Short Lab Reports
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A lab report lets you communicate the data that you collected in an
experiment, along with your statement of what you learned from the experiment.
When writing a lab report, observe the following points:
- Write the entire report by yourself,
even if you performed the lab with a partner. Every table,
every diagram, and every word in the report should be your own work.
not include photocopies or handouts in your report. The entire report
should be your work.
- Write complete sentences with correct
spelling, grammar, punctuation, and sentence structure. Write
- When you write a measured or calculated value,
insert a space between the number and the unit. For example, write
12.2 mA, not 12.2mA.
your report, and use software to create any schematic diagrams
in your report. No part of your report should be handwritten except,
for some labs, drawings of the waveforms that you observed on the
In this course I'll ask you to write some short lab
reports and some full lab reports. This page describes
short lab reports. Another page describes full
A short lab report
should contain the following items, in the order listed:
page, listing course number, title
of experiment and lab number, date performed, date submitted, your
name, and your lab partner's name (if any).
tables . Each table should have a
short title telling the reader what kind of data it contains. Usually
each table will include both predicted values and measured values,
along with percentage errors. To calculate percentage error, use
% error = |measured value - predicted value| ÷ predicted
value × 100
Graphs (if called
for) created using Microsoft Word or other software.
- Answers to all questions asked in
the lab handout. Be sure to explain how your data
support the answers that you are giving. For instance, don't just say, "Yes,
Ohm's law is verified." Rather, say, "The data in Table 3
show that Ohm's law is verified, because . . ."
conclusion , where you state
what you have learned from the lab. Be sure to relate your conclusions
back to the objective(s) listed at the beginning of the lab handout. Also,
either this section or the previous section should include some discussion
of how far off (percentage errors) your measured values were from the
predicted values. Are your percentage errors acceptably small, or too
large? If they're too large, can you explain why they're so big (measurement
error, faulty equipment, etc.)?
To see the formatting you should use when you write
your reports, study this sample
short report (in PDF format; requires
Adobe Acrobat Reader).
| Electronics Engineering Technology | Sinclair Community College
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