Laboratory write-ups can be as simple as answering questions in class to writing complex papers on the experimental findings. Each instructor will have their own requirements for the laboratory write-ups. The following is a basic outline for what is required in a formal laboratory write up.
Title Page – This should include the experimental title, your name, instructors name, and the course title.
Abstract – The abstract should state your specific findings. It should be a summary of important results a discussion as well as any principle recommendations.
Table of Contents, List of Figures and List of Tables – This will organized the results and your laboratory write-up. It will allow the reader to find important sections of your laboratory write up easily.
Introduction – The introduction will give clear and specific objects to the lab. It will give a complete review of the fundamental theory related to the research objective. This section should be well referenced with previous findings of other scientists.
Experimental – The experimental section should give a detailed explanation of the preparation of the lab. It should also give a detailed explanation of the equipment that is used and the safety considerations.
Results and Discussion – This section should display a meaningful presentation of the data. It should also include interpretation of the results and a discussion of major experimental trends, assumptions, errors, inconsistencies and comparison to the literature.
Conclusion and Recommendations – This section should be a concise and convincing summary of the major conclusions developed in the discussion. There should be no new information provided in this section. The recommendations should be strong and convincing.
References – In laboratory write-ups it is imperative to reference all work not originally developed by you. It is important to use credible resources as well as a wind range of types of resources.