How Should You Structure Your Lab Report Abstract?

In nursing, you will probably write several lab reports to indicate your findings from patient examinations. A part of this assignment is to develop an abstract, which can be hectic, especially if you do not know what to include.

You are probably tasked with a lab report for your nursing practice and wondering how you should go about it. However, worry not, as we have compiled the best guide for how to write your abstract. Read below to identify the best tips on structuring your lab report with examples.

Abstract Definition

As a nursing student, you must write a concise, clear, and comprehensive abstract that summarizes your lab report. Ideally, it would be best to write your abstract after the title page and before the table of contents.

This positioning allows the reader to check the main themes of your report in a summarized way. In this case, an abstract acts as the sales page of your lab report. Therefore, you should always ensure that you have an excellent abstract to convince readers to proceed with reading your entire lab report.

4 Elements of a Lab Report Abstract

The Purpose of Your Report

 Whether you are writing about a clinical lab report or a scientific investigation, your professor requires you to present your research findings. In this case, you need a detailed description of your experimental tests to increase your scores.

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However, ensure that you include the aim of your experiment in your abstract. While this purpose is one of the significant elements of your report, you should provide a clear summary of why you did the experiment in your abstract.

As a result, it will help your readers understand what you were researching when navigating your report. They will also understand why you think the study is significant.

Significance of the Report

You should include the study’s significance when writing a lab report abstract. Specifically, you should explain how these findings add to the existing scientific research. Primarily, experiments aim to enhance and build on the current scientific findings.

In this regard, the reader will likely assess your report’s validity about how much new information you have generated. Therefore, you should always include why your experiment is crucial in your abstract.

Your Lab Report’s Key Findings

This section focuses on the main findings of your lab experiment and how they relate to your identified hypothesis. Your abstract should include how different study elements behaved during the experiment.

Research Conclusions

A reader will probably keep reading your lab report if you have explained the new knowledge you gathered from your experiment in your abstract. Therefore, you should include the conclusion of your experiment to complete your abstract. However, you should avoid explaining how you deducted the conclusion to keep it brief.

Types of Lab Report Abstracts

Descriptive Abstracts

A descriptive abstract points out the main themes of your report, excluding the results and conclusion sections. Specifically, it includes the purpose of your experiment, its importance, and the scope of your research.

These abstracts are relatively short, with a 100-word limit. It provides minimal information to give a tip on what your paper is about and increases your reader’s chances of reading the rest of the paper.

Informational Abstracts

These abstracts are similar to the descriptive abstract, only that they are more detailed, including the results and conclusions. They also include a summary of your study’s purpose, significance, and scope in addition to the recommendations on the topic.

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Unlike a descriptive abstract, an informational abstract provides a self-contained summary of your lab report. As a result,  it is easier to comprehend and increases the reader’s interest in reading the entire report’s content.

Critical Abstracts

Critical abstracts help to compare your research findings to other studies on the same. It is ideal when you are evaluating your study critically by showing how valid, reliable and complete your report findings are.

Readers can draw information on your lab report’s conclusion before reading the entire content. Therefore, critical abstracts are rarely used to increase the chances of readers reading the rest of your paper.

Video Guide

Tips for Writing a Good Lab Report Abstract

Write Your Abstract Last

Although your abstract comes first in your report, you should always write it last. In this case, an abstract is a summary of your work and it is only sensible to draw the main points across all sections to include in this section.

Your Abstract Should be Brief

The abstract is a summary of your report and it should only include what is pertinent. You should avoid explaining the information beyond what is necessary as it is also included in the main body of your report.

A successful abstract should be accurate, compact, and self-contained. Nonetheless, it should be simple to ensure someone who is unfamiliar with the topic can understand what your experiment is about.

Write Your Abstract in the Third Person’s Point of View

When writing your abstract, you may be tempted to write in the first-person point of view. However, it is advisable that you write in the third person in the abstract and other sections of your study.

For instance, you should write that the researcher observed an increase in blood pressure upon exposure to stress levels. Additionally, ensure you write in the past tense.

Stick to a Specific Abstract Model

Ensure that you stick to a specific model of abstract to avoid misleading the reader. As earlier discussed in the previous section, there are different types of abstracts that differ based on their components. Therefore, you should select the most ideal format and abide by its specific guidelines to enhance clarity.

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Example of a Lab Report Abstract

This experiment examined the effect of line orientation and arrowhead angle on a subject’s ability to perceive line length, thereby testing the MĂĽller-Lyer illusion. Ideally, the test was to determine the point of subjective equality by having subjects adjust line segments to equal the length of a standard line. Twenty-five subjects were tested in a repeated measures design with four different arrowhead angles and four line orientations. Each condition was tested in six randomized trials. The lines to be adjusted were tipped with outward-pointing arrows of varying degrees of pointedness, whereas the standard lines had inward-pointing arrows of the same degree. Results showed that line lengths were overestimated in all cases. The size of the error increased with decreasing arrowhead angles. For line orientation, overestimation was greatest when the lines were horizontal. This last is contrary to our expectations. Further, the two factors functioned independently in their effects on the subjects’ points of subjective equality. These results have important implications for human factors design applications such as graphical display interfaces.

FAQs

What is a lab report?

A lab report is a document that conveys the aims, methods, and conclusions of scientific experiments. 

What sections should you include in a lab report?

  • Title- It expresses the study’s topic.
  • Abstract- It summarizes your report’s main topics.
  • Introduction- Provides a background that helps the reader to understand the topic.
  • Methods- This section establishes the materials and procedures used in the study.
  • Results- It provides insights into descriptive and inferential statistical analysis.
  • Discussion- It is an interpretation and evaluation of the findings.
  • Conclusion- This section sums up the main findings of your experiment.
  • References- It compiles a list of all sources cited in your report.
  • Appendices- These contain tables, figures, and any lengthy materials used in the paper.

How long should an abstract be?

An abstract varies in length depending on the model you use. However, it should be approximately between 100- 250 words.

How should I format my abstract?

It should be in a block format and as a single paragraph.

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