Lab Report APA Format

The purpose is also sometimes written as a separate section from the introduction. Theory (or Background pertaining to the experiment). This can include information from previous research, explanations of theories, methods or equations used, etc. ; for the example above, you might want to explain the theory behind acid/ base titration and a brief description of the setup and process you will use in the experiment. If research is done for this section, be sure to cite any sources used according to the instructor’s preference.

Be careful to include only the information that a reader would need to know in order to understand the purpose and methods; the report should still be as straightforward as possible. In addition to the purpose and background information, the instructor may also ask students to provide the following items in the introduction section: A hypothesis What is expected to happen in the experiment based on background information. 4 Safety Information This is especially useful in chemistry classes, where toxic or flammable chemicals are often used.

Regardless of the specific information required from the instructor, the main Ochs of the introduction should be on helping the reader to understand the purpose, methods, and reasons these particular methods are being used. Method Materials This is usually a simple listing of the equipment used in the form of a billeted list, but it should be complete and accurate. Graphics of more complex setups may also be included if they would be helpful. Procedure This section includes the process of the experiment exactly as it was done in the laboratory.

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Usually the procedure is written out in paragraph form, but it may also be written out step-by-step in the form of a numbered list. Some instructors allow a citation to the lab manual for this section (Ex: aha process in the laboratory manual for BIO 102 was used. “); however, if the lab manual is cited, any changes made to that procedure should be noted. There should not be any results (things that happened when the procedure was being carried out) included in this section; only include the procedures carried out.

A good rule of thumb for writing complete but concise experimental procedures is to include enough information so that others who read the report would be able to duplicate the experiment at a later date. 5 Results This section contains all the results of the experiment, including the tables and figures. The key to making tables and figures effective is to refer to and explain each one in the body of the paper. Organized the graphs or tables in the Appendix. Important results in verbal form. For the main results that will be expanded upon in the discussion section, use complete sentences (i. E. The percentage of acetic acid in vinegar was calculated to be 4. 982 %”). This will help the key results to stand out from all the calculations, tables, and figures that normally dominate the results section. Calculations. Usually, only a sample of each calculation is needed. For example, if the percentage of acetic acid in 10 samples of vinegar has to be calculated and then averaged, write out the calculation for only one of them, then mention that the calculation was repeated for 10 samples and give the average of all 10. Correct significant figures should be used in all . Make sure units (CM. Ml, etc. ) are included in all calculations, and that major results of each calculation stand out from the rest of the numbers. Discussion The discussion section is the most important part of the report. This is the section where the results are explained, and a student can show the instructor that he or she has a thorough understanding of the concept of the experiment and the results obtained. The main question to be addressed in this section is ‘What is the significance of the results? ” Here are some strategies to help focus your discussion: Compare expected results with actual results.

If the experiment 6 did not turn out exactly as expected, think about why the results might have been different and try to explain why you got the results you did. Analyze experimental error. There is a degree of error in every experiment, so every lab report should mention potential causes of error. Be specific about what caused the error. Was it due to the equipment? Impurity of the sample? Errors in calculations? Explain how the methods could be improved. Once you have decided what might have caused error, you should explain how the error might have been avoided.

How could the setup be made more effective? Should you have been more careful with measurements? How could contamination have been prevented more effectively? Should more precise equipment be used? Explain the results in terms of the purpose. If the original purpose of the experiment was achieved, explain how the results show that the purpose was accomplished. For example, if the purpose was to determine the percentage of acetic acid in vinegar, you could research the real percentage of acetic acid in most commercial vinegars and compare that to the calculated result from the experiment.

A small difference would indicate that the percentage calculated was very close to the actual percentage and the purpose was accomplished. If the purpose was not achieved, prove this by the results in a similar fashion. Relate the results to those of other, similar experiments. Depending on the nature of the experiment and the instructor’s preferences, you may want to compare your results to those of the rest of the class. If your results were similar to the others’, this can be an indication that they were reasonably accurate.

If they were very different, explain why they may have been different. Conclusion This section includes only one or two sentences that summarize definitive conclusions from the results. Here is an example of a conclusion for the acetic acid experiment used in earlier examples: 7 From a comparison of the results of the experimental calculations with the aroma value for percent acetic acid in vinegar, it can be concluded that the percentage of acetic acid in the sample used in this experiment was about 4. 982%.

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Lab Report APA Format. (2018, Aug 13). Retrieved from

Lab Report APA Format
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