Lab Report Format


  • Develop skills for following explicit directions.
  • Write in organized and skillful fashion to keep scientific writing clear and concise.
  • Effectively integrate information and knowledge from outside the laboratory experience into the writing of the report.
  • Think analytically, logically, and creatively.
  • Form reasoned judgments and solve problems based on lab experience.

Lab experiences are an integral part of our work in science.  Not all labs will require a formal write-up, however, write-ups required for a lab must be neat and organized.  All work must be cited, original, and well written.  Lab partners are partners only in the experimental setting.  Each individual must write and submit their own report, unless specified by the teacher.  Reports that are identical will be given a zero.  There is no minimum or maximum size requirement for the write-ups as long as the lab report is filled with quality content.


Lab reports will be written as follows:

  1. Heading
  2. Title of Lab
  3. Purpose
  4. Hypothesis
  5. Materials and Methods
  6. Results
  7. Lab Related Questions
  8. Conclusion
  9. References

1.  Heading

The heading on your lab will be a normal heading. A title page is unnecessary and wastes paper.


2.  Title of Lab

The title of the lab will be given on your handouts and should be included at the top of your lab write-up.  Do not make up your own title.


3.  Purpose

This is a very important section of the lab.  In this section, you will explain the reason this lab was given to you, the way it relates to the topics being covered in class, and what skills and concepts are being taught as a result of the experiment.  You must write the purpose in your own words.


4.  Hypothesis

Your guess or prediction as to what will occur stated by using an “if – then – because” statement.  For example: “If I don’t turn in my homework, then it will hurt my grade because homework is worth 10 points daily.”  This is not a required section in all labs.


5.  Materials and Methods

This section will include an easy-to-follow description of the specific procedures you followed in the lab and what materials you used.  Give enough detail of both the materials and the procedure used so that the experiment could be repeated.


6.  Results

This section will include all data collected during the lab experiment.  This information should be presented in a colorful, clear, and concise fashion.  Graphs, drawings, diagrams, and charts are all appropriate in this section.


7.  Lab Related Questions

Include all related lab questions and your answers at the end of your lab report.


8.  Conclusion

This is an opportunity for you to explain your results, link your results to concepts in class and in the textbook, and to examine any errors that were made during the course of your experiment.  Overall, this paragraph tells the reader what you have learned from the lab.


9.  References

This part to of the write-up should include all the sources, you used in writing the lab report, such as the lab manual, the textbook, and any reference books or articles.  Use the appropriate documentation style for references.

Lab Write-Up Criteria 2008-2009