عدد المساهمات : 656
تاريخ التسجيل : 22/05/2010
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الموقع : كوردستان
|موضوع: How To Write a Lab or Science Report 14/8/2010, 09:53|| |
How To Write a Lab or Science Report
THE PURPOSE OF THIS GUIDE is to help you learn to write student-level reports of laboratory research, also known as scientific reports or lab reports. Although we will discuss some differences between professional and student-level lab reports, our main focus is helping you complete and understand those you will do at a high school level. However, even as a student you might discover that one of your reports is worthy of publication in scientific journals, if you follow good scientific method and the suggestions we provide in this guide. After all, a number of successful scientists first published the results of their research when they were in high school or even earlier (e.g., Louis Agassiz, the paleontologist, Jean Piaget, the psychologist, and Terence Tao, the mathematician).
How lab reports differ from term papers
Lab reports differ in several ways from term papers (also sometimes called "research papers") that you complete for other classes.
Main goals: Communicate clearly and answer the key questions
At the student level, your main goal for a lab report should be to communicate clearly to your instructor what you did and observed in your study (or experiment), as well as what the results mean. (We will refer broadly to any form of data collection as a "study," encompassing both direct forms of data collection such as experiments, as well as indirect observational or "qualitative" studies often conducted in the social sciences.) Some of the key questions an instructor might ask you in determining your level of understanding include:
• Do you have a clearly stated objective or hypothesis?
• Do you present the data in a clear and concise fashion?
• Are you able to interpret the results of the study?
• Can you account for any discrepancies in your results?
• Do you present a thoughtful conclusion?
• Do you understand the overall relevance of the findings from the study?
The lab report answers such questions in a formal and structured way. You will usually follow the following sequence in actually writing your lab report, but note that the abstract (if you include it) will come first among these elements in the final report:
Provides background information (e.g., previous studies) and includes the objectives and the hypothesis.
Specifies the details of your study, including information about any participants, materials, or measurement devices used; procedures; and specialized statistical or related analytic tools. In other words, how did you do it?
Reports the data and analyses based on the data. States whether the results were consistent with the hypotheses, usually without interpretation of any wider meaning or importance. What did you find?
Interprets the results of the experiment in terms of wider meaning and importance. What do the results mean?
List of works used to write the lab report.
Appendix (or Appendices)
Addendum of raw data, charts, graphs, or any information that was not easily included in the body of the lab report.
(Optional; as your instructor requests) Provides a summary of the lab report and is placed at the report's beginning.
Your instructor may require variations of this framework or use different terminology. For example, the Method section might also be called "Materials and Methods," "Methodology," or "Experimental." The framework we present here has evolved over the past few hundred years in the history of science, and even today is neither universal nor the only "correct" way to structure a lab report, but is certainly more commonly used.
Tips to get you started
Websites of Interest
We have identified a number of Web sites offering information about writing lab reports.