Physics Lab Report Format
Physics Lab Report Outline
Students are strongly encouraged to utilize the NC State University LabWrite Program to develop and write their lab reports. The following short report format summary is based on this program. Labs will be graded utiling the attached rubric.
Name of lab, name of student, period, date, instructor.
Summarize each section of the lab report in one sentence per section. Put these sentences together into a paragraph to form your abstract.
Describe what concept the lab explores, the main objective of the lab, what actions you performed, and how those actions helped you achieve the lab objective. Also, describe your hypothesis and how you arrived at it using the scientific concepts described.
IV. Methods / Procedure
Document your experimental procedure in enough detail that someone else could repeat your work. This should include a list of all materials used, a diagram of the lab setup if appropriate, and the steps taken to accomplish the lab (paragraphs preferred, but organized, ordered lists of instructions are acceptable with list items in complete sentences.)
List all materials used.
B. Diagram of Lab Setup
Show schematic of experimental setup where necessary.
C. Steps Taken
Provide enough information that another student could easily replicate your work.
V. Results / Data
Put your data into tables and graphs. Review your tables and graphs to determine the key findings from the lab exercise. Write a paragraph explaining each table and graph including its key result and other salient details. Arrange the results section in an organized fashion.
A. Data Tables
Organized and labeled with units.
Properly label all axes, provide appropriate title.
The key relationship from each table or graph is described in a separate paragraph with appropriate supporting details.
VI. Discussion / Analysis
Explain whether results support the hypothesis, with supporting details referenced from the results section. Explain why results support or do not support the hypothesis. Discuss any problems encountered, uncertainty in measurements, comparison to others performing the lab, and possible improvement opportunities.
What did you learn from this lab about the concept under study? Include appropriate supporting details. Did you learn anything else from the lab, such as use of lab equipment, procedures, analysis methods, etc.?
- Reports MUST be type-written.
- Write the lab sections in this order, then rearrange and print before turning in to your instructor: Methods, Results, Introduction, Discussion, Conclusion, Abstract, and Title.
- Write in the 3rd person:
- Avoid 1st and 2nd person references such as I, we, you, and you(understood).
- Use a clear font with a maximum point size of 12.
- Diagrams and graphs MAY be neatly hand-written and glued in place (leave blank space in report).
*Adapted from NC State University's LabWrite Program, © 2004 NC State University