspond with
the initial hypothesis?)
Although the abstract precedes introduction, this is the part of writing in the end as you
summarize your entire report in it. Abstracts may not be required at initial stages of study, yet
they are mandatory for advanced students.
All in all, lab reports are not that difficult, and if you use the above scheme and have patience,
you will master it quite easily.