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1/20/2016

Writing a Lab Report

Dr. Yap @ science.utm.my
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Writing a Lab Report

Biography

Here are my take for writing a decent lab report.  Included are common mist

My Calendar
Curriculum vitae
Administrative
Classes

report.

Remember, you are writing a scientific report.
It should contain as much technical information as possibl
Readers should be able to fully understand and replicate your experimen
report!
Title 

Research
Research Areas/Interest
Current Projects

1. You are free (and recommended) to rewrite a more descriptiv
provided title.

For example: “Hall effect sensor” does not tell anything about

 A better title would be “Magnetic field strength of a button m
distance”.

Publication

Objectives

Journal Papers
Conferences

1. Write proper objectives.  Try to include at least one or two
objectives.

Recognition & Awards

Introduction/Theory

Supervision

1. Define all variables in your formula the first time it appears. A
acronym that you used.

Students

2. Provide sufficient theories and formula for your report.

Potential Topics

3. References should be cited here. Not just mentioned by name
section.

4. If you plagiarize from a source, I will find out and you will get

Writing Tips
Dos and Dont’s for a
Journal Paper

http://science.utm.my/yap/writing­a­lab­report/

not a joke. I will manually google up your text.  How long do y

take before I can find the same source that you used? On top o
using Turnitin to improve my detection. )

5. Provide information on the operational mechanism of the sen
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Writing a Lab Report

Structuring a Journal Paper

e.g.: You are using Hall effect sensor but what is hall effect? H

Writing formal emails

effect be used to measure magnetic field?
6. Do not write in point forms/bullets/numbered. Write them as

External Links
UTM
Kitagawa Lab @ Osaka
University
Nakamura Lab @ Tokyo
University

Methodology & Data Acquisition

1. Always include diagrams/photos/pictures/schematics, caption

using arrows and text.

Here is an example of an image without any labels. As a reade

familiar with this experiment, can you tell what are the comp
this image and how are they connected?

2. If you wrote a computer program, you must include a program
3. Describe the process of data acquisition from the sensor until
data file.
1. Pin and wiring connections for your circuit.
2. Include how the data acquisition board records the data
analog input/digital/PWM etc.)

3. Include information for extra electronics that you built (h
what is the purpose, etc.)
4. Provide detailed information on the sensor:

1. Model, manufacturer, pin configuration and wiring conn
the datasheet!!

2. How to use it to measure the physical parameter i.e. som

only operation at certain conditions/configuration/arrang
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Writing a Lab Report

3. Did you use any signal conditioning? If yes, describe in d
diagrams, etc..)

4. Did you calibrate your readings? If yes, describe in detail

you convert the voltage from your sensor to temperature

5. What is the limit of your calibration? Is it applicable for a
your sensor? Are you sure?

5. Justify why you used the sensor/method/apparatus in your exp
Data Analysis

1. How did you measure errors? How did the errors propagate in

calculations? (You have learnt it in your 1st year lab.  For mor
“An Introduction to Error Analysis” by John R. Taylor)

2. Calculate the difference between theoretical value and your e
value. (This is not error!)
3. Do not forget your units!!
4. Graphs:

1. Always, always data fit your graph (preferably using Gnu
2. Plot both data points and data fit.

3. Strongly recommended to write the equation of fitting eq
graph itself

5. Find for known/theoretical values to compare them with your

results.  If there are no theoretical values, calculate them!! You
the equation in the theory, right?

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Writing a Lab Report

This graph above is a bad graph. Lack of titles, labels and data f

The graph above is a much better graph.  Should have written the equatio
Discussion

1. Do not write in point forms/bullets/numbered. Write them as

2. Compare the known/theoretical/calculated values with experi

and discuss the cause of the difference (the cause is not necess

errors or mistakes in your experiment.. then? where did they
interesting… right?).
3. Discuss factors that cause measurement errors.
4. Suggest improvements that can minimize errors.
Conclusion

1. Do not write in point forms/bullets/numbered. Write them as

2. Refer back to objectives, restate the measured values and state
objective was met.

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Writing a Lab Report

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