LabWrite Project 2000

Learning Objective #3:
to help you understand your own lab reports with respect to both scientific inquiry and scientific writing


  • The next step is for you to see your own lab reports as science writing, similar in significant ways to the writing that professional scientists do.н Your objective is to understand that the lab report should engage you in the writing and thinking of science.

BRAINSTORM:н Now that you are familiar with the parts of the scientific paper, make a list of what you think the parts of a laboratory report are.

When you are done, click here for more ideas

Comparison between Scientific Journal Articles and Lab Reports

ннннннннннннннннн Lab Reports

ннннннннннннн Scientific Articles



Professional scientists


Frequently repeated experiments that are assigned to them

New experiments that answer their own research questions


Teachers whose primary objective is to evaluate the reports

Peers whose primary objective is to keep informed of new science


To learn something about science

To contribute to the knowledge of a scientific field

  • At this point, you may have discovered that scientific inquiry is something that takes place in laboratories like the one you are participating in.н You may have also noticed that the lab report, like the scientific article, is a reflection of the scientific inquiry you use in your lab.н The point is that the format of the lab report, just like that of the scientific article, reflects the inquiry that is grounded in the scientific method.

PRACTICE:н Choose one of the following laboratory experiments listed below.

Pretend you are doing an experiment and match the components of the experiment with the parts of the scientific method. Click here to choose an experiment.

Repeat the process above, but this time try to place each part of the experiment into its corresponding section of the lab report.н

Continue on to Objective #4 ...


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Sponsored and funded by
National Science Foundation - Grant # 9950405

LabWrite Project Team
Michael Carter Ph.D., Science Communication; Dept. of English
Eric N. Wiebe Ph.D., Graphic Communications Program;
Dept. of Mathematics, Science, and Technology Education
Miriam Ferzli, Research Assistant, Science Education

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