Here are many reminders, handy tips and suggestions that will make your lab report sound professional.
Do not plagiarize any source, including the lab manual, for anything. Watch spelling and grammar. Proofread your paper. Compare rough drafts to previous papers to avoid making the same mistake twice.
Write like a scientist: do not use contractions, undefined abbreviations, slang terms, or the first person case. Use past tense and passive voice: The worms were cut. Not: I cut the worms. Use a minimalist style: Worms are slow-moving animals. Not: It is apparent that worms are slow-moving animals.
Avoid the "textbook" style: Metabolism is the sum of all chemical reactions in the body. Not: The sum of all chemical reactions in the body is called metabolism.
Follow all the instructions given for that particular write-up.
Provide the genus-species name of the organism used at first mention.
After that, you can call it a goldfish, mouse, etc. Capitalize the genus always, never the species. Underline or italicize both, and never use an article like "the" or "a" before the genus-species name, ie. ...metabolic rate was measured in Mus musculus.
Put headings before each section.
Each paragraph should develop a single idea. Avoid writing a single, long paragraph for any section of your paper.
All abbreviations (except the most common, such as ATP) should be defined before they are used.
Keep in mind that different journals use slightly different formats at a high level of detail, but all use a common basic plan. Overall, remember that this is not like an English paper or any other nonscience assignment. Though this guide is designed specifically for this course, in general it should serve well for others.
The suggested page number for lab reports in most courses is three typed, double-spaced pages, not including tables and figures. This value may be modified by your instructor.