Lab reports are an essential part of all laboratory courses. The goal of lab reports is to document your findings and communicate their significance. The ability to report technical information in a clear and concise manner is one of the most important practical skills that a technically trained person can develop.
A good lab report does more than present data. It demonstrates the writer’s comprehension of the concepts behind the data. Simply recording the expected and observed results is not sufficient. You should also identify how and why differences occurred, explain how they affect your experiment and show your understanding of the principles the experiment was designed to examine. Even though following a format is helpful, it cannot replace clear thinking, organized writing and proper usage of engineering language.
The way an electrical networks lab report is written may be different from other subjects, such as chemistry and biology. However, it should include at least the following sections: objectives, equipment, simulations, experiments and conclusions.
Here are a few tips that could be used when writing up a lab report.
- The title of the lab should be straightforward and informative. For example, instead of using ‘Lab #3’, write ‘Lab #3 Network Analysis Methods’.
- Since each circuit can be considered as one independent experiment, the procedure, data, analysis and conclusion for that particular circuit should be placed in the same area. Once everything about this circuit is finished, move on to the next one.
- In most cases, your experimental data need to be compared with either calculated data or simulated data, or both. In the case when the two don’t match up, an explanation is needed.
- Numerical data should always be presented in a table with proper label and unit. Graphics need to be clear and well labeled as well.
- The conclusion section for the entire lab is general conclusion of what you learned, explanation of the results obtained, your understanding of the whole lab, etc.
- A printed version is always preferred.
Attached is a format example for a lab report. It may be used as a reference, and doesn’t need to be followed strictly.