Writing Objectives for Lab Reports

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When you complete a lab report, your goal is to answer a specific question in a scientific manner, such as how something works or why something happens. Whether your experiment is for your line of work or for a science class, you may be required to complete a lab report. One of the main components of a lab report is the objective.

Purpose of the Experiment

The objective of your science experiment is the reason for which you're completing the experiment. Therefore, the objective portion of your lab report should let your reader know the purpose of performing your experiment. For instance, if you're trying to prove the importance of using fertilizer on plants, the purpose of your experiment would be the effects of fertilizer on plants. When your readers have read through your objective, they'll know that the rest of your report will cover these effects.

Important Questions

Science experiments and labs often set out to answer a specific question. In certain cases, you may find that your report actually answers more than one question. Because the objective portion of your lab report comes at the beginning, it often serves as an introduction to your experiment. As part of the introduction, you should use this section to list the questions you hope to answer through the course of your experiment. Some of the questions you list may not be answered once you complete the experiment. You need to address why these questions went unanswered later in your report.

Background Information

While the rest of your lab report will address how you completed the experiment, as well as the results you uncover during the process, the objective area of your lab report should include background. Some of the aspects of your experiment may rely on experiments done by other scientists or information you already know. Creating a background for your experiment, such as listing claims made by other studies and predictions you make for your experiment, is an important part of the objective.

Tying It Together

Each piece of your lab report should tie into each other so it reads smoothly and maintains the purpose of your experiment. Once you complete the objective portion of your report, it's important to tie it in throughout your report, especially in your results. Because the questions to which you're seeking answers and the purpose of your experiment is listed in the objective, your results should address these answers, completing the connection between the objective you sought and the results you received.


About the Author

Kimberly Turtenwald began writing professionally in 2000. She has written content for various websites, including Lights 2 You, Online Consultation, Corpus Personal Injury and more. Turtenwald studied editing and publishing at Wisconsin Lutheran College.