How to Write an Analysis for a Lab Report
As a student, you should know how to write an analysis for a lab report because at some point, you will be required to write a lab report or an analysis for a lab report. A lab report analysis is simply a shortened lab report that highlights the analysis of the data that was collected during a laboratory experiment only- infohost.nmt.edu. It should include typed text sections and equations can be included by hand. Nevertheless, an equation editor can be used in writing the equations.
Sections of an analysis for a lab report
The sections that you will have in your analysis for a lab report will show readers or your instructor whether you know how to write an analysis for a lab report or not. However, some analysis can have more or fewer sections than others depending on their nature but there are general sections of a typical analysis of a lab report.
- The title
- Experimental background
- Discussion and analysis
Although you are not writing a lab report, your analysis should tell readers more about the coherent data that was collected during the experiment. The analysis should not just string equations together with some tables and graphs included as a way of breaking the monotony. It should include a text that explains what the experiment was about, what was done and why. Shorter graphs and tables should be inserted in the appendix of the analysis. The narration of the analysis should refer to them and their purpose.
A simple guide on how to write an analysis for a lab report
Analysis of a lab report should be detailed than the report itself but shorter than the report- physics.mercer.edu. Therefore, you need to study and understand the content of the report before you write the analysis.
Here are steps that you should follow when writing an analysis for a lab report:
Select the title
The title of an analysis for a lab report should capture the content of the lab report. It should also capture the presentation that you will make in the analysis. Example of a title of an analysis of a lab report can be “Aqueous Surface Tension n-Butanol”.
Write background information about the experiment for which the lab report was written. This will enable readers to comprehend the scientific concepts behind the report and their importance to the analysis. You can also describe the material and equipment used during the experiment and the set-up process so that readers can clearly understand how the experiment was done.
The background section should be descriptive enough while acting like a brief memo. This is because the instructor is already aware of the lab report, the involved standard symbols and relevant theory. Therefore, brief the instructor about the experiment and the relevant data that was collected and one that will be analyzed in the analysis. You can also include the errors that may have been made during the experiment but be concise.
You should also state the hypothesis of the lab experiment. The hypothesis is simply a statement that tells readers what the lab experiment was trying to discover or to find out. The hypothesis should be the last or second-last sentence of the introductory paragraph of the analysis.
Write the discussion and analysis section
In this section, you present the data of the lab report and discuss the acquired results. You should present the results logically. Start with the results that were acquired first and then proceed to the calculations on which the results were built. Ensure that you provide adequate narration to enable the reader of the analysis to follow the argument with ease. The discussion and analysis section should not simply include a string of calculations without a rationale for their performance.
If you include tables and graphs in the appendices, refer readers to them in the narration. Include information on what one can learn from the calculations or presentation.
All calculations that you include in the analysis should have:
- A single relevant calculation sample: Omit all repetitive calculations. Since this is an analysis of a report and not a report, simply tabulate the results of other repetitive calculations.
- Equations that are presented in a general manner with one case in which data and units should be inserted.
- Corresponding units for the results.
- Calculations that are followed by appropriate analysis of the error. Error analysis should be presented in a format that is similar to that of presenting other calculations.
When using a computer program in data reduction, present a sample calculation followed by an error analysis. However, provide a program list for the specialty software that you use in data reduction in the appendix. Never report error estimate if they exceed two digits. Additionally, the calculated result’s precision should match that of error estimate.
After writing the discussion and the analysis section, sum up the experiment as well as the experimental results that were derived from it. Compare the results that you have analyzed with the lab report results. Finally, consider the possible error sources.
In the appendices, include materials that are relevant to your analysis such as graphs and tables that you could not include in the body. Make sure that you only include materials that you referred your readers to in the body or the discussion and analysis section.
Additional tips on how to write an analysis for a lab report
An analysis for a lab report should indicate the results of the lab experiment clearly. It should explain what was found or discovered and what is known or the drawn conclusions on the basis of the results or findings of the experiment. It should also include the interpretation of the results. This entails indicating the importance of the findings, the existing ambiguities, questions that arise from the results and logical explanation of the problem that led to setting up of the lab experiment- writing.utoronto.ca.
To make your analysis for a lab report great:
- Summarize the findings of the lab report and then illustrate them where appropriate with tables and figures.
- Describe all results in the body of the analysis pointing out the most relevant observations to the reader.
- Give your analysis a context by describing the hypothesis of the lab experiment or what was addressed by the results or observations made during the experiment.
- Describe the results of the control experiments as well and include the observations that may not be presented by the formal table or figure if necessary or appropriate.
- Analyze the data of the lab report properly and then come up with a converted or analyzed data in form of a table, figure or graph. You can also present your analysis as a text.
These are some of the tips that will make your analysis for a lab report stand unique from the rest if you follow them while writing your lab report analysis.
What to include in the analysis for a lab report
What you include in your analysis for a lab report will also tell readers whether you know how to write an analysis for a lab report or not. Although the content of a lab report depends on its nature, there are certain components that should be in almost all lab reports.
- Numerical analysis: This refers to numerical calculations, ratios and estimation of the precision of value.
- Graphical analysis: This involves the use of Excel in constructing graphs from which equations can be drawn and numerical data analyzed. Graphical analysis makes interpretation of data easy.
- Analysis of the findings versus the hypothesis: This entails determining how the graph and calculations refute or support the stated hypothesis of the experiment. If the experiment was trying to prove a theory, the analysis should explain this according to the lab report results and whether the findings supported the theory.
What not to include in an analysis for a lab report
Among the things that you should avoid when writing an analysis for a lab report include:
- Discussing or interpreting the results of your analysis or its background information.
- Immediate calculations or raw data that you collected on your own.
- Presenting the same information or data twice
- Text that repeats the information that is in the tables or figures.
Including such things in your analysis of a lab report will show your reader or the instructor that you do know how to write an analysis for a lab report and this will influence the grade that he/she gives you. If you still cannot grasp the steps of writing an analysis for a lab report, use this example as your writing guide- slideshare.net.
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