How to Write a Laboratory Report
Whether you are currently in a high school lab, college, or working on the
next cancer drug, you will need to prepare lab reports. Here are a few items that all reports should include.
1. Prelab: This should include your experimental plan and calculations.
2. Observations: Any significant observations made during the
course of the experiment. You should record all observations that might be of help to you (or another experimenter)
if you were to repeat the experiment. These should include the quantities of solvents, reaction times, temperatures,
pressures, and a description of any difficulties you encounter during the experiment.
3. Raw data: All numerical data obtained directly from an experiment,
before it is graphed, used in calculations, or otherwise processed.
4. Calculations: Yield and stoichiometry calculations and any
other calculations based on raw data.
5. Results: A list, graph, tabulation, or verbal description
of the significant results of the experiment.
6. Discussion: A discussion of the significant experimental
results that attempts to explain and interpret those results. The discussion should describe possible sources of
error or material losses, compare numerical results obtained with those expected from theory, or discuss the theoretical
significance of the results.
7. Conclusion: Any conclusions to be drawn as a result of the
performance of the experiment, as suggested by the objectives for the experiment