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Writing a Biology Lab Report

July 8, 2020
Writing a Biology Lab Report

A lab report is a serious academic assignment that has to be accurate and written in the right format. It can be challenging dealing with it because you should know how to describe your experiments, what essential information you need to provide, where to place your methods and results.

The main purpose of a biology lab report is to explain the experiment you have conducted, present the results, and analyze them. While doing your biology lab, you should understand and investigate the processes you observe and present the description of them to the readers.

Format of Biology Lab Report

Due to biology being an exact science, you have to follow an accurate format to make a correct biology lab report. Here is the structure of your writing

Abstract

In the abstract, you have to present all the important information about your experiment. There are five aspects you have to mention: the goal and the problem of your experiment, the methods you have used, the results you get, and the final conclusion. All of this belongs to the first paragraph of your report. Therefore, you should write the abstract after you finish the whole work.  

Example

This study aims to see if JCl had real effects on jumping conditions in frogs of the genus Rana. There is a theory that the bigger muscle mass presented in previous studies will result in improved jumping length. Frogs injected with JCl must have bigger muscles and jump better than before. There is also an investigation of the influence of temperature in improving the effects of JCl on frogs jumping. The distance of jumping will increase exponentially with higher temperatures.

Introduction

This part may show how deeply you understand your topic and the purpose of the work. It is a presentation of certain information readers need to know before getting to the experiment part.

Include all the facts and definitions here, provide necessary terms and statements. Write about the nature of the processes you are going to observe. You should only present accurate information, don’t get to proving something yet, try to make it brief, and saturated. It’s also better to write the introduction last of all.  

Example

Jumpamine chloride (JCl) is a waste product of muscle metabolism of frogs. Nearly 60% of JCI is being reabsorbed before excretion. This fact caused a lot of studies trying to define the advantage of reabsorption of this element. Recent research showed that the injection of JCl improves muscle mass of the leopard frog (Hylaflex and Smith1988). Concerns about the frequency of doping with JCl in frog-jumping contests prove that further research on the impact of this product on jumping length is important.

Methods and materials

Here comes the part you have to write first. In this section, you describe the whole investigation you have made. Explain in detail all the processes you observed during the experiment, the procedures you did, and the methods you used. Don’t forget to mention the measurements, sizes, dozes, techniques. You can include tables and graphics for clarity and accuracy. Be attentive and meticulous in this part.

Example

Ten frogs were injected with 1.0 ml. of a 10% JCl solution, another ten frogs – with 1.0 ml of a .9% NaCl solution. All frogs were held in square tanks at 250C for one day in 1 inch of water. At this time, each frog was put on the plane floor and forced to jump three times. The jumping distance was calculated as the average of the three jumps.

Presenting results

It’s time to present the results you got during the experiment. Write only important information; try your best to make it well-organized and exponential. Use readable tables if you deal with lots of numbers, they will make it easier to understand. Don’t make conclusions out of your results yet, also, do not repeat the methods you have used. Your goal here is to define the patterns and reactions.

Example

We can see the effect of JCl on jumping performance of Rana pipiens and Rana catesbeiana at 150 C: Rana pipiens (JCl treated) – 2.2 m. Rana pipiens (control) – 1.3 m. Rana catesbeiana (JCl treated) – 1.5 m. Rana catesbeiana (control) – 1.6 m.

Discussion part

In this part of a biology lab report, you can let yourself express your thoughts and guesses on what you have researched. Use the results as a basis, and write down your ideas about the experiment, compare your expectations with the results. Remember your thesis and see if the results match it. Bring some new ideas and theories, move from the specific case to more general points. At the end of this section, make a conclusion summarizing all you have learned during the experiment.

Example

There was a statement that the increased muscle mass in frogs with JCl injections would improve their jumping distance. We predicted that frogs injected with JCl should have bigger muscles and jump further than others. JCl has the clear effect of increasing jump distance in both frog species. These results match our main statement that JCl would improve jumping performance.

Also, jumping distance definitely depends on temperature. Nevertheless, different species show different performances. Rana catesbeiana needs at least 300 degrees centigrade to improve jumping length. It’s the reason why we couldn’t see any difference in jumping distance at room temperature.

Sources

If you have cited some sources in your biology lab report, you should mention them at the end of your writing. Include here every book, article, internet source, whatever you have used in your writing. Make a list of sources following the rules of formatting that you can get from your professor. Requirements can differ for every assignment, but it definitely should include the name of a publication, the author, the year, the number of a certain page.

Proofreading a Biology Lab Report

The final thing you should do when you are done with a biology lab report is to proofread it. What does it mean? Check your report for spelling or logical mistakes, check all your calculations, make sure you have used accurate facts and theories. Pay attention to the formatting of your paper; it’s really important. Follow the requirements you got from your professor.

Even if you have conducted an experiment in a group or with a partner, you have to deal with a lab report on your own. It’s your personal assignment, so write it by yourself, make it well-organized, accurate, readable, and informative. Good luck with your writing.

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