Lab Report Style
Like any other academic paper, a lab report has its own specific requirements both in structure and style. This also extends to the referencing style to be applied to the paper. In most cases, either your department or instructor will have taken you through the various requirements as far as writing a lab report goes. However, gaps in knowledge are quite common. More so, they should never be frowned upon.
In this case, it is always worth considering that consulting is the most effective way of knowing the stylistic requirements of your lab report. If certain elements are unclear to you, it would be wise to reach out to the relevant faculty or see the instructor after class for clarification. As a matter of fact, most departments will have printed out guidelines or a guidebook that is up to the required standard.
Another factor that is equally worth considering is the nature of the experiment you are about to carry out. As you would expect, different sciences – and concepts, by extension – will require different methods of approach. Hence, it is essential to know where your current test lies specifically. This ensures that you get not only the structure right but also a consistent style.
As a result of science, lab reports have a substantially standard style. This lies on the bedrock of science and experiments whereby other persons of interest may replicate your experiment. Hence, this article looks to provide insight into the essential elements that should be adhered to in every lab report.
This narrows back to the main objectives of carrying out scientific experiments. In any of such tests, you are looking to explore an idea that requires empirical findings to justify and validate. The subsequent results should, hence, be applicable and reliable in the relevant scientific field. To put it simply, you seek to convey your hypotheses, findings, and conclusions coherently.
Therefore, it is quite paramount that you convey your message in a language that is clear and straightforward. You should, hence, strive to always go straight to the point. In scientific papers, there is no reason to have any flair in your language. You should also ensure that the language is simple and the details explicit. It follows then that each sentence that you write should carry its own point and meaning in the bigger picture of the experiment.
Past Tense and Third Person
As the title suggests, a lab report should always be written in the past tense. Usually, your procedure will have instructions that delineate the processes in the present continuous tense. It follows then that if you are reporting, then the tense should change to the past. You are noting down something that you have already done.
Like any other academic paper, it is recommended that you write your lab report in the third person. Science strives to be impersonal. Hence it steers away from personal pronouns. Furthermore, you should write the report in a passive voice, which achieves objectivity in your work -stylistically speaking.
In conclusion, a lab report will not be too different from other academic papers as far as style goes.