General Comments on Style
All scientific names (genus and species) must be italicized. (Underlining indicates italics in a typed paper.)
Use the metric system of measurements in your lab report. Abbreviations of units are used without a following period.
Be aware that the word data is plural while datum is singular. This affects the choice of a correct verb. The word species is used both as a singular and as a plural.
Numbers should be written as numerals when they are greater than ten or when they are associated with measurements; for example, 6 mm or 2 g but two explanations of six factors. When one list includes numbers over and under ten, all numbers in the list may be expressed as numerals; for example, 17 sunfish, 13 bass, and 2 trout. Never start a sentence with numerals. Spell all numbers beginning sentences.
Be sure to divide paragraphs correctly and to use starting and ending sentences that indicate the purpose of the paragraph in your paper. A lab report or a section of the report should not be one long paragraph.
Every sentence must have a subject and a verb.
Avoid using the first person, I or we, in writing. Keep your writing impersonal, in the third person. Instead of saying, “We weighed the frogs and put them in a glass jar,” write, “The frogs were weighed and put in a glass jar.”
Avoid the use of slang and the overuse of contractions in your lab report.
Be consistent in the use of tense throughout a paragraph–do not switch between past and present. It is best to use past tense.
Be sure that pronouns refer to antecedents. For example, in the statement, “Sometimes cecropia caterpillars are in cherry trees but they are hard to find,” does “they” refer to caterpillars or trees?
After writing a report, read it over, watching especially for lack of precision and for ambiguity. Each sentence should present a clear message. The following examples illustrate lack of precision:
“The sample was incubated in mixture A minus B plus C.” Does the mixture lack both B and C or lack B and contain C?
The title “Protection against Carcinogenesis by Antioxidants” leaves the reader wondering whether antioxidants protect from or cause cancer.
The only way to prevent such errors is to read and think about what you write. Learn to reread and edit your work after it seems to be completed. Pay attention to details and you will 100% succeed! Good luck with your lab report! Visit EssayInfo for more information about writing your paper.