Laboratory Report Format
The laboratory report will be broken into eight sections as follows:
- Cover Page. This page precedes the body of the report and details who authored the report, the title of the experiment, the date that it was performed and the names of the laboratory group members. Each student will turn-in their own laboratory report.
- Abstract. This summarizes, in general terms, what was accomplished in the laboratory experiment. The abstract will be no more than a half page long.
- Objective: This portion of the report indicates, in a brief and succinct manner, what the goal of the experiment is. The objective should be no more than one or two sentences in length.
- Theory: This section provides the mathematical formalism pertaining to the stated problem that will be used to analyze the experimental observations. Completing this section is not just a matter of transcribing formulas, but in addition provides an explanation of why these particular formulas were used. Appropriate mathematical derivations are typically moved to the Appendix section.
- Procedure: This section carefully describes in the experimenter’s own words, the manner in which the laboratory exercise was performed from start to finish. Include all relevant circuit diagrams. (There should be at least one schematic accompanying each laboratory report.)
- Results and Analysis: This is the heart of the report. Information on what was measured and how the measurements were taken belong in this section. Tables, charts and graphs must be properly labeled with units specified. Sample calculations and mathematical derivations will be included in this section as well.
- Conclusions: This summarizes the key points of the laboratory exercise by enumerating what statements can be made that are supported by the “Results and Analysis” section. Sweeping generalities such as “I learned a lot from this experiment.”, “This laboratory was helpful in helping me understand the theory.” or “Human error was responsible for the inaccuracies encountered in the data,” are meaningless statements.
- Appendix: This section contains reference material that would interrupt the flow of the report if contained in the main text.
Equipment: Name, model and manufacturer of the equipment, which was used in your experiment.
Derivations: Lengthy derivations of equations used in the analysis.
Pre-laboratory Exercises: If a pre-laboratory section has been included in the laboratory experiment and/or additional questions are given in the laboratory exercise, answers to these questions are to be appended to the report.