If you are taking a biology course, at some point, you will need to make an experiment and report about it. In case you have no idea how to write a biology lab report, then you should keep reading and we will provide you with a detailed explanation on how to create a winning piece. In fact, completing biology lab reports is an integral task for every student enrolling in Biology programs. The primary purpose of a biology report is to determine in what way did you perform your experiment, what is its theoretical and practical value, as well as how well you can explain this process. A well-written lab report is evidence that you:
- Understood all the stages of your experiment;
- Have managed to reach your goals;
- Can present the results of your experiment in an appropriate way.
Common Lab Report Format
Regardless of the topic, a lab report should include six main sections:
Pay attention that your tutor may provide you with different instructions and you need to follow them precisely if you want to receive a good grade.
How to Write a Biology Lab Report?
Let’s have a closer look at the main components of the lab report:
- Title. The title of your report should clearly state what you have done during your experiment. A good title should be accurate, descriptive, and concise. Depending on the formatting style, you may need to write a title page that should include the title of the lab report, the name of the student, the name of the supervisor, as well as the date of report submission;
- Introduction. When it comes to writing a lab report, an introduction aims to provide a brief summary of the experiment, as well as background information that should help the reader understand the experiment better. In your introduction, you also need to include a research hypothesis that will be proven in your report;
- Materials and methods. As can be seen from its title, this section should include information about the materials used in research, as well as the methods. Pay attention that you should not only provide the list of materials but also explain when, how, and where they were used. This section should be detailed enough to allow other researchers to repeat your experiment using your methods;
- Results. In the results section, you need to include all the data from your observations. This section should include appropriate tables, charts, graphs, and illustrations in order to help your reader understand your findings better. Keep in mind that this part of your lab report should only introduce your results without explaining them;
- Discussion. In the following section of your report, you need to analyze the data received and evaluate the value of your experiment. When writing this section, you should explain what did you learn during this experiment. Was your hypothesis correct? Were there any mistakes during the experiment? What could be done in another way?
- Conclusion. In the concluding paragraph of your lab report, you need to summarize your experiment and provide recommendations for other researchers. Pay attention that this part should not include new data;
- References. Any experiment should be based on meticulous research. If you have consulted some primary and secondary sources in the working process, you need to mention their bibliographic information in your reference list.
If you were asked to follow the APA biology lab report format, then your book entry should include the following details:
- Full name of the author/authors;
- The date of its publication;
- The full title of the book;
- Book edition (if there are a few of them);
- Place where the book was published;
- The name of the publisher.
Jackson, M. D. (2016). The life of microorganisms. 3rd Edition. New York, NY: Bricks State.
The journal entry will include the following details:
- Full name of the author/authors;
- The date of publication;
- The full title of the article;
- The volume along with the issue number;
- Page numbers.
Smith R. E. & Jefferson M. L. (2015). Desert creatures. Geography World. 122(5), 43-49.
If the formatting style is not indicated anywhere in your prompt, make sure to ask your tutor about it. It is particularly important to clarify all the important details before you start working on your lab report.
What Is an Abstract?
Some supervisors ask their students to put abstracts in their lab reports. In a nutshell, an abstract is a brief summary of your experiment. It should include accurate information about the experiment, the research hypothesis, the methods that were used for addressing the problems, the main results of the experiment, etc.
Typically, an abstract appears before the introduction. However, it is highly recommended to write it only when the rest of the report is completed.
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Lab Report Formatting
How to format a biology lab report? Check out the tips mentioned below:
- When writing your paper, make sure to choose an appropriate font. The font size should be not less than 12pt. As for the font type, you may use a traditional font such as Arial or Times New Roman;
- Use 1-inch margins on all sides of your lab report;
- Include page numbers for the proper navigation through your text;
- Add headings to all of your major sections.
For more detailed formatting requirements, make sure to check the manual of the citation style indicated in your prompt.
Do Not Forget About Proofreading
As soon as you are done with writing your paper, you need to revise it carefully. Although the main emphasis should be on the content and structure of your paper, good mechanics is also very important. As such, we highly recommend you check your paper for grammatical, spelling, and punctuation flaws. One more important point that will be assessed when checking your lab report is its compliance with instructions. As such, if you want to receive a good grade for your paper, you need to follow the professor’s guidelines precisely.
A good lab report is always original and authentic. By copying the ideas of other people, you will be accused of plagiarism, which will have a negative effect on your academic performance. As such, when revising your lab report, do not forget to scan it through the reliable plagiarism-detection tools. Only if your work is free from unoriginal content, you may submit it.
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