The conclusion paragraph of any piece of writing can be very challenging to conjure up. Similar to the introduction, the conclusion poses many obstacles to writers and students alike. Perhaps due to the uncertainty of what it should contain. A good conclusion should offer many things to the reader including a concise summary of the experiment that was performed, precise mentionings of results and new information obtained, indications of the role of the experiment in a particular field of study, as well as thoughtful and insightful considerations to ponder over.
Though some of the more elaborate happenings such as 'pondering' 'exploring' and 'looking to the future', may not take place in everyday lab reports; the basic elements such as summarizing, restating, interpreting, and elaborating should. And when considering the general anxieties that come with writing the conclusion
, as well as the many essential issues that need to be covered, a useful list of tips and advice should serve most people pretty well.
Tip #1: Make a committed effort to synthesize your information rather than just summarize it
Summaries are important, and should be included in a lab report conclusion. But synthesizing is also just as equally or more important-especially in the conclusion section. Why? By definition synthesize, means to combine multiple things to form a whole. So in essence, when synthesizing you are unifying all the many points, results, findings, and conclusions collected in your experiment. Despite how few or many they are, its important to show that all issues presented in the lab report connect and work together (doing this also demonstrates that you comprehend what took place in your experiment and the meanings behind the results).
Tip #2: Share how your results contribute to a particular field of study
In many cases, the meanings behind the results you obtain through your lab work and the worth and value they hold for a particular discipline are usually much more relevant and cherished than the work itself. So though you need to inform the reader of how you obtained the results you have, the methodology or process undertaken, and the materials used, the craft of actually explaining and connecting the results of the study in useful ways is both more challenging and rewarding. Rewarding in that you are able to connect your results to the bigger picture and in doing so help and aid the profession or field that the experiment addresses.
Consider this; How can what you discovered change, alter, add, or support the current or past research in your designated topic area? The answer to this question, coupled with a few references to previous works can speak volumes in your report and overall be a very impressive supplement to your conclusion section.
Tip #3: Clearly and precisely state what was learned
Though this may be an obvious pointer its important to reiterate and emphasize due to the weight that it carries in most academic lab reports
. Many professors and examiners are particularly interested in the learning process and in most cases, above all, want to plainly and clearly be informed of the benefits of your experiment and exactly what new information you gained from it. After all, they are teachers right?
Well in addition to professors- researchers and other audience members, likewise will be interested in the main highlights of your findings. Put simply; clear and basic statements of what was learned are easy-to-read, understand and retain for everyone, despite their level of expertise or relationship to your report.
Considering these basic tips a physical example of a lab report conclusion may also be helpful to better visualize what will be needed in your paper.
Sample lab report conclusion-hypothetical experiment in the social sciences
The objective of this lab experiment was to examine the quality of life for residents in nursing homes when the primary care connection program was instituted. This program was influential in changing the way close relatives interacted and connected with family members in nursing homes. Three different groups of residents were included in the study, the first group being those who had no knowledge of the primary care connection program and did not utilize it, those that were forced to enact the program, and those that were given an option as to whether or not to participate in the program.
The methods employed in the study were qualitative interviews and informal surveys of participants. The findings indicated clearly that the quality of life for residents in nursing homes with a forced enactment of the primary care connection program was far higher than that of those in any of the other two groups. The differences were astonishing and marked by a difference of 62%, indicating that the primary care connection program, when made mandatory by staff and family members, significantly increased the quality of life for residents.
From this we've learned that the likelihood of family members and nursing care staff, willingly participating in extra partnership programs is low and that the best means of seeing the fruitful benefits of such programs are to make them a mandatory program requirement for family members and staff.
Initiatives such as this contribute greatly to the underdeveloped field of quality of life improvement for the elderly, as well as provide significant strides in gerontology studies overall. By examining the details of the primary care program, its structure and implementation, nursing home directors, psychologist, social workers and other support professionals can work together to implement similar, beneficial programs such as this to improve the overall quality of life of their clients.
Some key points that can be taken from this sample are..
- a brief summary of the experiment and synthesization of information
- revisiting the main objective and purpose of the study
- a clear statement of what was learned and indicated by the results of the study
- relating the importance of the information that was obtained for the particular field of study
Though this sample is limited in several ways, it provides a basic outlook on the format and structure of a lab report conclusion. Some areas that can be further developed are connections to the field of study as well as mentioning any errors or mistakes in the experiment. This is an important element to be included in any lab report summary. *For students or researchers interested in replicating your particular study its very important to indicate any things that went wrong in the experiment as well as what you would have done differently if given the opportunity.