Science students often face the task of conducting a study. Coming up with the idea or conducting the experiment is just one part of the process many can easily handle. However, surprisingly, many students find themselves lost at a completely different stage of their work - writing the first few sentences. So many students actually struggle with how to write an introduction for a lab report. Indeed, writing lab report introductions can be among the most complicated and nerve-wracking stages of the entire assignment.
In fact, the worries of how to write an intro for a lab report can have a grave outcome for these students. Since it is the very first part of the paper, many students may feel insecure about even writing the rest of their work. However, this shouldn’t be this way. There is no secret or trick on how to write a lab introduction. You just need to learn a few rules and believe in yourself.
What Makes a Good Introduction for a Lab Report
Before you even ask yourself about how to write a good introduction for a lab report, think of what makes a good introduction in general. You need to have a hook, thesis, and general information about the subject of discussion.
When it comes to a report introduction, though, things can be a little bit different. Often, this part of the paper is replaced or combined with the purpose of the experiment. Hence, a student must include much more information in this first paragraph of the work than one usually does. As your entire paper is centered around the work you have made in the laboratory, you need to emphasize the importance of your study.
Thus, what goes in the introduction of a lab report is this:
- introductory hook;
- explanation of the topic (background information);
- brief summary of the lab experiment;
- thesis statement;
- purpose of study;
- list of findings;
- summary of the experiment;
- conclusions of the study;
- literature review.
Now, a student may not use all of these elements in their first paragraph. However, certain elements on that list should be present in any introduction to a lab report. Those elements are the background information, purpose, and reasons why you have chosen it (a thesis statement).
How to Write Introduction for Lab Report
When you think about how to write the introduction of a lab report, you should think of the purpose first. Usually, this element is somewhere at the end of the paragraph. However, since it is so important, you need to start by defining your study’s clear purpose and hypothesis. Next, you need to explain why you have decided to conduct this particular study. Give some background, perhaps add references from previous similar studies, and define your expectations.
Finally, move on to explaining the nature of your experiment. Describe how it went, what you have found, and what the received results mean. Draw a brief conclusion of your experiment. All of this information must be only a few sentences long. It will be enough to outline the nature of your study and create certain expectations among your readers.
Why Can It Get so Hard?
There is a good reason why writing the first sentences in a paper can become a true challenge for students. It is always hard to start. A student needs to find their voice, the tone for the work and combine all the necessary elements to make a good first impression with their first paragraph. Such a task puts them under a lot of pressure. It may be especially true for inexperienced students in writing, as it is common for science students, for instance.
So how to get over that fear and learn how to write a lab report introduction without worries? Well, one way to achieve it is by learning all the rules of writing it and following them religiously. Truly, the more you are inclined to do everything by the book, the fewer areas to make errors you leave for yourself. However, every work is different, so the expectations and guidelines may change. Besides, not all students can see how to apply those rules in real life.
Hence, the next great tip we can give you is to write your first paragraph last. Truly, the fact that an introduction must be the first in the text doesn’t mean you have to write it first. Go ahead and start with the meaty parts of your paper. Explain the nature of your experiment, discuss your findings, compare results, and draw a conclusion. Add the first paragraph along with the last one. It is easy to do as your conclusion must always correlate with what you have stated in the very beginning. Still, you’ll need to identify your purpose and thesis statement before you start writing everything else.