Writing a Lab Report


A lab report explains what you did in an experiment, what you learned, and what the results indicated. You should always use the outline your professor gives you to write a lab report if they give you one; otherwise, here’s a format that you can use if you’re not sure:

Parts of a Lab Report

  • Title Page Not all lab reports have title pages, but if your instructor requires one it will be APA formatted and include:
  • The title of the experiment.
  • Your name and your partner’s names.
  • Your instructor’s name.
  • The date the lab was preformed or the date the report was submitted.
  • Title. Like all good papers, your lab report should have a title. The title should state what you did and the main objective for the experiment.
  • Introduction/Purpose. The introduction is often one paragraph that explains the objectives and purposes of the lab. Be sure to state the hypothesis in one sentence. Often an introduction includes background information that briefly summarizes how the experiment was preformed, as well as the findings and conclusions of the experiment.
  • Materials. List everything you needed to complete your experiment.
  • Methods. Describe the steps that were followed during the lab. Be sure to be as detailed as possible so that anyone could read your methods and mimic them.
  • Data. Numerical data is often displayed in a table or graph.
  • Results Describe what the data means. Sometimes the Results section is also put in the Discussion.
  • Discussion. In the discussion you use the data to say whether or not the hypothesis was proven. You will also mention any mistakes that were made during your lab in this section.
  • Conclusion. The conclusion is often a single paragraph that says what happened in the experiment, whether the hypothesis was proven or disproven and what that means.
  • Figures and Graphs. These tools must be labeled with a descriptive title. You should be sure that your report refers to the figures and graphs. The first figure should be labeled Figure 1 and so forth.
  • References. Be sure to list any sources that you used during your lab report. Often these will be cited in APA format.