If you want to know how to write a physics lab report or how to do a lab report, our article is what you need. Lab report writing is a type of assignment, which requires writing down the results of some experiment. A lab report is called to explain what was done and what results were obtained in the process of the experiment. In order to write a physics lab report, you need to know what writing techniques to use, what information to include and how to present the data properly.
Before starting your lab report, you need to get acquainted with specific requirements of your professor. In most cases, students are required to provide a cover sheet. Normally, a cover sheet contains the following information:
- Name of a student;
- Name of the experiment you have performer;
- Date of the experiment;
- Name of the teacher;
- Information about your class.
Abstract and Introduction
For those students who want to know how write a physics lab report, it is recommended to start from abstract and introduction. The importance of the abstract is that it is the first part of the paper readers see. As a result, it has to be properly organized and contain short but clear description of the information that will be provided further in the report. The main idea of an abstract is to inform the readers about the nature of your experiment and results, so they could made up their minds regarding to read it or not.
The next step is introduction writing. However, this part of the lab report is not obligatory and its presence of absence mostly depends on the nature of your experiment. Introductions to lab reports usually contain such information as theories used, short information about the previous researches, as well as description of personal motivation to perform the experiment.
The main body is the most important part of any physics laboratory report. It contains the most important information on the experiment, detailed description of the steps taken, and conclusion obtained.
Usually, the main body is divided into sections. One of them is the objectives section. It shortly presents the objectives of your research and its main hypothesis.
The other section is method section. It explains in details how the experiment was conducted. Keep in mind that if the report is aimed at broad audience, the writer should remember that not all people may be specialists in a specific field. For this reason, this section, as well as the whole report, should be written in a simple and understandable manner. It will help the readers understand properly what you did.
The following techniques may help you get the task done easily:
- If you think that some graphs or diagrams may help the readers understand the information better, you should include them;
- Use paragraphs form of the section where more explanation can be provided. Avoid listing;
- Ask your professor if a separate section for description of the materials used is required. If so, add it;
- If you are following some guidelines during your experiment, do not copy them to your report. You need to show that you understand what was done and that you can explain it in your own words.
Make sure that you present the data obtained during the experiment in a clear manner. The following steps may be useful for it:
- Include charts and graphs to highlight the most important information. Still, postpone with the analysis. It will be done later in the following section;
- Make sure you will provide information on uncertainties you have faced during the experiment. You should include information about them in the graphs;
- Think about possible areas that may lead to errors and influence your experiment in some way. Discuss them in this section.
In case you use equations in your report, you should mention them as well. Moreover, it is recommended to provide example on how you did it. One example will be enough even if you used equations numerous times.
Data Analysis and Conclusion
Analysis section is also an essential part of your report that should be paid particular attention to. It is aimed at explaining what your did, what data you obtained and what you have learnt from the process. In this section, include:
- Personal ideas on how the experiment may be improved;
- Comparison of the actual results and expectations you had before conducting the experiment. Check whether your hypothesis worked or not. Consider what importance you results have for the area you investigated and for the world of physics in general.
- Graphs and diagrams that may better explain your findings;
- Conclusions you drew from the experiment.
Depending on the physics lab report format, you may be required to separate conclusion section. As a result, it should be discussed with the teacher prior to writing the report.
Add reference list to your report indicating sources you have used in the process of writing. Make sure you use the guidelines for a specific formatting style required by the teacher. Format your sources in accordance with the latest versions of MLA, APA, etc.
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