How to Write a Lab Report

Writing a paper for an empirical study is never an easy task, especially if you need to report all your findings using text, graphs, and tables. This becomes even more tasking when you have to write a lab report with a short deadline.

How to Write a Lab Report can help by completing your paper on time and precisely, as your teacher or professor requested. So keep reading to learn how to write a winning lab report.

‌How do you structure a lab report?

A lab report structure is fairly definite. Most lab reports are divided into eight sections;


This is a description of the experiment detailing what the experiment analyzed.

For example: “Determining the Iron Content of Borehole Water in Ohio.”


This is a summary of the experiment aimed at familiarizing the reader with the objective of the research. Usually, abstracts should be written last to ensure you capture the true purpose of the research. However, not all lab reports will require an abstract.

  • Ensure your abstract answers the following questions;
  • Why was the research done?
  • What problem is being addressed?
  • What results were found?
  • What is the meaning of the results?


The introduction discusses the studied problem and the theoretical information relevant to understanding the findings. Additionally, the experiment’s hypothesis and the study’s aim are stated in this section.

Methods and Materials

List down the methods needed in the study. This is an overview of any equipment, apparatus, or other substances used in the study. Note down the specific amounts of materials used for the study. Noting the correct figure means the experiment can be replicated and produce similar results. This section also includes the steps taken during the study.


Data collected is shown in this section of your formal lab report. You can use text, graphs, charts, or other figures and present them in the results section of the lab report. Numerical data in tables should be labeled numerically, such as “Table 1”, “Table 2”, etc. O her figures should be labeled numerically as “Figure 1”, “Figure 2”, etc. A so, include calculations used to analyze the data.


This is the most crucial section of the lab report. First, analyze the experiment’s results and discuss the data in depth. Then, interpret the results, analyze the strengths and weaknesses of the design of the experiment, and compare your results to other similar experiments. Finally, you should explain your results and discuss them using relevant terms and theories.

If there were any unexpected results, explain why this is the case and how they affected the data collected. A so, state if there were any experimental errors and analyze them.

Ensure your discussion answers the following questions;

  • What do the results mean?
  • What is the implication of the results?
  • Are there any gaps in knowledge?
  • Are there any new questions resulting from the study?

How to Write a Lab Report Conclusion

The conclusion is the summation of the lab report writing. Summarise the study clearly and concisely. S ate all the relevant information acquired during the study and its significance. A so, indicate if you recommend further studies and why.


Ensure you cite the sources for any outside information used to support a claim or explain background information. This section is unnecessary is no outside sources were used.

How do you start writing a lab report?

You need to start by stating the objective of the experiment. It provides the reader with background details of the report. Discuss the topic of your report succinctly and provide background information, previous studies, and formulas the reader should know.

Review relevant studies to provide a foundation for the investigation. Mention any gap in research. A d explain what unanswered questions in the existing research your study seeks to address.

Then discuss your study and indicate your hypothesis, research question, general experimental design or method, and a justification of your research method. Always remember to use past tense when talking about the experiment.

What format is a lab report?

The lab report format used to prepare lab reports is the APA format. The American Psychological Association format is standardized and dictates the following rules for preparing scientific reports.

APA format for graphs in the discussion/analysis section

APA format in lab report writing differs from other writing styles. H re is the ideal structure to use when writing a winning lab report:

  • All figures should be mentioned in the text.
  • Figures should be included within a paper after any appendices and tables.
  • Each figure should be typed on a separate page with a page number.
  • The length of the vertical (Y) axis should be approximately 2/3 the length of the horizontal (X) axis.
  • The dependent variable is plotted on the Y-axis, and the independent variable is on the X-axis.
  • Clearly label each axis concerning what was measured, the quantity measured, and the units in which the quality was measured.
  • Use appropriate scale units to avoid distortion of data points.
  • Ensure the scale points on each axis have equal intervals.
  • All figures should be followed by a caption, which should be below each figure, underlined, and end with a period.

APA format for tables in the discussion/analysis section

The tables used in your APA lab report must be created in a certain format. H re is what you need to know about them:

  • All tables must be mentioned in the text.
  • Tables should be included within a paper after any appendices and before any figures.
  • Each table should be typed on a separate page with a page number.
  • All tables should be double-spaced.
  • The data in the tables should be listed orderly, with the decimal points falling in a straight vertical line.
  • All tables must include a caption directly below the table label in uppercase font, underlined, and not followed by a period.

The APA format lab report should also meet all the basic formatting rules concerning spacing, font size, paragraph indentation, margins, and punctuation.

How do you write a lab report for university?

The lab reports outline for a university study is similar to the above structure. The key difference is that the study discussion section requires in-depth data analysis. The section is commonly known as the Analysis section in a university lab report.

Data analysis is required, and you must present your critical interpretation of the data you obtained. In addition, statistical tests of your data are required. You must also discuss the method used and the limitations of using said research method.

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