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How to Write a Perfect Abstract for a Lab Report - A Detailed Guide

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How to Write a Perfect Abstract for a Lab Report
 Admin  June 17, 2020  Assignment  0

An abstract is the précis of any content. In a laboratory report, the abstract serves as a summary of the experimental procedures, results and their implications. An indispensable part of school and college lab reports, many students struggle to write a proper abstract that is compact yet informative. This write-up delivers the tricks & techniques on how to write an arresting abstract for any lab report in 5 easy steps.

Here we go.

Writing an arresting abstract for a lab report in five short steps

  1. Gather all critical information

The abstract offers a brief overview of the whole experiment, its findings and conclusions. It needs to provide background details to build a context before delivering all such information. Remember, the very purpose of an abstract is to enlighten a reader about the subject, objectives, methods and results of an experiment.

If you are still wondering “What data to include in an abstract for a lab report?” here’s a list of the essentials that must be included:

  • Concise details about the subject of the experiment
  • The research question or experimental problem
  • Experimental methods utilized
  • The results obtained and your inference of them
  • A brief discussion of the findings and a statement about how they answer the original research question

Do not add extraneous or irrelevant information in your abstract. It should be a precise summary of critical experimental details.

  1. Start by building a context for your research

Many first-time experimenters have no idea how to start an abstract for a lab report. But, it’s actually quite simple.

Any abstract must be able to educate your readers about your research. Deliver vital background information about the topic and develop a context for delivering information.

  • Educate your readers about the subject of your experiment. Do it in a concise and straightforward way.
  • Use single sentences to show the researchpaper gaps it intends to fulfill.
  • Remember to add information that is relatable to your results. Avoid any fluff at all costs.
  • State your research questions and objectives in brief.

Begin your abstract following the above points to familiarize your readers with the topic.

  1. Mention your methods and your hypothesis

Next up, mention the processes followed while conducting out the experiment. If possible, try to show how your methods are apt for the problems at hand. The concise nature of an abstract does not allow detailed descriptions, so keep things very short.

  • Refer to the theories and methodologies you used to experiment. Just state their names and any critical terms.
  • Highlight the crucial steps and offer a brief outline. Do not go into specific details.
  • Describe the materials and equipment used, if possible.
  • And add your formulated hypothesis statement, explaining the possible outcomes of your experiment.

Including so much information in a few sentences can seem a bit tough.  Learn how to elicit vital information from vast content and focus on developing your writing skills.

  1. Include and discuss the main findings next

Once you mention your experimental processes in brief, it’s then time to show the results. Tell your readers what your methods helped you find.

  • Add crucial results that are necessary to answer your research questions. Mention the results in brief.
  • Show them how these results helped address those questions. Do so within two short sentences.

Results vary according to the complexity of an experiment. There is no hard and fast rule regarding the number or length of sentences. Just focus o keeping things short.

  1. Deliver a conclusive statement at the end

Finish your abstract by stating your conclusions.  Write convincingly and remember to relate to your research questions.

  • Deliver your end conclusions only.
  • The conclusions should directly follow the results.
  • You do not have to show how you drew them in your abstract—Reserve that for the results section.
  • Discuss your findings in a succinct manner.

Write to impress your readers. Strong and concise statements make for practical conclusions for an abstract.

Follow the above five steps diligently, practice dedicatedly, and you will find yourself writing impactful abstracts in no time at all.

Here are some additional tips that will help you during the writing process.

Effective tips on how to write a perfect abstract for a formal lab report

Take note of the tips below and learn how to write an accurate abstract for a formal lab report.

  • Develop the abstract after completing the rest of your report.
  • Write in the third person and the past tense.
  • Always write compactly and cohesively.
  • Be informative rather than descriptive.
  • Write with a formal tone.
  • Use technical terms to inform readers about your knowledge.
  • Write in an eye-catching style to intrigue your audience.
  • Make sure you cover all information in the abstract in your report.
  • Avoid fluff or supplementary information.
  • Edit, proofread and keep in mind the word count.

Keep in mind the above tips along with the writing steps and get working on those fantastic abstracts.

The next section shows you how to write an abstract for a lab report using an example.

“How to write an abstract for a lab report?”— an excellent example

The following is a sample abstract from a botany experiment.

Research Question: Do Vitamin A Tablets Affect Tomato Plants?

The purpose of this project was to determine if Vitamin A tablet have any effect on tomato plants. Twelve Rutgers tomato plants each two inches tall were planted in identical individual plastic pots using two cups of potting soil. Each plant received the same amount of water and sunlight during the three-week experiment. The twelve plants were divided into four groups of three plants each. One vitamin A tablet was added to each of the three plants in the first group by burying the tablet one inch from the stem and one inch deep. Two vitamin A tablets were added to the second group of three plants in a similar manner. The third group of three plants had three tablets planted in the soil. The fourth group of three plants had no vitamin A tablets added to the soil and served as the control group. The height of each plant was measured and recorded at the start of the experiment and every 7 days thereafter. At the end of the trial (21 days), the stems were cut across at the height of 3 inches. Experimental groups showed less development and slower growth rates than plants in the control group. The data was analyzed and the conclusion drawn was, that giving vitamin A tablets to tomato plants did not improve growth as each of the three experimental groups failed to produce plants that were taller or had thicker stems than those in the control group.

Carry proper research and use this writing guide to craft spectacular abstracts for your lab reports.

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