How To Write An Abstract For A Lab Report

How To Write An Abstract For A Lab Report

Writing an abstract for a lab report can prove to be a daunting task for a lot of students. Writing, in general, is a difficult task for the majority of individuals. However, students have no option but to learn this very crucial skill as their performance relies on it. Lab report writing is a must for students all the way from high school and in some subjects in elementary. However, writing an abstract for a lab report is a skill that science beginner scholars do not have struggle with, as it becomes necessary at an advanced stage of learning.

The following steps to follow when writing a lab report abstract aim to help students master this all-important skill. It is worth noting that abstract writing is critical not just when doing lab report writing but also in research papers. Therefore, learning the technique of writing an abstract will be invaluable to other subjects and ultimately your performance. A lab report abstract example is included to give students an idea of how to write one.

  1. Finish Writing the Rest of Your Report

An abstract for a lab report is among the first sections of the lab report; thus, many students will tend to write it before completing the lab report itself. However, that is wrong. A lab report abstract is a summary of the essential parts of the report itself. Below are the sections of a lab report:

  • The Title

  • Abstract

  • Background information

  • Material

  • The Experiment procedure/method

  • Findings

  • Analysis/Discussion

  • Conclusion

An abstract will contain a summary of the following components - Background information, the experiment procedure, outcome, and the conclusion. Note that a lab report abstract is a summary, therefore to write one successfully students have to complete the report first. Therefore, the first step of how to write an abstract for a lab report is completing the other sections of the report itself. The lab report abstract will be written last.

  1. Identify a Format for Your Lab Report Abstract

What format are you expected to follow when drafting the abstract for your lab report? After having completed your lab report, the next step is to establish what information to include and how you will present it in the lab report abstract. Students can utilize any of the following abstracts for a lab report:

  • The Descriptive lab report abstract

  • The Informational lab report abstract

Descriptive Lab Report Abstract

A descriptive abstract for a lab report will be brief, approximately 100 words or less. It will contain a sentence or two summarizing the critical aspects of the report. Although it is brief, it will still communicate the message of your lab report. In short, when someone reads the abstract, even without going into the details of the report itself, they get the message. A descriptive lab report abstract will provide a summary of the purpose, and the experimental procedure followed. However, it will exclude information on the findings, analysis, and conclusion.

Informational Lab Report Abstract

Compared to the descriptive lab report abstract, it can be slightly longer and will offer a summary of all the essential parts. That means there will be a summary of the purpose of the experiment, materials and methods, findings, analysis, and conclusion. An informational lab report abstract is more detailed, with its length being anywhere from a paragraph short to a page or 2 long. The length one opts to use largely depends on the size and scope of the lab report. The trick scholars can use to find the appropriate length of the abstract for a lab report is to make it 10% of the complete report.

Therefore, it is safe to say students can adapt any of the above two formats. The crucial thing is that they use the format required by the lecturer. It must also raise the curiosity of readers, making them interested in reading the rest of the report. Look for a lab report abstract example using either of the formats to get a better understanding of what is expected of you.

  1. Proofreading the Lab Report

After having completed your report, the next step is to proofread it, ensuring that it has no typos, spelling or grammar mistakes. During this time, students can proceed to lift the parts they will need for the abstract. A well-written lab report abstract will cover all the necessary facts of the experiment. To make the process of writing the abstract easy, the best thing to do is to copy all the relevant data then pare it down. That is because you will have to customize the abstract to suit your needs. Include keywords and essential phrases in the tailored summary.

It is important to note that you cannot include any information in the lab report abstract that is not present in the report. No matter how relevant that information may be adding it will be wrong, any useful information you find afterward should be first put in the report before you can include in the abstract.

Keywords and phrases are relevant because they will inform the lecturer that you are aware of what is expected of you. Plus, it is an excellent habit to develop early. When your lab report gets published online, keywords and specific phrases will make it easier for readers to access your lab report online.

  1. Identify Issues to Be Addressed By Your Lab Report Abstract

What aspects are you expected to cover in your lab report abstract? An abstract for a lab report does not summarize the report in its entirety but only specific details which are discussed below:

  • Why was the experiment done?

The first question to answer in your lab report abstract is the question of why? This is by stating the purpose, aim or objective of the experiment. Provide background information on your research.

  • What method did you follow?

Having stated "the why," the next step is to give a summary of the how. How did you test your hypothesis? Summarize the method or experimental procedure followed to either accept or reject your hypothesis. You can also briefly list materials.

  • What were the results?

A well-written lab report abstract will provide brief details on the outcome or finding of the experiment. Only state results as you will not be required to give details. It is not always that a test will go as planned; regardless, you are expected to state so in the abstract including any discoveries made.

  • What was your conclusion?

From the analysis of the findings of the experiment, what conclusions did you come to? Provide a two-sentence summary of the conclusion. You don't have to explain in detail how you arrived at the conclusion. That information will be available in the report.

  1. Create a Draft Lab Report Abstract

After identifying the issues to be addressed by the abstract for a lab report, the next stage is to get the relevant data. Unless you don't have an idea of how to write an abstract for a lab report all the information a student will require is present in the report. You can only research for a lab report abstract example to give you some guidance, but the rest of the information will be present in the report. As previously mentioned, stay within the paper boundary and avoid including any information in the abstract not present in the report. To create a draft, collect all the necessary information and customize to the lab report accordingly.

  1. Create the Final Copy of Your Lab Report Abstract

Having created a draft of your lab report abstract, the next step is to tailor it to suit your requirements. Pare it down to be brief and on point since, other than the title, this is the next section readers will go to read to familiarize with the report. Ensure that it is well written avoid any grammar or spelling errors. Make the lab report abstract as appealing and communicative as possible.

Consider the Following When Writing Your Lab Report Abstract

  • Avoid grammar, spelling, or sentence structure errors. These are the basics of writing for any paper. For your lab report abstract to be understood, ensure that it does not have such errors. When your paper lacks flow because of such errors, the message may be distorted, and it will repel readers from being interested in your report. You can also lose marks.

  • Write from a third person point of view and in past tense. Necessary for retaining objectivity and remaining impersonal which are critical traits in science. It is written in past tense since the experiment is an event that already took place.

  • Don't forget keywords and phrases

  • Keep the lab report abstract brief

A Lab Report Abstract Example

Measuring the Pressure and Temperature of an Ideal Gas/Air Heated in a Closed Pressure Vessel

The purpose of the experiment was to analyze the relationship of temperature and pressure of an air that was treated to heat in a closed vessel. The main aim was to establish whether the ideal equation of state would hold, that is pV = mRT. Where P is pressure, V is volume, M is mass, R a constant and T is the temperature. To carry out the experiment 1 liter of air was held in a pressure jar and then subjected to heat. To collect the measurements, a thermocouple was used to measure the temperature while a transducer the pressure. The results were as expected, revealing that the pressure and temperature of an ideal gas at constant volume and mass would follow the equation. Therefore, supporting the hypothesis. The experimental graph of temperature versus pressure, however, revealed some errors which were accounted for as experimental error.


These 6 steps of how to write an abstract for a lab report are simple and easy to follow. Scholars don't have to worry about scoring lower grades because of a poorly written lab report abstract. Other than the steps provided, there is a list of four tips students can use to write a high quality abstract for a lab report. Included is a lab report abstract example to give students a better understanding of what they are expected to do.