A document that discusses and interprets data resulting from laboratory work. They typically range from one page to several hundred pages depending upon the amount of work being discussed and the depth of details needed. Regardless of length, lab reports contain an Introduction, Body (which includes Methods, Results, and Discussion), and Conclusion. They may contain other elements as well. The acronym IMRDC (or I’M RaD C!) may be used.
The art of "persuasive" writing. “Persuasion” does not imply “exaggeration” or “bias” nor does it imply convincing an audience that your opinion is correct. "Opinions" generally do not belong in engineering lab reports.
Writing to convince an audience of something; an "idea". For engineering lab reports, persuasive arguments are based on facts and data and not based upon a “feeling”, "emotion", “hunch” or “guess". Persuasive writing in lab reports make logical appeals rather than emotional or ethical appeals.
Ideas that can not be objectively substantiated. Engineering judgement based on interpretation of data, is not an "opinion."
A type of writing style with a specific purpose. Engineering lab reports are one type of writing genre with specific conventions that may differ from other writing genres (such as an English literature composition).
A phrase used to indicate that the writing process itself can help you learn about what you are writing. "Learning by writing" is a similarly used phrase.
Citation and Reference
Writers need to acknowledge any works from others by including in-text citations in the body of text and their corresponding literature reference in the Reference section of the report.
Plural of datum. Refers to measured quantities or qualitative characteristics obtained through laboratory work.
Tthe data collected during the lab that the author interprets for the audience. It is the principal product of the laboratory work.
Data not collected during the lab; it is collect prior to the lab and/or after the lab. Typical secondary sources include credible textbooks or outside references. It provides additional information to help the author interpret the lab data for the audience (and for themselves).
Data pertaining to one variable. Example: the weight of truck.
Data pertaining to two, typically related, variables. Example: temperature in the room and time of day (temperature and time are the two variables).
Writing is concise if information is communicated with as short a description as possible without a loss of meaning. It is not simply a matter of reducing word-count – important information must be communicated.