Essential Parts of a Lab Report

The purpose of a lab report is to provide data about a specific issue to the academic community. Lab reports usually discuss only one aspect of the given subject. For instance, you may just need to account for the results of the conducted experiment or explain the specifics of an equation. Briefly speaking, lab reports explain the work done in laboratories. As to the format, it may be either simple (you may need to fill in the blanks on a special worksheet) or complex (you may need to produce a complete writing project including all parts of a lab report, i.e. abstract, results, etc.). It should be admitted that lab reports do not include a reference page. The common parts of a lab report are the following ones: Title, Introductory Section, Methods, Findings, and Works Cited.

Instructions on writing a laboratory report

  1. Make certain that you know what chapter(s) you are supposed to produce in full.
  2. In order to know the exact number of words written, you may use a word processing application. Remember to give every chapter a heading.
  3. The units of your report have to be produced in the following order: Methods, Findings, Introductory unit, Discussion, Concluding chapter, Abstract, Title, and a Reference page.
  4. When working on each of the lab report sections, remember to follow the provided guidelines.
  5. Once a specific section is completed, you may start producing the next units of your report.
  6. Bear in mind that the sections which you are not supposed to write in full should be described in a couple of sentences (the imposed requirements should be met).
  7. Once all sections are prepared, locate them in accordance with the established lab report format, i.e. Title, Abstract, Introductory unit, Methods, Findings, Discussion, Concluding section, and a Reference page (if needed).

Cover Page

This page is not included in all lab reports. If you have to create one, here is what it should include. 

cover page elements


It informs readers about the matter under consideration. It should be concise and highlight the chief idea of the experiment. Take a look at this example: “Impact of Sun Rays on Plants.” Note that it is better to start your title with a keyword rather than articles, i.e. “A” or “The.”

Lab Report Introduction

It usually consists of one paragraph that presents both the purpose and objective of your writing project. A hypothesis should be created in one sentence. In some cases, an introductory section may provide some basic data about the experiment, describe the way it has been carried out, illustrate the obtained results, and present a conclusion. If you are not supposed to create this chapter in full, you have to identify either the purpose of your experiment or explain why you have performed it.

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Indicate the material necessary for your experiment.


Describe the investigation process. Provide detailed information so that readers can conduct the same experiment. You need to write this part in steps, as if you were giving directions to your colleagues in the laboratory. To make this section clearer, you may draw a diagram highlighting the peculiarities of your experiment.


The data obtained after your experiment should be presented in a table. It shows the records which you have made while carrying out an experiment. Here, you are required to provide the data without any interpretation.

Lab Report Discussion and Results

  • Compile the tables demonstrating your measurements in the determined units.
  • Illustrate the possible errors.
  • Produce graphs presenting both the axis label and units.
  • Calculate the final result. All types of units have to be calculated appropriately.

The Data chapter provides numbers. The Analysis one presents the calculations you have made based on the numbers form the previous chapter. Here, you are required to interpret your data and identify whether the hypothesis has been proved or not. In this unit, you also need to discuss the errors which you could have made when examining the issue. Additionally, you may desire to provide some suggestions on improving the study.

  • Do not provide “raw” data in your laboratory report. Include only summarized information.
  • Before presenting the tables, you should refer to them in the content. Once the reference is made, provide a table (it is better to compile a table at the end if the paragraph which they are mentioned in; in case the space is limited, insert a table either at the top of the following page or at the end of the first paragraph created on that page if it (paragraph) has been continued from the previous page). Avoid attaching both figures and tables at the end of your project. Instead, insert them in the body of your paper.
  • Both tables and figures have to be numbered and titled (a title may consist of a couple of sentences if needed). According to the rules, titles are presented below the figures and above the tables. It is essential to provide the titles on the pages where the tables and figures which they refer to are placed.
  • Both figures and tables have to be comprehensible even without any interpretation.
  • Ensure your results are discussed properly. Depending the presented data, you will determine the length of the discussion. For instance, if your table illustrates some species, you should explain readers what kind of species is considered dominant and why.
  • Insert at least one relevant reference. When providing information taken from someone’s study, research project, etc., remember to give credit to that author (or authors).

Lab Report Conclusion

In the majority of cases, a concluding section consists of one paragraph. It has to summarize the experiment you have carried out. Additionally, it has to state whether the hypothesis has been proved or not.

Graphs and Figures

Both items should have descriptive titles. The axes shown on the graph have to be titles as well. Make sure to include the units which you have used for measurements. The independent variable has to be presented on the axis marked with “X.” The dependent one (the item that is measured) has to be presented on the axis marked as “Y.” Do not forget to refer to the created graphs and figures within your text of your piece of writing. The figures should be numbered in the following way: the first one – Figure 1, the second one – Figure 2, etc.


Remember that a good laboratory report, if it is based on someone’s research, has to include a reference page.

Lab Report Example

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