Science Dissertation & Research Paper Lab Report Help

(Updated on August 12, 2017 by Michelle Williams)

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When learning how to write a lab report essay, there are many formatting issues that you need to keep in mind.  If you're writing lab reports for a chemistry course, for example, you'll need to follow the guidelines as established by the teacher or professor.  Although the requirements for lab report writing may differ somewhat from class to class, most will contain all of the following elements:

  • Cover page
  • Title
  • Purpose
  • Equipment and Materials
  • Procedure
  • Results and Discussions
  • Conclusions
  • References

The cover page of your lab report should contain only a few, basic pieces of information.  Typically, you should include only the title of your report, your name, and the date that you're submitting the document.  When developing the title, you should keep it brief, yet descriptive.  The title should appear on the top of your report.

You must also state your "purpose" when you write a lab report.  This portion of the lab report is completed in order to describe why you're doing the experiment, what you hope to gain from the experiment, and what skills you'll be able to develop by completing the experiment.

Science Research Paper

Following the purpose of the experiment, your lab report should also contain a listing of the equipment and the materials you're using in the experiment.  This information should be placed in list format and should be easy to scan over quickly.

Next, your lab report should include a brief description of the procedure you're using in your experiment.  This portion should provide enough detail to help the reader clearly see how the steps led to your conclusion, yet shouldn't be filled with irrelevant details.

The next portion of your lab report is the results and discussion section.  Here, you'll outline your experiment results, which will include all of your quantitative and qualitative observations.  The quantitative information is generally best presented with the help of tables and graphs, though it should still be accompanied by a written explanation of the information presented.  This portion of the lab report should also include an interpretation of the results and of your observations, though you should keep the purpose of the experiment in mind while writing this portion because it should serve to help answer the questions you have posed throughout the document.

In the conclusion portion of your lab report, you'll explain why your results are significant.  In addition, you'll write a brief summary of your thoughts regarding the experiment and your results.

Finally, you must cite all of the reference materials you used in the development of your lab report.  Any materials you used to help you with the experiment or to help you draw your conclusions should be listed in this section.

The goal of writing lab reports isn't to entertain.  Rather, the writing should be straightforward and to-the-point in regard to the information presented.  The text of a lab report should simply explain the scientific process that was used, as well as the results, but shouldn't include your opinions on the experiment.

Science Research Papers

A scientific research paper is a text that reports on an original scientific study.  Scientific research papers are commonly published in scholarly scientific journals.  Lengthy scientific research papers are also often submitted as doctoral dissertations.  Many undergraduate and graduate students studying the sciences will also be expected to write scientific research papers, though perhaps not on the same scale as those mentioned above.  

Though its name may suggest otherwise, a scientific research paper doesn't require as much time in the library as it does in the lab or study environment.  The primary research element of a scientific research paper is the student's own research.  The paper is a report on the student's study design, execution, and results.  

Scientific research papers typically follow a general format consisting of:

  1. an abstract;
  2. an introduction;
  3. a literature review;
  4. a methodology section;
  5. a results section.

Some scientific research papers also include a sixth section commonly known as the "discussion" chapter.

Every scientific report should have an abstract that summarize the study's design, procedure, and results.  The abstract should be brief, but comprehensive.

The introduction section of the document should clearly describe the purpose of the research.  It should define the research subject and explain why the subject is worthy of study.  It should then explain the researcher's reasons for performing the study, and present his/her hypotheses regarding the study's outcomes.

The second section—the literature review—should presents an overview of relevant research and previous studies performed on the research subject.  The literature review is intended to contextualize the researcher's own study and demonstrate why his/her study is relevant or needed to further elucidate the research subject.

The method section of scientific reports should clearly outline the entire process of the study.  This should include a detailed explanation of the study's subject(s), the study's steps, the instruments used in the study, and the way in which the researcher gathered data.  This should be written in such a way that the study could be exactly replicated by another researcher.

The results section of scientific research papers discuss the outcomes of the study.  This will likely include a presentation of quantitative data obtained through data analysis.

If included, the discussion chapter will explore how the research study contributes to a better understanding of the research subject and will point to areas of future research that may help to even further elucidate the research subject.

Science Dissertation Topics

A science dissertation topic is one that's specifically related to a scientific subject.  It can cover anything related to science in any field of study.  However, a specific science dissertation topic may be difficult for a student to choose.

Many students studying science are unaware of the vast amount of topics that may be available for them.  Science dissertation topics can cover anything from hard sciences, soft sciences, physics, chemistry, psychology, sociology, and more.  Therefore, unless a professor assigns a specific science subject, students may have a tough time narrowing down the options.  

One of the best ways to find the "right" science dissertation topic is for students to think about the specific course for which they need to write the document.  If a student is taking a biology course, he/she should probably select from science dissertation topics that are related to biology.

Once the broad subject area has been defined, learners should then consider what specific areas of that subject interest them the most.  For example, if the broad subject is biology, is a student more interested in human biology, plant biology, microbiology, or animal biology?  If the student can select a sub-category, he/she is well on his/her way to selecting a scientific dissertation topic that will interest him/her.  

After selecting a sub-category, the student should ask himself/herself if there are any unanswered questions in that sub-category that he/she can research.  For example, if the student is interested in animal biology, maybe he/she would like to know why some animals can cross-breed, but others cannot.  The student can then use that specific question as a science dissertation topic.  

Students may also find science dissertation topics by reviewing other science research paper examples online.  By looking through articles that other students have completed, a learner may be able to find a subject or paper topic that interests him/her enough to perform his/her own further research.

A science dissertation topic is different from a science research paper thesis.  A topic is merely the specific subject about which a learner will write a reference project.  However, a thesis is a specific question that the student asks and answers.  For example, if the topic were "Why some animals can cross-breed but others cannot," then the thesis may be, "Some animals can cross-breed, but only if they're from the same species."  The student would then seek to prove that thesis statement correct throughout the body.

Science Essay Writing Help

A science essay is one that a student must write about a topic that pertains to science.  There are many different fields of science about which a student may need to write a science article.  However, students in all grades may be required to write science essays, including high school students, undergraduate students, and even some graduate students.

In order to write a science essay, a student will be assigned a topic or a student will need to select his/her own topic.  The science essay topic will most likely have to be related to a particular course that a student is studying and may need to be approved by a professor before a student can begin writing the science article.  

After the student has selected the science assignment topic, he/she will need to familiarize himself/herself with the topic.  A science essay will usually not require the level of in-depth research that a science research paper would require, but the student should still be familiar with the topic.  In many cases, learners will have to write science essays on topics that they have studied in class or in response to a science experiment or personal experience that a student had with a science project.  

In order to write a science essay, a student needs to have a thesis, which is a basic one-sentence statement that a learner will prove to be true in the science article.  Science essays aren't in-depth research projects, so a student can often succeed in completing a science paper as long as he/she has enough information about a scientific topic in order to form an opinion or share information.  Therefore, the learner will write the assignment in order to be convincing or to prove a point.  This may be an opinion or fact.  

To begin science essays, learners should have an introduction, which includes the thesis as well as background information about the science topic.  The introduction should also include relevant terms that the learner will use in the science article.  The introduction should be followed by body paragraphs in which the student explains his/her position using facts.  In some cases, the student can also use opinions in the body of the science article.  

The last part of a science essay is the conclusion, which is where the student should recap his/her points and draw his/her own conclusions from the information provided.  

Science essays aren't research papers.  However, students may create science projects based on their research.  A research paper is a more formal document that's based solely on research.  However, a science essay is an informal document that will provide facts or share information about research—but only briefly.

Writing Science Research Papers

A science research paper is a lengthy and in-depth text that explores a specific aspect of science through the use of secondary sources.  Science research papers are a common assignment for both undergraduate and graduate courses in all of the sciences.

Science research papers aren't the same as reports on scientific research—another common assignment in science courses.  A report on scientific research is a text that documents a scientific study or experiment that the writer constructed and executed.  A science research paper is a survey and analysis of scholarly insights from other researchers.

In order to be successful, science research papers must focus on a narrow aspect of a compelling and complex subject.  The topic must be narrow so that the writer can provide a thorough explanation and analysis of that subject in the space.  This means that writers of science reports should avoid large topics on which tomes have already been completed and instead prefer small divisions of such subjects.  For instance, a physics report shouldn't focus on string theory, as that topic is too broad and complex for the space of a ten-or-so page paper.  Rather, the writer interested in string theory could write his/her science research paper on one small and specific aspect of string theory, such as how theories about gravitons figure into the understanding of string theory.  Though this is still a very large subject, the student can explore this subject in considerable depth and detail throughout the document.

One of the most important elements of a science research paper is the quality of research used.  Advances are made in the sciences on a daily basis.  This means that students must take care to ensure that the sources they use for their research are up-to-date and peer-reviewed.  A peer-reviewed source is any source that's published by a reputable scholarly entity.  Peer-reviewed sources are studied and assessed by experts in the field of the topic's research to determine their quality and validity.  Typically, peer-reviewed sources are discovered through library databases.  

When completing a science research paper, students must determine the best way to incorporate their sources into the text.  This means that students must make a decision about whether they prefer quotations or paraphrases.  Many scientific fields prefer the use of paraphrase, but this is a decision that the student must make in consultation with the course professor.  Regardless of paraphrase or quotation, however, every source must be clearly and accurately documented both within the text and in a comprehensive bibliography at the end.

Science Coursework Help

Students in all academic programs may have to complete science coursework at some point in their careers, even if they aren't studying a science-related topic, such as biology or chemistry.  There are many different types of science courseworks that students may need to complete, including papers, research projects, experiments, and more.  Students should always be sure that they know all the requirements for a particular science coursework project before they begin.

When a student is assigned science coursework, he/she should begin by reading through all of the requirements.  Every professor that creates an assignment should also be able to provide students with written instructions for how they should go about completing the assignment.  

After a student has read through the requirements, he/she can ask the professor for clarification or additional help.  Many professors will also offer suggestions and resources that may help the student with the science coursework.  Because science courseworks can be so broad, students would also benefit, in some cases, by working with a team or small group in order to complete a project.  Students should always check with a professor before working together to make sure that the process is okay with the professor.  

The next step towards completing science courseworks is to develop a plan.  A plan might include a timeline for when the learner will complete research for the project.  The plan should also include detailed steps that a student may need to take if he/she is working on an experiment.  The student should be realistic when he/she develops a science coursework plan so that he/she can actually stick to the plan once he/she gets started with the actual work.  

After a student has completed all of the steps of the science coursework plan, he/she should review the project.  If a student has completed an experiment, he/she will need to compile results and write a report.  If the science coursework project was to write an assignment, the student should edit the report and have someone review it.  The final step in the science coursework plan should always be to refine the project as much as possible before the student submits the work for a grade.  

Science coursework is different than coursework for many other classes, such as English or history.  Due to the nature of the subject, science coursework often involves research and experimentation that helps the student learn through hands-on techniques and observation.  Therefore, learners should be prepared to get involved with all hands-on projects when they take on science coursework.

GCSE Science Coursework Paper Writing

GCSE science coursework is completed as part of achieving a General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) in the sciences.  General Certificates of Secondary Education are certificates sought after by high school students in the United Kingdom.  There are GCSE certificates in a variety of disciplines; GCSE science coursework is aimed at achieving the GCSE in sciences, which covers three different scientific disciplines: biology, physics, and chemistry.

GCSE science coursework is essentially any non-exam assignment that contributes to the student's overall progress towards earning the GCSE in the sciences.  GCSE coursework is primarily comprised of written materials that demonstrate a student's preparation for, documentation of, and analysis of an applied activity, such as a study or an experiment.  The written projects for GCSE science courseworks can therefore be considered as lab reports, since they report on a scientific experiment or study from the beginning stages through the results stages.  It is likely that a student's school or instructor will issue specific guidelines regarding the details of what must be included in this document.  

The first element of the written coursework component is a document that demonstrates a student's knowledge of and preparation for a specific experiment or study.  This will likely require the student to perform research on the particular object of study and include relevant information from this research.  The document should also contextualize the object of study in terms of the discipline being studied (biology, physics, or chemistry), and indicate why that object of study is deserving of study.  The document should also provide details of the design of or methodology for the experiment or study.

Following the initial document, a student may have to submit a written document that reports on the data he/she collected throughout the course of the study or experiment.  Again, it's likely that the specific type of data reporting required for GCSE science coursework will be explained to a student by his/her instructor or school.

The final element of the written coursework is an analysis of the study or experiment.  This is a formal document that reports on the results of the study or experiment in a thorough and scientific manner.

GCSE science coursework must be completed according to exact guidelines.  Students are therefore advised to familiarize themselves with the complete list of those guidelines before beginning their coursework, as the precise following of instructions will likely contribute to a student's success.

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