PAPER, PRINTING AND INK: Lab Report Format

An important goal of graduate program is to develop your technical writing skills. You are responsible for organizing the data and writing the report on each project. The reports will be turned in on time (next week lab) and maintain acceptable standards of grammar, spelling, and legibility. Report must be typed. Raw data may be the same for all students in a single group, but the report is your own work.

Technical report writing is an important skill in the industry. These reports are used to sell your skills when you become employed. The reports need to be long enough to completely and accurately describe the project and findings. Your report must be complete, accurate and concise. Do not write lengthy reports!

Lab Format

Title Page: Should include lab title, group number, course number and name, date, your name (all names if this is a group report), and Abstract

Abstract: This section summarizes the entire experiment, including purpose, important results, and conclusions. It will not exceed 2-3 paragraphs (about 150 words). Introduction: This section fills in the background information, needed
to explain the problem. Why was this project being carried out? What was the justification? A literature review if performed, with the citation of the literature used, should be included in this section.

Experimental: Contains all materials, methods, description of measuring devices and conditions at which the property was measured, or experiment was performed. This section should completely and accurately describe what was done during the experiment. This does not mean step by step description of every test procedure, especially if those procedures can
be described by referring to a testing standard (e.g.TAPPI standard). Any deviations from standard procedures should be accurately noted.

Results and Discussion: Results section will contain all measured data. Every property should be measured ten times and Average and Standard Deviation will be calculated. You can use any program of your choice (Excel, Lotus) for calculation of Avg, and Std. You will have probably 2 sets of tables. One table includes raw data, and all 10 measurements and Avg , Std,. These raw data will be included in Appendix. Final table includes only Avg. and Std for each property. Avg. will be calculated to such number of decimal places, which you can measure with the instrumentation used. Example: Gardener Gloss is measured with the accuracy of one decimal place. Thus, AVG gloss and STD of Gloss will be presented with one decimal place.

Tables with titles and units are essential for a concise, meaningful presentation of results. Graphical illustration of results is welcomed. The independent (controlled) variable belongs to the x-axis and dependent (measured) variable on the y-axis. (Example: You are measuring the change of viscosity with increasing temperature. Temperature will be on x-axis, viscosity on y-axis.) Choose appropriate scale for the graphs. Scale does not have to start at zero. Do not make tiny graphs.
Put one to two graphs on one sheet of paper. Label the axes; put their correct units. Graphs need title.

Discussion will contain your observation of any kind. Analyze your results. Include discussions of any problems that may have occurred during the experiment or any deviations from accepted procedures. Do not simply mention them, but try to analyze the impact. How did the problem influence your results, etc. Discuss and evaluate possible errors in the tests and/or procedures. How do you know they are wrong? Examine your data for significant trends. Are these trends the ones that you
expected? If not, how do you account for the differences? If it clarifies your discussion, present your trends graphically.

Conclusions: List your significant conclusions in a generalized form. Summarize your evidence for each conclusion. Point out any exceptions or lack of correlation and define unsettled points (e.g. bad data). You can include future recommendations. Is there an interesting relationship discovered that is worth investigating in future?

References
List all reference sources of literature used. Be careful to write the citation correctly!

E.g.: Short citation
1. Gebhardt, M., Papier und Druck 39 (3): 109  (1990).
2. Rosen, M. J., Surfactants and Interfacial Phenomena, Wiley and Sons, Inc., New York, 304 pp.  (1978).
3. Huh, C. and Mason, S. G., J. Colloid Interface Sci., 60: 11 (1977).
4. Oliver, J.F., Huh, C. and Mason, S.G., J. Colloid.  Interface Sci., 59: 586  (1977).

Or complete citation:
Journal Article:
Ingmanson, W.L., Thode E.F., “Title”, Tappi J. 42 (1) 83-89 (1997).

Book:
Casey, J.P., Pulp and Paper, 3rd Ed, New York, Interscience, 1961,
Vol.3, p.1918.

Patent:
Smith, J.P. U.S.  Pat. 3,428,000 (March 19, 1934)

Standard:
TAPPI Standard T 402 om-93, in: TAPPI Test Methods, 1996-97, Tappi
Press, Atlanta, GA.

Appendices: Present raw data and sample calculations. This section does not need to be neatly organized. Use a separate appendix for each significant block of information. Number the appendices and give them a title.

Style: Use 1.5 line spacing and a standard font size of 12 pt. Margins should be approximately 1 inch. Use a good quality white bond paper (8.5’’ x 11’’). Separate the data from the text. The ease of understanding data decrease in following order graphs> tables> text.

Title: Paper Properties of Gravure Substrates
Course: PAPR 620  Paper, Printing and Ink
Date
Your Name
Names of Partners
 

Abstract
About 10-15 lines.

Introduction
Literature background – about 20-30 lines (If nothing else, use your
textbook, reference books in WALDO library).

Experimental
Keep this short, use citation of TAPPI Standards, Lab handouts….

Results and Discussion
This part is important. Your results…, final tables, graphs….And
discussion, suggestions…

References

Literature cited

Appendix

Raw data, printed samples, etc.