Laboratory Report Format for Engineering Students

Lab Report Format for Engineers and Engineering Students 
1. Title Page:
The title page should be specific and descriptive, but brief and clear. It should state the title, experiment number, the group members and the date submitted. The report should be addressed to the faculty member along with the course number and title.
2. Abstract or “Executive Summary”:
In one brief concise paragraph not to exceed 150 words, give the reader enough information to understand what the experiment was about, what was done, and what conclusions were drawn. It is read first and encapsulates the major portions of the report and addresses a reader who may not read the rest of the document. This is not the experimental write up from item #4, or the complete results / conclusions from items #7 and #9, but includes a summary of what was done, and what was concluded. It should contain the highlights of the major parts of the report, including the objective, results, conclusions and recommendations. It does not include details.
3. Introduction and Background Information:
The introduction is the lead into the report. It introduces the reader to the subject matter. It should state the Objectives and meaning of the work which will be contained in the report. It will likely include history of the subject, various types of units or equipment related to the subject and an overview of the theory that is applicable to the experiment. It should be written in a way to encourage the reader to continue wanting to read the remainder of the report. For many laboratory experiments, the Introduction that is provided in the handout will be a good starting point for this section.
4. Experimental Procedure:
Provide a brief explanation of how the work proceeded. Clearly note and explain
any differences that were encountered as compared to the suggested procedure outlined in
the lab handout. All photos, drawings, sketches or schematics need to be referenced
within the text, and properly labeled (described). Provide references to the laboratory
manual or to material given to the students by the professor.
5. Experimental Data:
All original measurements must be recorded no matter how trivial. The data
should be presented in an orderly manner preferably in table form with units indicted.
Before the data table is presented, an introductory paragraph must be written to inform
the reader what the table contains. This section should contain only raw information, not
results from manipulation of data. Each table must be referenced in the text and requires
a proper label with consecutive numbers as follows: Table 1. Hardness measurements
obtained from quenching.
6. Sample calculations:
Each different calculation should be presented so that the reader can understand
how the results are obtained. Statements or comments should be made during the
presentation of the calculations. The reader should be able to follow all steps. Make sure
units are included. Actual data and the resulting calculation(s) need to be included as an
example of each type of calculation performed.
7. Experimental Results:
Before presenting the results in a table or graph, a paragraph is required to inform
the reader what is to follow. All calculated quantities should be displayed clearly in an
identified Table. If graphs are used, all axes as well as data series must be properly
identified with correct units, values, and titles. Depending on the type of experiment, the
following may or may not be applicable:
Table: Repetitive and iterative calculations can be done using a spreadsheet and
displayed in tabular form. A graph may be used to help enhance a reader’s
understanding of the information.
Illustration of set up: Include a drawing of the arrangement of the equipment
and measuring devices showing the location of gages, gage markings, etc. Use
simple diagrams of essentials only.
Sketches of observations: In some experiments the results are shown by making
a sketch of what happens. Include those here.
Note: all tables, figures, and graphics in your report must be referenced in the text and
need a proper label with consecutive numbering as follows: Figure 3. Illustration of
quench tank used in the experiment.
8. Discussion of Results:
This section is devoted to your interpretation of the outcome of the experiment or
work. Comment on the graphs, results, or any other aspect of the experiment that is
pertinent to the conclusion. A set of questions is generally given to provide a starting point for the discussion. Do not confine the discussion to merely answering the questions.
Compare your results to expected behavior and explain any differences.
9. Conclusion:
State conclusions that can be justified with the data. The conclusion must be
based on experimental results and also on the entire procedure and theory of the
experiment. Report on whether the Objectives of the experiment were realized or not.
Make sure that thoughts are worded as conclusions, and not observations. Make simple
declarative statements, and do not ramble into a discussion. Conclusions should tell how
the results of this experiment can be applied to other experiments. All statements need to
refer directly to the current data. Be sure to address all questions presented in the
Laboratory Experiment write-up as well as other questions that may have been developed
during the experimental procedure in class.
10. Appendix:
Include an appendix with material (as required). Separate sections within the
appendix must be labeled as : Appendix A, Appendix B, and so forth.
Other Requirements:
 The report should be written in the Third Person – Past Tense and Passive Voice.
 All Figures and Tables need to have clear Titles and be Numbered.
 All pages are 8-1/2 x 11” white paper. The report must be typewritten and be either
single or double spaced.
 Good sentence and paragraphs composition is expected with attention to grammar,
punctuation, and spelling.

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