Common Mistakes to Avoid When Writing a Lab Report for College Students

Elements of a Basic Lab Report

A critical component of a lab report is the abstract. It is the first section the reader reads before proceeding to the rest of the document. It provides a detailed analysis of the entire research report. It is a concise section that includes:

  • The rationale of the experiment while providing a summary
  • Description of participants and setting
  • Description of the method used
  • Description of the significant findings from the experiment
  • Outline for the contribution of the experiment to current knowledge

Other additional elements into your lab report include the title page that clearly states what the fundamental research is all about. You need to have a well-sorted introductory phase that explains the entire experiment to the reader. It is the point where the reader gets the hypothesis for the whole of the study. 

When writing the hypothesis, it should start from a broad perspective while narrowing down to a specific one. In the process, you need to state the theoretical framework in a precise manner. Furthermore, you can include summaries of previous researches in your area of specialization. Lastly, the hypothesis should come out clearly.

Common Mistakes by Students

Most students make simple mistakes when writing a lab report without any knowledge. Here is a roundup of common mistakes prone by students:

Lack of Purpose

The main essence of a lab report is to show the direction in your report. Lacking the essential clue of the study's purpose makes it hard to write a concrete introduction. Furthermore, it makes the discussion lack focus. Moreover, it taints the results from the experiment that becomes too obvious to the reader. 

Writing Before Due Date

Most students procrastinate when it comes to writing their lab reports. It only builds up enormous pressure for the students when the due date is becoming near. Therefore, it makes the student less focused on presenting information in a detailed manner. It ends up affecting the result analysis section of the report. It is important to note that writing a lab report needs sufficient time.

Jumbled Analysis and interpretation

The interpretation of lab results should be guided with the results from the analysis. Most students end up confusing the readers by stating a different analysis that goes against the results. It only reduces the efficacy of the entire lab report. Each statement included in the analysis part should be clear and straightforward to understand. 

Raw Data Only

Data presentation is an integral part of the lab report. It calls for a high sense of knowledge when it comes to presenting data. Most students often focus on presenting raw data in forms of calculations and units. Even though it is part of the process, it does not make a complete report. Your report should have a visual appeal to present the data using flowcharts and graphs.

Repetition of Results

Some students often repeat the results of the experiment to lengthen their reports. When presenting data, each data should be used in one section. Mixing data to increase your entire report makes it lose a natural flow. You might meet the length requirement but miss out on elementary grades. 

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