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BIOL 130L Research Guide: Sections of the Lab Report

Industry Standards

The format of your standard laboratory report is a variation of that used for research papers like those published in the Canadian Journal of Microbiology, the Canadian Journal of Zoology, and many other scientific journals.

Breaking down the sections of a lab report

Here you will find a series of subpages dedicated to each unique section of your lab report, as defined in your Lab Manual (LEARN). Remember to always refer to your Lab Manual, and use this guide as some additional support. Click on a section for more resources and support.


decorative image of a stacked notepad
Title Page Don't forget your title page! Refer to your Lab Manual (on LEARN) for title page 
Introduction Short statement of the objectives of the experiment; definitions of principles. Remember to provide in-text citations for any resources that introduce your concepts!
Materials and Methods Refer to your lab manual. This section will become more detailed in upper-year biology courses. This is the only section of the lab report where you should refer to (and cite) the lab manual.
Results Tables, figures (line graphs, histograms), diagrams and more! This section contains all of the information the experiment provided. Refer to your Lab Manual 
Discussion Rejecting or confirming a hypothesis. Perhaps you are comparing the results of an experiment with other sources - remember to cite your sources!
References APA citation format. Save time with a reference manager like Refworks! Use in-text citations and reference lists.