How To Write a Lab Report Abstract

How To Write a Lab Report Abstract

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As a student, there are some types of writing which are inevitable, and writing is a stage that each one of us has to go through in our academic life. Essay, research and report papers are such examples. Writing, in general, tends to scare most individuals not just students. Sadly, it is one of those skills we cannot survive without both in school and the outside world. Regardless of the type, writing is one of those skills that will prove invaluable to us.

Practice and learning the basics are some of the things that can help us master the skill. In kindergarten, we are taught the basics of reading and writing. As we progress to elementary school, we learn about the different types of writing. One such kind of paper is lab report writing. As you advance in your academic ladder, you get to learn more about how to better write your articles for instance, writing an abstract for your lab report.

At elementary, your lab report will not necessarily require an abstract, but as you progress to high school and college or university, you will have to include it. Scholars have to master how to write an abstract for a lab report, and this guide will help them learn how.

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What is an Abstract?

Before you get to learn how to write an abstract for a lab report, it is crucial that you get a grasp of what it is. Research papers and lab reports will require an abstract. It is one of the sections of such documents. Since our focus is on a lab report abstract, here is an outline of such papers:

  • Title

  • Abstract

  • Introduction

  • Materials and Methods

  • Procedure

  • Results

  • Discussions

  • Conclusion

  • References

  • Appendices

The concept of having an abstract in your lab report is one that happens at a higher level of learning. Introductory science classes don’t require one because of its level of complexity. An abstract in simple terms is a summary of the lab report or research in the case of such papers. It is a concise summary, stating the following;

  • The purpose of the experiment

  • The experimental procedure used

  • The findings

  • Conclusion

Although it is among the first parts of your document it should be written last. Like the introduction of your essay paper, how you write the abstract will dictate whether one will be interested in reading your article. Therefore, it is written last when students have a complete grasp of what their report is all about.

It is worth noting that the type of abstract a student writes strongly relies on the kind of paper. If the lecturer requires no specific format, then students have the freedom to choose from the two formats discussed in “Types of Abstracts Section.

Types of Abstracts

There is no shortcut on how to write an abstract for a lab report. Students have to thoroughly read and even look at a lab report abstract example to get a grasp of what it entails. As mentioned in the previous section, the abstract you write depends on its purpose. Should the lecturer not give specifics of what he/she expects, scholars can use any of the two types below:

  1. Informational Abstracts

An informational abstracts is not like your usual abstract. It will have the following features:

  • It will provide a summary of all the sections of the lab report. It offers a two-sentence summary of each of the following: – the purpose, materials, experiment procedure, results, discussion, and conclusion. It excludes any graphs or images, appendices, references or bibliography.

  • Its length will be around 10% of the entire lab report. A mini-report of approximately 1-2 pages or in some case a paragraph depending on the scope of the lab report.

  • There is always the chance that the experiment will not go as planned or students will make a discovery. Regardless of whatever it is, that information must be highlighted in the abstract.

It is safe to conclude that an informational abstract communicates details of the lab report or experiment. Below is a format students can follow to write an accurate informational abstract:

  • State the Purpose: Why is the test important? Why would anyone have interest or care for the experiment? State the reasons why.

  • What is your hypothesis or the problem? State the experiment hypothesis including describing the problem the experiment intends to solve.

  • Materials and Methods: Briefly try to explain to your readers the procedure you used to solve the problem or test for the hypothesis.

  • Outcome: State the results of your experiment. Highlight your support or rejection of the hypothesis. Be specific with your findings and state whether the results came out as expected.

  • Conclusion: Give a summary of your findings by stating their significance. How the results contribute to the advancement of knowledge or the betterment of society.

Check out the lab report abstract example in the Examples of an Abstract for a Lab Report Section.

  1. Descriptive Abstracts

Unlike the informational abstract, the descriptive abstract is brief. It is an extremely summarized version of the lab report. Just by reading the abstract readers should be able to tell what your lab report is all about.

A descriptive lab report abstract will have the following features:

  • It’s brief, approximately a paragraph or 100 words maximum

  • It is not detailed but will inform readers what the lab report is all about

  • States the purpose and experimental procedure. However, unlike informational abstracts, it will exclude discussion on the outcome or findings and conclusion.

Tips for Writing a Good Abstract

  • The Length of the Abstract

Unless the lecturer or supervisor specifies the type of lab report abstract they expect, it is safe to keep it short. Keep it at or less than 200 words. That is approximately a paragraph. The only time lengthy paragraphs are accepted is when writing informational abstracts. As mentioned, they can go up to 2 pages long.

  • Watch Out for the Point of View

When learning how to write an abstract for a lab report, one of the critical things you must master is the point of view with which you choose to write it. It is essential to note that a well-written lab report abstract will be in third person point of view. Therefore, phrases like “I” and “we” will be replaced with “this,” “the” or “it” among others.

  • Mind Your Choice of Words

In today’s world, one aspect your article cannot miss is the search engine optimization. That implies as students write an abstract for a lab report they must consider keywords. There are phrases which must also be included. Having phrases or keywords makes it easier for one to find your document online. Although your report may not be published online, it is a habit we must learn and practice from early on in our academic life.

  • Stick to Information in the Lab Report

There is a chance that when writing the abstract, you will find or recall some new information or fact. Students are warned against adding any points that are not in the lab report in the abstract. It does not matter how much relevant it could be. The abstract will only cover information inside the lab report.

  • Write It Last

Although the abstract is usually in the first section of the research paper or lab report, it should always be written last. Since it comes after the title page and before the main document, it is easy for students to be tempted to write it first. However, that does not do it any justice. Instead, students are advised to write it last, that is, when they are done with the paper – the lab report abstract is a summary of the report.

  • Proofread Your Abstract

Since the abstract comes last, some students tend to rush over it. That’s probably because the deadline has reached and they have to submit their lab report. However, this is wrong. Although the lab report abstract is a paragraph, one needs to thoroughly go through it to ensure it is error-free and makes sense. Remember that it is the first thing readers will go through to decide whether your lab report is worth reading or not. Spelling, grammar, punctuation and sentence structure mistakes must be avoided.

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Examples of an Abstract for a Lab Report

Informational Lab Report Abstract Example

The purpose of the experiment was to investigate the ability of blowflies to taste disaccharide and monosaccharide sugars including saccharin. It is important to note that species of flies from the order Diptera successfully feed on materials that are healthy for them using taste receptors. The taste receptors are found on their tarsi to guide them locate sugars they can eat. For the experiment, the flies were attached to stick ends, and their feet lowered into different solutions with various sugar concentrations, specifically the identified sugars. A positive response was noted when the flies would lower their proboscis to feed. It was noted that the flies responded to sucrose in lower concentrations that they did to glucose while no response was noted in the saccharin solution at all. It was concluded from the results that flies will not respond as readily to sugar molecules of a small size that they would to sugars of larger particles. There was no response in the saccharin solution because the sodium salt in saccharin was utilized, and they do not ingest salts. They reject solutions containing salts. In conclusion, flies have the ability and are capable of tasting and identifying foods that are healthy and good for them.

Note from the above lab report abstract example, that the author has clearly stated the purpose of the experiment, and gave brief background information. The method of research is also clearly stated, though the details are not provided readers get exactly how the investigation was conducted finally, a statement on the results, brief analysis, and the conclusion.


For scholars, learning how to write an abstract for a lab report is crucial to their academic success. It is an essential skill which will be difficult to live without. The guide provided above helps them get a grasp of what a lab report abstract is and how they can better write with them. The lab report abstract example given in Examples of an Abstract for a Lab Report Section helps drives the point home for students.