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The Most Frequently asked Question among new engineering students is often, How do I write a lab report?
As a university student, you may often be faced with the task of writing a lab report. Although high school may have prepared you for some of the basic requirements, you may still need to figure out how to write a university lab report. A lab report is used to communicate your findings from the experiment to the reader. In most cases, your reader will be the person grading your work and gauging your understanding of the experiment.
When deciding how to write a university report, it is essential to remember that you should include the procedures or steps followed to reach a specific result. This written record allows any future readers to validate your findings by following the same steps. A standard lab report will explain what the experiment was, how it was done, what findings were recorded, and what your interpretations of the findings are.
The basic structure of a lab report includes the introduction, the procedure (or materials and methods), the results, also known as observations, the discussion or analysis, and conclusions. The structure of a lab report also requires you to list the references you cited within your document.
The introduction contains the background of your study and why you decided to carry out the study. You should also give the hypothesis and objectives or goals of your experiment. The procedure delineates all the steps you followed in carrying out the experiments. In this part of the report, you are also required to list the materials, equipment, or reagents you used. After this, you should clearly state your observations, where you accurately give all the findings from your experiments.
The results you are required to give could be in the form of tables, figures, or descriptions. Here, you can give the results of any calculations based on your data. In the discussion, you also get to show whether your hypothesis was accepted or not. Your conclusion should give a brief overview of what has been deduced from your experiment. You should also summarize the key points you raised in the observations and analysis sections. You should not introduce any new information in the conclusion. You can also propose future work or areas of research in this part of your lab report.
In addition to this structure of a lab report, institutions have a clear view of how you should present your lab work and prepare the document. These guidelines usually differ based on different schools. The length of the report, use of the first or third person, the citation format, presence of subheadings, and so on, are a few of the areas where dissimilarities can be found. It is essential to make sure that you follow the guidelines presented by your institution.
Keeping up with all these guidelines, and finding answers to some burning questions like how to add citation in google scholar, where you can obtain a mechanical engineering lab report example, an electrical engineering lab report example, or a civil engineering lab report example can be challenging for you as a student. Thankfully, various resources can give you access to a student lab report example or link you with a lab report writer free of charge. Below are some of the matters you may need to figure out when planning how to write a university lab report.
LAB REPORT INTRODUCTION EXAMPLE
As the introduction is the basis of the entire lab report, it can either make or break the rest of your report. Using a good lab report introduction example can guide you in structuring your introduction. An excellent lab introduction example will have a broad outline of the background of the principle. It will also explain to the reader why the study is vital and who would benefit from the results.
Your lab report introduction starts with a broad view of the experiment before narrowing down to the specific topic your experiment covers. The introduction also covers a literature review that explains what is already known about the topic. This literature review is a brief description of the work previously carried out on the same subject that will help the reader understand the experiment more.
A good lab report introduction example will also explain the hypothesis, which will introduce your research question as well as propose an expected result. The introduction should end with the project goals and objectives in the context of real-life applications being listed.
STUDENT LAB REPORT EXAMPLE
Aside from getting portions of a lab report, you can look for a complete student lab report example. Although this may not be tailored to a specific course or topic, this example can help you tailor your write-up appropriately. A proper student lab report will contain all the sub-sections mentioned previously, i.e., the introduction, materials and methods, results, discussion, and conclusion.
To ensure that the experiment can be repeated and validated, the scientific report should also include any experimental design and explain how the set-up used conforms to the scientific method. Any additional precautions that were taken to ensure your safety, such as the use of personal protective equipment, should also be indicated. Getting a good example can be done if you look for a lab report writer free of charge.
HOW TO ADD CITATION IN GOOGLE SCHOLAR
One of the most critical components of the university lab report is the inclusion of the works cited. Based on the field of study, or course guidelines, you can be asked to use different referencing styles like MLA, Harvard, Vancouver, Chicago, and APA. For instance, when it comes to the engineering lab report format, the IEEE referencing format is used.
Using Google Scholar citations allows you to keep track of the references you have used in your report. Perhaps you have wondered how to add citation in Google Scholar. You can search for your article in Google scholar and see it on the search results. Next, click on the link labeled ‘Cite.’ This link will provide a reference using various citation styles. Please select your preferred citation style and copy it, pasting it into your lab report. You can double-check the formatting of the citation to ensure it matches the specified citation style.
To add your citations into your reference list, or list of articles, you can select the Action menu on Google Scholar and select ‘Add.’ To add your articles one at a time, you can first use the ‘search articles’ option to look for your article. Next, you should click the ‘Add article’ link that is located next to the article you are interested in. This link should automatically update your citation metrics and add the article to your account.
MECHANICAL ENGINEERING LAB REPORT EXAMPLE
The structure of the lab report is usually slightly different depending on the course of study. For instance, the engineering lab report format could have more subsections. A formal mechanical engineering lab report example will have various sections like the letter of transmittal, a title page, and an executive summary. At the end of the mechanical engineering lab report example, there should be at least two appendices that show the data and calculations used in the study.
The letter of transmittal is a formal letter that details the purpose of the study, its methods, the observations and conclusions drawn from the study. The title page gives the title of the experiment, the student’s details, including the course of study, department, admission number, and so on. An executive summary could also accompany the lab report.
A list of tables and figures is also included in the document. References in the document are expected to follow the IEEE format. However, a Google Scholar IEEE citation format does not exist. Instead, to get the required format, you can follow the following steps: select the link ‘Cite’ and instead of choosing any of the citation styles provided, use one of the links to the reference managers such as BibTeX.
BibTeX is the reference manager used by the software LaTeX, which is favored by authors belonging to The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). This software can format the citation to the required format. The report is also widely expected to be in proper tense, written in the third person, and a passive voice.
ELECTRICAL ENGINEERING LAB REPORT EXAMPLE
Much like the mechanical engineering lab report, the lab report for an electrical engineering experiment will also have additional subsections. In addition to the title page, a comprehensive electrical engineering lab report example will also include a section describing the theory or equations needed to understand the experiment. The theory is usually stated after the materials section, which includes the electrical components used in the experiment.
In the electrical engineering lab report example, the data can be presented in tabular form before the section giving the results. This data is different from the results as it merely shows the facts of what you observed, and will not be interpreted to justify the hypothesis. In this report, the figures and graphs can be presented after the results and discussion.
Writing an electrical engineering report requires the use of the third person and past tense. As the Google Scholar IEEE citation format does not exist, you can select one of the links to Reference managers provided in Google Scholar. BibTeX is favored for the IEEE format.
CIVIL ENGINEERING LAB REPORT EXAMPLE
A complete civil engineering lab report example will contain a similar engineering lab report format, containing the same basic structure. However, a few modifications can be found in the report. A Civil Engineering Lab Report Example could have the following sections: the scope of the test, preliminary remarks, test specimens and materials, apparatus, test procedure, calculations and results, discussion and conclusions, and the references.
The scope explains what the test is for, and could also explain unusual features of the experiment, like the types of specimens. The preliminary remarks give the significance of the materials being tested from the perspective of civil engineering. In this section, you also explain any new terms you learned during the experiment.
When describing the materials and test specimen, you should include all the known characteristics, including the type of specimen and its dimensions. This information is essential as the test results are closely related to these features. In the apparatus section, the report should describe the equipment used in the experiment. Information regarding the name, capacity, and power source of the equipment should be indicated. Sketches of the apparatus should be made during the test to include in the report.
The test procedure should describe how the specimens were prepared before the study, and the methods used during the experiment. The calculations and test results should give a sample of the calculation procedures used in interpreting the data. It could also include the plotting of graphs. The discussion and conclusion allow the reader to understand what the experiment revealed about the material being tested. This section also explains other factors, such as what could have affected the accuracy of the test and how the accuracy can be improved. The civil engineering lab report also contains the lists of figures and tables.
WONDERING HOW TO ADD CITATION IN GOOGLE SCHOLAR?
Because there is no Google Scholar IEEE citation format, you can use the reference manager link provided after selecting the ‘Cite’ link. BibTeX is favored by authors belonging to IEEE. Other reference managers you can access in this way include EndNote, RefMan, and RefWorks.
Given the above information, how then should you write your university lab reports?
Writing lab reports will be an essential part of your university education. This statement is especially true if you are in a scientific field or pursuing an engineering course like mechanical, electrical, or civil engineering. Creating the best lab report requires that you follow the given basic structure, including the introduction, materials, and methods, observations, discussions, and conclusions.
Your course of study will, however, determine the precise structure of your report. The formatting requirements, including font size, tense, and the person used when reporting, will also be guided by the rules you are given. Including references in your lab report is essential to show the background of your research question and what work has already been done. Following the recommended guidelines for citing your sources is vital to prepare the perfect report.
Keeping up with these requirements may present a challenge to you. However, various resources make it easier for you by linking you with a lab report writer free of charge. The writer produces top-quality work that meets all the specified requirements. Not only will your report be top-notch, but it will also be free of plagiarism, giving you the best grades.
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