Date of publication: 2017-09-05 15:14
In a laboratory report, appendices often are included. One type of appendix that appears in laboratory reports presents information that is too detailed to be placed into the report s text. For example, if you had a long table giving voltage-current measurements for an RLC circuit, you might place this tabular information in an appendix and include a graph of the data in the report s text. Another type of appendix that often appears in laboratory reports presents tangential information that does not directly concern the experiment's objectives.
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The "Procedures," often called the "Methods," discusses how the experiment occurred. Documenting the procedures of your laboratory experiment is important not only so that others can repeat your results but also so that you can replicate the work later, if the need arises. Historically, laboratory procedures have been written as first-person narratives as opposed to second-person sets of instructions. Because your audience expects you to write the procedures as a narrative, you should do so.
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The abstract presents a synopsis of the experiment. The following guidelines for preparing an abstract arise from the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA). Note that although your instructor may define the term "abstract" differently, these guidelines still give you a sense of the stylistic issues, such as whether to include numerical data, that distinguish abstracts:
You should not assume, though, that this organization will serve all your laboratory reports. In other words, one organization does not "fit" all experiments. Rather, you should pay attention to the organization requested by your instructor who has chosen an organization that best serves your experiments.
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