If you are experiencing some difficulties with writing materials and methods lab report, the following guide will serve as the instrument for improving your skills.
Usually, the materials and methods sections go together. However, sometimes, the researchers prefer discussing both sections separately. If you are not sure how to write materials and methods in lab report, keep reading our effective manual and you will find answers to many questions. We assure you that you can cope with writing materials and methods sections quite effortlessly by breaking this complex process into several easier ones.
According to the common materials science definition, this science is an interdisciplinary branch of science that studies the changes in the properties of materials in both the solid and liquid state, depending on certain factors. The studied properties include the structure of substances, electronic, thermal, chemical, magnetic, and optical properties of these substances. Creating lab report materials and methods involves conducting several important experiments and then discussing these experiments in different sections of the lab report.
How to Write a Methods Section? Effective Tips
Unfortunately, many students fail their projects because they do not know how to write a methods section. Following our effective tips, you will be able to write a perfect methods section deserving the highest marks. If you have to write a methods section, treat this task with maximum attention and responsibility keeping in mind that this assignment is one more significant step to your success. To reach the best outcome, you have to write your methods section as if you tell someone what did you do and how did you do it. You have to be clear and concise. Do not use wordy sentences. Undoubtedly, reinventing the wheel is not your goal, but you have to include as many details as needed to make your experiment clear for your reader so that he/she could repeat it. Noteworthy, the slight variations between the laboratories are acceptable. In your methods section, do not explain too much, why this particular method was used. Instead, you may include this information in your results section. We assure you that all science method projects require the in-depth understanding of the theoretical material, as well as consulting the dictionaries.
In addition, when writing your report, keep in mind the required formatting style because each of them has own peculiarities. Most probably, you will be asked to write your scientific method lab report in APA. If you have to write an APA lab report, feel free to download the free APA manuals and you will see how APA methods section, APA results section, APA discussion section or any other part of your report should look like. We assure you that the formatting of your order should not be underestimated since it is a major part of the grading rubric.
Indeed, there are numerous ways to present the methods section, as there are numerous methods in every specific area. For instance, the environmental engineering area has so many methods, including the listing methods, that dozens of pages will not be enough to discuss them all. In general, in a methods section, the reader may notice the following elements:
- The brief overview of the experiment conducted.
- Sample (population).
- Location of the experiment.
- Sampling techniques.
Keep in mind that all materials in a lab report should be organized in a concise structure so that the reader could follow the process of the scientific experiment without any problems. If you worry that you can get the failing grade because you do not know how to write methodology section, keep in mind that practice makes perfect. The more you work on your assignments – the better grades you get.
How to Write Materials and Methods Sections Brilliantly?
The students wondering how to write materials and methods should be very attentive reading the following information. By materials, it is meant all instruments and tools used in the experiment. In general, the researcher can systemize them into the several categories, which are as follows:
- natural substances;
- field equipment;
- laboratory equipment;
- mathematical models;
- computer models;
- human/animal participants;
- questionnaires, tests, and surveys.
The Common Mistakes and Significant Points to Memorize for Various Disciplines
- Do not forget to give details about the programs and instruments that have been used in your experiment.
- Do not utilize various non-standard abbreviations for the same units and materials.
- In your lab report, use the Greek letters such as a or ß, instead of Latin letters such as a or b.
- Keep in mind that the student, who writes ul instead of µl will make the professor fix this mistake in the whole report, which, probably, will significantly reduce the final grade.
- When mentioning the composition of reagents and telling their percentages, for instance, “32% ether-petrol” or “1.8% acrylamide”, try to be clear whether you are talking about volume or weight.
- Do not hesitate to emphasize what describes the steps you use during an experiment. Indeed, it is particularly important to be able to support your experiment by the sound and reasonable arguments. Be sure to include as many meaningful details as possible to reach the desired outcome.
- Capitalizing the name of chemicals is ultimately wrong. As such, you need to write Sodium benzoate instead of Sodium Benzoate.
- Be very careful using the formulas.
- When referring to the names of chemicals, be sure to italicize them properly.
- Do not use colloquialisms since your audience may not understand what you want to say.
- When describing centrifugation protocols do not use “xg” instead of “rpm”. Keep in mind that every detail matters and every mistake, which does not seem significant, can spoil your rate.
- Point clearly what equipment did you use since it will help your reader understand the results of your experiment better.
- Reference all computer programs, websites, and databases properly.
- Finally, all stages of your experiment should be arranged in the chronological order following the logical structure. Keep your ideas related to each other and do not use the words that can confuse the reader. If you cannot avoid using the complex words or word combinations, do not hesitate to explain them.
Indeed, to check your knowledge, your professor can ask you many questions and you have to be ready to answer all of them. For instance, he/she may ask you to take the quiz answering which of the following statements is not true of scientific experiments or which of the following are the proper components of the scientific method used. We assure you that dedicating enough time for preparation, you will be able to impress your professor by responsible attitude and profound knowledge.
Still do not know what are the components of a good scientific experiment? There are numerous well-written lab reports available online. You may download them to check the proper structure and the order of steps. Using these reports, you will get writing inspiration and understand how to start your report. Moreover, if you have some problems or difficulties, do not hesitate to contact your instructor and ask for assistance. He/she will gladly explain to you the peculiarities of the experiment and guide you through the whole experiment procedure.