So you’ve completed your work in the lab… Now it’s time to write that all-important lab report! To succeed, you must demonstrate your ability to make connections between theory and application by writing a formal report encompassing:

  • Lab Design
  • Data Collection and Processing
  • Data Presentation including charts and graphs
  • Evaluation of observations and conclusions

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3 Keys to succeed

  • Always have a concise but specific research question which indicates the independent and dependent variables.
  • For better visualization, include a simple diagram before the procedure to show the experimental setup (when applicable).
  • Always include uncertainties of measurement for all devices and instruments used to make measurements.

Subject Specific information:


It is always essential to include the:
  • Correct IUPAC nomenclature and formula for each chemical
  • Appropriate concentration and volume for each solution
  • A full list of glassware (with uncertainties of measurement)


Lab reports must include:
  • A full list of instruments and devices (with uncertainties of measurement)
  • Explicit indication of technology (electronic, computerized or analog)
  • Formulae and sample calculations


It is beneficial to have the following:
  • Images, pictures, and/or diagrams of samples used
  • Explicit connections between experimental results and theoretical information within the conclusion section
  • Critical thinking to explain the disparity between expected and actual results within the evaluation section

Here are some very common mistakes students make while writing their Lab Reports:

  • Many students often overlook minor aspects such as proper titles and presentation, which can easily make them lose points. Labs - Common Mistakes - 3
  • While designing an experiment, students often forget to consider the importance of appropriate statistical analysis. Labs - Common Mistake - 2
  • It is important to ensure that the terms and variables used within the lab design and description are specific and appropriate.Labs - Common Mistake - 1