Physics Lab Report Format

Lab Report Format


Physics Lab Report Outline

Students are strongly encouraged to write their reports in the order detailed on the diagram above. Labs will be graded utilizing the attached rubric.


I. Title Page

Name of lab, name of student, period, date, instructor.

II. Introduction

Describe what concept the lab explores, and presents the objectives and purpose of the lab. Also states the research problem and the reason this problem is being investigated.

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.)

A. Materials

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 which are appropriately labeled and explained. 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.

B. Graphs

Properly label all axes, provide appropriate title.

C. Explanations

The key relationship from each table or graph is described in a separate paragraph with appropriate supporting details.

VI. Discussion / Analysis

Open with a statement of key findings, and clearly reference those findings with data from the lab. Provide logical explanations for all statements. Discuss other appropriate findings of interest. Make sure you have answered all analysis questions, and you have answered your research problem as posed in the introduction.

VII. Conclusions

Summarize what you learned in the lab, with specific references to the scientific concept under study which you detailed in the introduction. Describe potential sources of error (don't say human error). Critique the lab and describe opportunities for further / future work. Did you learn anything else from the lab, such as use of lab equipment, procedures, analysis methods, etc.?


Important Notes:

  • Reports MUST be type-written.
  • Write the lab sections in this order, then rearrange the sections into a cohesive report and print before turning in to your instructor: Procedure, Results, Introduction, Discussion, Conclusion, and Title Page.
  • 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