How to Write an Abstract for a Lab Report
If you are pursuing a science course or an engineering program, you will encounter a lap report often. Your professors might require it in different formats; however, the report’s goal remains the same throughout. A lab report exists to document your findings and to communicate their importance.
Once you identify your report’s goal, you can tailor-make the format according to your professor’s or course’s requirements. Your laboratory report should not only present data but also demonstrate your understanding of the various concepts that you tested. Similar to most reports, your laboratory report should be divided in several parts including the title, abstract, your experiment’s procedure, findings, discussions, and references.
What Should the Abstract of Your Report Contain?
Although your laboratory report’s abstract will be typically short, it is crucial because it recaps the most crucial parts of your report. An abstract should be a page long, and should be 200 words maximum. It should be precise and clearly written because it determines whether readers will read the entire report. Here is what you should include in your laboratory report abstract:
The Goal of the Experiment
It is impossible to carry out an investigation without a goal. Your abstract should summarizes your experiment’s goals to enable readers understand what is contained in the detailed parts of the report. The goal in this section should be precise and straight to the point. You shouldn’t give unnecessary details because your abstract is word bound. Dwell straight into the details and give your readers an opportunity to decide whether they should continue reading your report or not.
Summarize the Significant Findings
You cannot conduct an experiment and fail to indicate the findings. Although your report’s other parts will explain the findings in detail, your abstract should be able to give readers a glimpse of the findings that they should expect from your report.
Since your abstract’s length is restricted, you should summarize the findings in a way that makes sense and makes readers look forward to read your report. Be precise and do not include anything that is not related to your findings.
Significance of Your Findings and Report
Your findings have significance and your audience wants to know them. Summarizing the findings is not enough; you should also explain to your readers the importance of the key findings. Let them know if they contribute to a particular field of knowledge or how you plan to use them. Similar to the other parts of your abstract, the significance of your findings should be summarized to include only the most crucial ones.
Conclusion of Your Report
While you will have a conclusion section in your lab report, you should also include your report’s conclusion in the abstract. It should summarize the major conclusions of your report because readers will want a brief summary of it before reading the rest of the report.
Brief Reference to Methodology
Although not essential, you can also include a brief reference of your methodology in the abstract.
Writing a report abstract should be simple if you keep these steps in mind.