Students and researchers write a laboratory report on the completion of an experiment. Basically, lab reports are useful in presenting the procedure, findings, analysis, and theoretical principles. Also, such papers allow an audience that did not witness the experimentation to develop a detailed understanding of the theory under investigation. In particular, the structure of an introductory segment and the rigid tense-usage guidelines are the main aspects of the lab report that distinguish it from other forms of writing.
Definition of a Lab Report
The lab report is a paper that documents the outcome of an experiment. Basically, people develop this form of paper to demonstrate the students’ understanding of the experimental procedure and the outcome’s relevance. Also, the primary goal of the lab report is not the documentation of the process but the illustration of a students’ knowledge of the theory behind the experimental procedure and their ability to explain the behavior of variables. Moreover, the student must analyze any inconsistencies and identify a probable cause supported by the theory. Hence, lab reports are a comprehensive documentation of the entire experimentation process accompanied by theoretical analysis.
The introductory section of the lab report has some peculiar features that do not apply to a standard introduction. For instance, the introduction states the experiment’s main objective and discusses critical theoretical principles. Also, conventional introduction sections contain a thesis statement. However, it is not the case for the report. Instead, people provide a purpose statement, which defines the primary aim of the experiment. Besides, the volume of contextual information provided is dependent on the complexity of the experiment. Hence, the introduction must present an exhaustive discussion of the underlying principles that form the foundation of the experiment’s design because the structure does not contain any other section for theoretical explanations. As a result, such introductory section does not conform to the general guidelines and structure.
Writing the lab report requires the simultaneous use of present and past tenses dictated by some rules. For example, a researcher should use the past tense when referring to any action that took place during the experiment. Also, the argument for the use of the past tense is based on the fact that the experiment has already been done and completed. In this case, people present content referring to the report, permanent equipment, and theories in the present tense. Besides, the underlying argument is that the objects of interest are still in existence. Thus, the use of the correct verb tense is important because it affects the audience’s ability to interpret the document’s meaning correctly.
Conclusion on a Lab Report
Lab report writing is a crucial skill for any scholar because experimentation is a core concept of research. Basically, scholars involved in scientific research rely heavily on lab reports as a means of systematic documentation of their findings. Then, other non-scientific researchers may benefit partially from lab report writing techniques because they do employ specific segments, for example, methods and materials. On the whole, scholars master the lab report writing technique because it contributes to their research in varying extents.