You only need to write the Abstract, Introduction, Results and discussion
see paper format below:
Follow the instruction in the lab manual and answer questions from there.
Laboratory reports must be typed, 1.5 spaced, 12 font and printed using a high-resolution printer.
Abstract: A concise and factual abstract, between 150 and 250 words, is required. The abstract should state briefly (a) the purpose, (b) the methods/approaches used, (c) the principal results (include numerical values!) and (d) major conclusions. An abstract is presented separately from the body of the report, and it must be able to stand alone. No references are given in Abstract.
Introduction: This section gives background information about the problem or issue at hand. What is the goal of the experiment? What is the theory behind it? The introduction can contain a brief literature review, which should describe previous research conducted on the problem/technique. This information should justify why you conducted the experiment. The introduction should show that you have understanding of what you did and why you did it. The introduction usually ends with a statement summarizing what you will show the reader as your report progresses.
Results: The results section includes a concise description of your experimental results, accompanied by tables and/or figures. All graphs are to be computer generated and must have legends clearly describing the samples used, experimental conditions and the data obtained. You need not discuss your raw data (unless this seems appropriate) but you should use average values with experimental errors. Show calculations (with appropriate equations). Remember to label your tables and figures with Table/Figure # and Title. All tables and figures presented should be described in text. Not just “See Figure 1, or Table 2″, for example. Numerical data should have appropriate units. Try to keep the same amount of significant figures for all your data. For visual observations use brief sentences, but be specific. Where appropriate, indicate estimated uncertainty of values with significant figures. If you have a lot of raw data and/or graphs, those should be put in the appendix.
Discussion: The discussion section of your laboratory report should be a description of your findings or conclusions. This should not take the form of comments such as “this was a very good experiment …” or “I learned to …” but should be a discussion of the principles involved in the experiment and any conclusions that you can make based on your data. Since laboratory reports differ from primary research articles, the discussion section may be rather short and comprehensive. What was the goal of the experiment? Has it been reached? Includes a brief summary of your results. Discuss how close your results are to the expected values. If they are a bit off discuss what could have affected your results. What can be done in the future to prevent high errors? Discuss experimental errors or problems which occurred and should attempt to make a simple conclusion, i.e., “… the data in Table 2 demonstrate that the experimental error in repetitive pipetting can be as large as ± 5% with large-volume pipettes, and up to ± 23% when very small volumes are involved. The data suggest that repetitive pipetting of small volumes should be avoided.” Should the matter at hand be investigated further?
References and Appendix:
All lab reports will contain a minimum of TWO references – with the only exception being Experiment 1 – pipette calibration. Reference material from primary journals should be cited in the text of your report using superscript numbers and should be collected following the discussion section modeled after the following format:
1. Jones, D. J., Smith, J. A., and Szcepanski, N. A. (1993) J. Biol. Chem. 103, 10068-73.
Appendix Material: As an appendix, you should include a copy of your notes and data taken directly from your laboratory notebook. All calculations performed on your raw data should also be included as well as any other appropriate experimental materials. This section should not be typed and should reflect your actual experimental work and analysis.