Writing Lab Reports

Earth Science Online


Each lab report should contain the following:


I. Heading: This should be the name and number of the lab, the date, and your name.


II. Purpose: A one or two sentence purpose in your own words. Do not copy mine.


III. Procedure: A one or two paragraph explanation of what went on in the lab

exercise. I don’t want fine details—this is an overall view.


IV. Data and/or Observations: Some labs will ask you to record numbers and/or make

observations—these should be in your report. Many of the online labs do NOT ask

you to do this—don’t make up stuff that isn’t called for.


V. Sample calculations: If the lab procedure asks you to calculate something, show

your work.


VI. Results: If the lab procedure asks you to calculate something and/or make a

decision (such as the type of mineral present), you should show these results. Again,

many of the online labs do NOT ask you to do this.


VII. Questions: This is probably the most important part of the report in that it shows

me that you did the exercise and hopefully learned from it. You need to write the

QUESTIONS as well as the ANSWERS. Please write your Answers using bold or

italic letters – it will really help me grading




VIII. Conclusion: A one sentence statement as to whether you achieved the purpose or



Lab Reports should always include I, II, III, VII, and VIII. They may be submitted electronically

by attaching them to the assignment box. They must be done with MS WORD.



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  • Double line spacing
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