An abstract summarizes the contents of an important work briefly and extensively. Usually, it comes after the title page or content page and could or might not have its own dedicated page right before an introduction. Abstracts are widely used both in academic and in the US educational institutions, and elsewhere for the purposes of summarizing articles to be published in scientific journals, books, conference presentations, laboratory reports, speeches but also other kinds of work so that readers can obtain a brief overview of the contents.
Tips for Writing a Good Abstract for a Lab Report
Below are tips on how to write a lab abstract:
- One particular challenge is to strike a correct balance between too much or too little writing, too much detail, and too much writing. A perfect balance is therefore needed between how general and how thoroughly content is described. The expected number of words suggests this balance – knowing which elements must be covered, you can pre-estimate how many words each content element can have. See some abstract sample for inspiration for the laboratory report.
- It should be common sense to produce an abstract only after the entire laboratory report has been produced and conclusions have been included. This is because they draw information from all sections – when a significant change is made to any of these sections, it should also include multiple edits. Thus, it is efficient to write it once, once, when all else is finished.
- Abstracts should not contain extraneous information, outside information that is not mentioned/discussed in a lab report. They should also not contain any tables, graphs, charts, images, or bibliographic references.
- Lab report abstracts should be independent, so that any reader unable to understand what they have done, why, and what they have gotten is able to understand. Obviously, given the few words, definitions, or explanations of discipline-related concepts – these are normally found in an introduction – are almost always inappropriate. However, expanding abbreviations (especially unusual abbreviations) can be useful and doing all they can to improve reading and understanding.
- Make sure you use appropriate keywords because it is the essence of your laboratory report and the only piece that a potential reader can evaluate, it needs to ring all potential bells and create proper connections with you. It is particularly important to use good keywords in our digital era when search results are so dependent on keywords.
Please also note that this lab report abstract example fits perfectly the description of an informative type since it presents both results (including their significance) and conclusions. With regard to aspects that cannot be summarized efficiently, it is mentioned that these are discussed within the lab report. As for conclusions, they are implicit – results/findings stated the strong effect of physical factors on enzyme activity.
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