In case you are currently taking a course in AP Biology or general biology, it is crucial for you to note that you will be required to get involved in biology laboratory experiments. With this in mind, you should expect to be heavily involved in the biology lab report writing.
The reason behind this is that biology lab reports are in most college curriculums for many fundamental purposes. Among them include; to find out how well you did your experiments, to evaluate how much you grasped during the biology lab experimentation process and also to establish how well you can relay the information you gathered from the experiment in an organized manner.
Having said the above, it becomes crystal clear that biology lab reports are a central section in a biology student`s school life as they heavily influence the final grade. It is for this reason that the article below has expounded on some of the most foolproof methods of coming up with excellent biology reports.
To start with, it`s vital for us to understand what a biology lab report is all about. To do so, below are some of the primary things you would do well to remember
Firstly, every lab report needs you to have a mastery of what is being done, i.e., the mechanisms of the process you have watched or studies as well as the equipment and procedures you have used and the outcomes you got. However, it is also important to note that the results could be incorrect or barred by various errors (Biology is among the sciences where such occurrences are common).
Also, although all experiments are founded only on ideal processes, there are just a few factors that are tightly controlled. Therefore, it becomes difficult to predict all the influences that have the potential to affect your results. Among the most crucial rules when writing a biology lab report is to ensure that you have described everything that you observe when undertaking the experiment even when it didn`t suit your expectations.
In addition to the above, it is essential for you to describe all procedures that you conducted in any particular experiment. Even though you were forced to change something simple, ensure that you point it out. Write your biology lab report in a manner that anyone else could repeat the experiment exactly as you`ve done.
Thirdly, you should note that writing a biology lab report doesn`t only entail retelling your work. It requires the interpretation, analysis, and discussion of your experiment`s results.
Biology lab reports could be your first step in learning how to write scientific papers as well as format them. You should see to it that you follow the following tips to meet the required biology lab report format and style requirements.
Your biology lab report is supposed to be crafted in the third-person tense without incorporating personal pronouns.
Use passive voice and past tense while describing what has been done.
Use subheadings for every section (Use italic fonts or bold).
When citing your papers or other kinds of sources, avoid using quotations and unnecessary or excessive paraphrasing. Also, make sure that you use the referencing and citing style as is stipulated by your professors.
So, with these general principles, you are well equipped to start impressing your tutor if you didn`t know how to write biology lab report.
In your biology lab report example format, the essence of the abstract is to summarize your work`s purpose, the general techniques, and its results and conclusion. Your abstract should be a short and single-paragraphed story of the biology lab. You shouldn`t worry about writing details of the analysis procedure and methods used in your experiments; these should come after you are done with the whole report. Go through your text and then point out your abstract`s main statements.
This is the section that acts as the literature review part of your biology lab report as it states the general procedures you have used in your experiment as well as the objectives of your work. To start with, provide your topic`s background information using several scientific resources. Also, ensure that you explain and determine the importance of your experiment/topic. Format your biology report in a manner that answers the following questions; Why is this experiment crucial? Why should it require your attention? In what ways does it link to biology knowledge? How can your lab report bring change to the world?
After you are through with this part, you can state your hypothesis and determine the objective to disapprove or prove it. Finally, you should state the methods that have been used in the lab work and indicate what you counted or measured. Also, it is vital for you always to try being brief (around 1 page).
This is a section meant for describing your experiment`s procedures (without including the results). When talking about the methods used, most professors prefer if you didn`t use a list format to write the steps taken during your experiments. Instead, they prefer if you gave an in-depth story of the manner in which you did your experiment. Also, it is essential for you to use passive voice instead of incorporating the copy-paste type of lab protocol. If you have no idea of how you can write the various steps of procedures, you should start by asking yourself these two questions, "Is what I am writing essential to the experiment? Can it influence the experiment`s outcome?" An excellent example of this includes;
Writing, "Tubes had been marked A, B and C. 3 grams of glucose were then placed into every tube." Instead of writing in such a non-objective manner, you can change these phrases into something like, "3 grams of glucose were put into 3 labeled tubes." The latter only gives relevant information because the outcome of the experiment isn`t dependent on how you mark the tubes.
This is a description of what you obtained from your experiment and what you have achieved from using the reported procedures. In this section, you should aim to answer this question, "What happened?" It is important to note that this doesn`t call you to interpret or explain your results. It is crucial for you to use tables, figures, and graphs with the appropriate descriptions for all your outcomes.
In light of this, choose the suitable forms of result visualization. Diagrams and graphs are better as compared to tables (although tables could be required in the report`s appendix). Always give names to graphs, figures, units, and label axes.
This can be regarded as the most crucial section as it assists you to show your mastery of the experiment`s results as well as their interpretation. For you to come up with an excellent conclusions section, you should answer the following question, "Why did it take place?" At first, you require general and brief restatements of the results and take note; this doesn`t mean that you should re-write the results section. Ensure that you explain your results clearly especially those that are unusual or unexpected.
Also, based on the results, you should disprove or confirm the hypothesis that you had stated earlier on. Give detailed explanations of why you received some types of errors in your biology experiment and how these errors can be removed. Also, you should discuss the manner in which your experiment can be modified. You should also remember that citations can assist you when explaining your results.
At times, conclusions are required after the discussion section or even at times to replace it. Whichever route you choose to take, ensure that your results section confirms your experiment`s hypothesis.
There are some general tips that may seem unnecessary at first but could make all the difference in the scores you receive for your biology lab report. Examples include;
At the start of a sentence, ensure that you spell the numbers, e.g. twenty milliliters of water was added instead of 20 ml of water.
Ensure that you are consistent in the abbreviation of units, e.g., "Next, 10 ml of the solution was withdrawn into the pipette and added to 5ml of water," instead of "Next, 10 ML of the solution was withdrawn into the pipette and added to 5ml of water."
See to it that you define the abbreviations when you first use them, "Double-distilled water (ddH2O)."
The names of the species used should be italicized, e.g., "Homo sapiens instead of Homo sapiens."
After you have written your report, ensure that you read it severally. At first, you should analyze it generally while asking yourself these questions, "Does my biology lab report answer every question that had been asked beforehand?" Then follow this by reading every paragraph with maximum attention while also analyzing your sentences` structure. After doing so, proofread your report as you correct any grammar mistakes while checking your spelling. With all these things in mind, it is prudent for you to practice coming up with exceptional biology lab reports for better grades in the future.
Writing a biology lab report is one of the most tasking things that can be required of a student while in college. However, with practice and the right guidance, it becomes easy to craft an excellent biology lab report because you will have acquired and practiced the necessary principles of writing an excellent report. Follow this guide and you're sure to come up with a good report that will get you the grade that you deserve. Also, be sure to a biology lab report sample to see how to implement the tips given. There are many such reports available on the web, you can get a biology lab report example through a simple Google search, or just request one from us!
All the best in writing your lab report!