If you have to compose a lab report for one of your classes, you should know how to write every section of this paper. Usually, students have to work on such assignments for biology, physics, chemistry, and other related classes. The process starts with writing an abstract for a lab report and formulating a thesis statement. An abstract is an opening chapter that contains a brief summary of the main points, as well as a short explanation of the study’s findings.
Laboratory reports contain multiple sections, and the abstract is placed between the cover/title and the introductory part. This part has a huge impact on the reader’s decision on whether to keep on observing the document or leave this project aside immediately. The objective of this part is to stress the vital aspects of your research.
Begin with stating the goals of your study, and try to interpret them to the target audience to make them understand why your work matters. Show the benefits of your research from the beginning. Here is an outline for a laboratory report:
Outcomes of the study
Interpretation of results
Concluding part and references
So, what is an abstract in a lab report? It is just a tiny part of this project. However, it plays the leading role as a reader will not want to read the body before getting acquainted with what an author wants to say and why. Thus, we should have a closer look at the process of crafting this piece of text.
Rules for Writing an Abstract for a Lab Report
First of all, you should know the basic principles for developing an abstract. This part looks the same for both types of assignments, a research paper, and a laboratory report, with some tiny differences to keep in mind (or ignore them at all). Here is what you should remember and adhere to while working on this part:
It is a long paragraph of 200-300 words, but it consists of just one paragraph.
If we speak about an abstract for a laboratory report, it is placed before the introductory part, just like with a research paper.
This part is a summary of the laboratory report or project.
These are the major points to keep in mind. An abstract lab report can also be interpreted as the part that is a summary of all sections of the document. In a lab report, there are usually four basic elements. It is critical to include:
The materials that were applied, as well as the experimental process involved to observe the hypothesis;
Explanation of why the experiment was significant, stating the goal or background info;
The findings/results of the experiment;
A summary of the discussion and concluding part.
Types of an Abstract for a Lab Report
You should know that there is a couple of abstract types. Usually, teachers ask students to pick the standard format, but other formats include:
If you wish to learn how to write an abstract for a lab report, choose one of these formats for your paper. A descriptive type possesses common features with the standard format. It usually includes something around one hundred words. A writer should offer background info or a statement of purpose and the methods applied. Focus on the discussion, results, and concluding part.
An informational one should include data on the objectives of the study, methodology, results, discussion, and conclusion. This type usually consists of one or two pages. However, the shorter it is, the better. The idea is to motivate the target audience to keep on reading your research. On the whole, the length of this section should not exceed ten percent of the entire laboratory report.
The main idea is to introduce a topic and goals. Once again, when writing an abstract for a lab report, make sure that your work includes the study’s goal, sources used, and the process that followed the result of the research, a discussion, and a concluding part. After you learn how to create an abstract, it will not be a problem for you to compose excellent summarizers in the future.
The recommended length
Before working on this part, you must determine the scope of the study. The assignment requirements and the project’s size might impact the length of an abstract. However, you should not exceed the recommended size that equals to 1/3 of a page. The small laboratory report will do with a 100-word abstract. List the major points, your results, and the goals of your study, but try to make it within the required number of words.
For longer docs, you must provide more info before an introduction, so you might need to come up with a lengthier abstract. Make sure that this section is readable and concise. Avoid any wateriness. What were the purposes of your study, and why?
Things to Add
Begin this part of your document with the explanation of an issue that you would like to solve or answer to contribute to society or your community. It is necessary to prove that you recognize the issue and its significance. List the pitfalls from the previous studies to explain what the gaps are that you plan to eliminate with your work. Next, specify the approaches to your study. Avoid details when writing an abstract for a lab report.
Your part should contain info on what you discovered during the experiment, exclude the findings of your work, only leaving the main outcome or few. If the research is great, you might need to expand your abstract. If you have any relevant elements to add from any part of your lab report, do that, but watch the recommended length.
Extra Tips and Tricks
How do you find something of interest on the internet? Most probably, you choose the specific keywords (buzzwords) to get the list of results and then open sources that most correspond to your request. You should carefully review the prompt and underline the keywords. Then, insert them into the search field of Google or another preferred search engine, and obtain the full list of sources that might be useful for your experiment. Mind that those should be credible sources that are no older than five years. The tutors expect to see specific keywords, so you may ask them to provide you with some.
A lab abstract can be created to be published in some online journals. Even if you simply plan to submit its printout to get a grade, the keywords will come in handy and will not be odd. Buzzwords are required to optimize your writing for search engines. If you are not sure which keywords to choose and your tutor does not give a hint, you may simply enter the title of your assignment or the main question/problem, and Google will make you understand what to use.
Learning how to write a lab report is a valuable skill that will suit your future career. Leave an abstract for the last phase of your work because it will be easier to compose this part last.