General Report Guidelines

Below is a generic format for a basic lab report. Certain experiments might call for different structure, but this should suffice as a starting point for all. Lab reports must be typed.


Include the name and number of experiment.


In your own words, give a brief description of the main idea behind the experiment. Also include the expected/intended outcome. Include a real world application along with a couple of examples. [1 point]


Describe briefly the procedure of the lab. [1 point]


Data – Include all tables, graphs, and figures as required. Everything must be clearly and neatly labeled. This section can include handwritten parts if necessary. Graphs must have titles, axes need to be labeled and have units.

Tables must have titles: Table 1: Distance (m) versus Time(sec)

Do not just hand in the scrap paper you used during lab. [3 points]

Questions – Answer all questions that were listed throughout the lab. Thoughts are clear, and give justification for your answers. [3 points]


State a summary of your results. Was the result what you expected? Why or why not? Include sources of error, “human error” is not acceptable, “incorrectly counting trials leading to…” is acceptable.

Make suggestions for improving the procedure, if any. Writing and grammar should be at university levels. (i.e. spelling and grammar are correct) [2 points]

TOTAL: 10 Points

Other Guidelines

Like all written assignments and essays, lab reports must be typed. Do not hand in hand written documents for college level work.

MS Word and Mac Pages both have support for equation editing. If you're planning on continuing on in the sciences for your career, now would be a fine time to start learning latex, which allows for easy creation of beautiful scientific documents. (try Overleaf or The Latex Project for more information.)