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Homework Help: Writing a Lab Report

  1. Sep 7, 2010 #1

    Char. Limit

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    Gold Member

    Now, before I begin, let me say that I have no idea where this would go. It's homework, and it does pertain to introductory physics, but I'm really asking more for general tips than answers to any specific problem.

    So, I have a lab report due in about 9 hours. I've already gotten part of it done, and I have a good 7 hours to do it. However, this is my first semester in college. I have no idea what they expect in a lab report. And so I'm coming to you for help.

    To the instructors, what do you like to see in a lab report? How detailed should I go? How much writing should I include? What tips might you have?

    To fellow students, what have you noticed gets you a high grade? Is it more important that you have a lot, or can you be concise and still get a good grade?

    Note that this question doesn't pertain to just this lab report, but to all future lab reports as well. I just want tips to make sure that my report looks good for college, because this is the first time I have to do this.

    All help is appreciated. Thank you very much!

    -Char. Limit
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 7, 2010 #2
    Well, each professor is different. For example, my physics 234 professor has a different lab report format than other professors I've had.

    Make sure you read the instructions for the lab report very carefully and understand what the professor is looking for.

    A good grade isn't given for a ton of pages of nothing relevant to the lab. A student that writes a very well-written lab report that actually pertains to the lab is likely to get an A, as long as he/she includes all sections (Purpose, Lab Results, Analysis, Conclusion, etc.).

    I just finished my first lab report for my physics 234 class and received an A. Here's some general tips:

    1) Make sure the lab report is organized. This is very important. Include section titles if you want.

    2) Make sure the purpose is concise. It doesn't have to be more than 1-2 sentences long.

    3) In the conclusion, state any relative errors/uncertainties and why you think the errors occurred.

    4) Be sure to include any formulas/equations you used and show how you came up with answers. Also, give examples of how you used the equations.

    5) Include units (i.e. m/s or kg) in any measurements, tables, graphs, etc.

    Hope this helps!
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