Don't Let Grammar Mistakes Spoil Your Lab Report
Have you ever received a low grade for a paper or project because of an issue you believed wasn't central to the assignment? Of course, we all have been there. And most of the time, those errors are grammatical. You never know where you will make a mistake without noticing it. Hence we would like to highlight the issue of editing the lab report assignment, in particular.
When asked to write about a laboratory experiment that explores a scientific concept, grammar is usually the last things on students' minds. They seldom think about proper punctuation, split infinitives, or even about misspellings, since "the online spell-check is supposed to fix everything...right?" Well, no...not really. Hence, let us take a moment to discuss a few simple tips that can help you improve any lab report writing.
Consider the Style
The accuracy of scientific speech involves the selection of linguistic means with unambiguity and the ability to express the essence of the concept in the best possible way. That is a formalized general idea about a subject or phenomenon. Therefore, in the scientific style, avoid using various metaphors and other stylistic devices. The specifics of scientific knowledge dictates the generalization and abstractness of the language Science expresses an abstract thought. Therefore, its language is devoid of concreteness. The intellectual nature of scientific knowledge determines the consistency of the language of science expressed in preliminary thinking through the message and in a strict sequence of presentation. The goal of any lab report is the presentation of specific scientific information and its proof. As it is specific academic writing, it should be rather formal. So, here are some suggestions for your lab report editing:
- Sentences should be short and easy to read — long and heavily punctuated ones can be confusing.
- Always check the meaning is the term seems too complicated for you.
- Preserve the proper rhythmic monotony by varying sentences' length
- Make the test flow — it should be coherent. However, don't turn it into a Shakespearean sonnet.
Quotations are rarely necessary
Here is an important remark. Unlike English and History students, hard science students rarely include quotations to their writings. Their experiments are designed to break new ground, not pay homage to the past. Therefore, it is rarely a good idea to use direct quotes in lab reports, unless otherwise instructed. Of course, that doesn't mean you should avoid referring to previous studies — that can make your lab report reasonable if needed.
As we mentioned, spell-checker will not catch all of the mistakes you make in your lab report. In fact, it may not identify most of them, especially if employ a lot of scientific terminologies. We should also mention that even words with similar spelling can be misused, resulting in a grammatical error. For example, if you use the word "to" when you meant "too," spell-checker may not catch it. So, if your objective is to "edit my paper perfectly," you should be extremely attentive while proofreading the lab report.
Other grammatical errors include poor sentence structure, punctuation issues, and paragraph breaks. Once again, these problems can rarely be identified by the spell-check, unless they are really egregious. You will have to actually read over your work to make sure everything looks properly. The good news is that lab reports are often completed in groups or pairs. That means you can get more than one opinion on possible errors in the paper. A good rule of thumb is to ask others to proofread your report. As in any type of writing, the author tends to overrate or underrate their assignments, which can be a problem on the editing stage.
To sum up, if you are working on a lab report, make sure to remember the following rules:
- Stick to the writing standards and your professor's requirements
- Don't rely fully on the online editing tools
- Consider the opinion on your lab report from someone who is more competent
Lab report writing and editing are not so challenging as it may seem. So, we wish you luck in your studying and hope our tips will come in handy!