Effective Ways to Format a Lab Report Using APA Format

What is APA Format and what does it mean?

Academic writing differs from one discipline to another. Physics reports may be sent to chemistry professors or applied mathematicians in their respective fields. A chemistry paper may also be referred to as a laboratory report. By following the current recommendations, you will be sending your scientific work to specific readers.

Most chemistry papers tend to follow APA formatting because it is the standard formatting style prevalent in science. Students who use a different writing style for their reports may want to change APA to the current MLA format. This is not recommended as it makes the entire paper unreadable and results in an instructor penalizing you. Plus, changing formats regularly means you are changing old manuscripts for newer ones.

How to Apply APA Formatting in Lab Report

In most cases, the referencing style used in your lab reports will determine how your institution will go about applying the formatting style to your report. This is because the referencing styles are unique to each discipline. It is therefore recommended that your chemistry lab report’s referencing style is formatted in APA. What styling style should you apply? Here is a breakdown:

  • Title page: The title page must have the three-character title followed by the instructor’s name and the course name. Have five full sentences of your report
  • Abstract: This section of the report outlines the background of your findings in great detail. It should state your findings in as much detail as possible and then include a summary of the experiment. It should then be followed by your findings in the formula/chemistry of action or whether you worked with variables.
  • MLA table of content: Like other academic writing, your writing must follow a fixed format. In APA format, the title page should be applied to the table of contents. The manuscript must also have an abstract, your name, institution name, and the date. However, it is advisable to add to this section the page numbers. This will assist your academic report’s instructor in making the referencing style information apparent.

How to Answer Your Lab Report Conclusions with APA Formatting

When preparing an APA lab report, it is advised to choose either a vague or precise ending for each section. Once you have refined your writing for the lab report, a vague ending will not suit your study’s necessities. Therefore, instead of merely replacing the word summary with something like ‘this was the hypothesis, but also other possible outcomes” you can also modify this section of your report by replacing the ending with ‘This has also been confirmed in other experiments.”

When you have opted to use the vague ending, it means that you have to paint a more detailed picture of the research. This means that the conclusion section must be precise and exhaustive. The end should have a clear narrative of what the lab report answers and gives the reader a motivation to go through the entire report. Finally, it should also have a summary of all the key outcomes as well as the hypothesis’s involvement.

Alternatively, you can opt to replace the ‘other possible outcomes” by presenting an evaluation of which outcome is more likely and what the significance of the outcome is. You can also state the hypothesis’s significance and if it was modified. Although the role of the hypothesis remains central to the scientific work, you can now use different words to describe your findings.

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